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The Career of Keith Hamilton Cobb, writer and performer of American Moor

Keith Hamilton Cobb, creator and star of the upcoming solo-show American Moor (APR 10-21), has made a name for himself both on stage and screen. As a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Cobb has been featured in a number of television shows as well as theater productions, even writing and directing a number of plays himself. In anticipation for his performance at the Emerson Paramount Center, we decided to take a look back at Cobb’s long and illustrious career.

After graduating with a BFA in acting, Cobb began performing in venues like The Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Shakespeare Theatre of Washington DC, The Denver Theatre Center, The Huntington Theatre Company, The Orlando Shakespeare Festival and The Geva Theatre Center. As a classically trained actor, Cobb is known for his work in Shakespeare productions and has held roles like Laertes in Hamlet, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Tullus Aufidius in Coriolanus, Oberon and Duke Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title character in Othello at the Anacostia Playhouse in Washington, D.C–the role that inspired him to write American Moor.

In addition to his robust stage career, Cobb has held a number of iconic television roles, including Tyr Anasazi in Gene Rodenberry’s Andromeda, Damon Porter in CBS’s The Young and the Restless, Quincy Abrams in Noah’s Arc and Noah Keefer for ABC’s All My Children, which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. He also has guest starred in other popular television shows across his career like CSI: Miami and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. However, Cobb is not just a stage and screen actor, as he is also a teacher and director, working at Westchester Community College and at Youth Theatre Interactions, Inc. and has been a teaching artist in the New York City school system. In the spirit of his focus on race and justice in the United States, Cobb has also worked with juvenile offenders incarcerated within the New Jersey Correctional System.

Most recently, this versatile actor has dedicated his time to his one-man show, American Moor, a play that looks at “race in America with the entertainment industry as microcosm.” In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Keith Hamilton Cobb explained that he wrote the first draft of American Moor in a day and a half but rewrote a number of iterations of it over several years. Eventually, he hit the road, touring colleges, regional theaters and playhouses. Cobb has stated that he is unable to separate his experience as a black American man from his experience as a black American actor, since “theater is ruled by all things that dominate society at large.” His experiences both on and off stage lead him to the creation of this show, a show the Boston Globe called a “blisteringly eloquent and penetrating meditation on the ever-urgent matter of race in America.”

ArtsEmerson is thrilled to welcome Keith Hamilton Cobb and American Moor to Boston from April 10-24 at the Emerson Paramount Center.

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