Portrait Photograph of Baron Kelly

Baron Kelly

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor

Department of Theatre and Drama

Hometown: New York

Baron Kelly is a four-time Fulbright Scholar who has worked nationally and internationally on Broadway, regional theatre, and in television and film. He trained at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is widely published author and sits on numerous editorial boards including The Harold Pinter Review and the Comparative Drama Conference.

Accepting in-person talks locally around Madison and virtual talks around the state.


From the Streets of New York to the Stages of the World: Being a Global Artist

After surviving growing up in a tough neighborhood in New York, I discuss my career beginnings singing with the Metropolitan Opera to eventually becoming a four-time world traveled Fulbright Scholar bridging cultural divides as a cultural specialist for the United States.

Earle Hyman: It's All About Character

The talk is about pioneering African American actor, Earle Hyman, and his rise to international fame on the stages of Norway and Scandinavia in the 1950s-1990s. I discuss how a Black American was accepted by Scandinavia pre-Civil Right Era in America. Earle Hyman is better known to television audiences as Grandfather on the Cosby Show.

African Americans in the “Raceless“ Soviet Union

How the African-American experience in the Soviet Union shaped black identity and how the presence of people of color shaped Soviet understandings of race.