G. DYANN ROBINSON,
Founder & Director, Tuskegee Repertory Theatre, Inc.
Dyann Robinson was born in 1942 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was graduated from St. Joseph Catholic
School and Tuskegee Institute High School. She received her first dance lessons in her hometown from her
second grade teacher who was a Dominican Sister. She made her stage debut as a member of Jessie
Gibson's Gibsonian Dance Troupe, which toured African American schools and colleges in Alabama and
Miss Robinson holds a B.A. degree in Dance from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and a M.F.A.
degree in Drama from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She has taught dance since
she was a teenager teaching together with her sister Clintonia in their Robinette School of Dance, located in
the basement of their home. She has taught at Howard University in Washington, DC, at the Dance Theatre
of Boston, at The National Center for African American Artists in Boston, at The Dance Theatre of Harlem in
New York City, for the City of Tuskegee Department of Cultural Affairs, as an Associate Professor, and Scholar-in-Residence in the
Department of Theatre at Auburn University , in Auburn, Alabama, and for her own Tuskegee Repertory Theatre, Inc.
Miss Robinson has performed in dance companies throughout this country and abroad. She and dancer/choreographer Mike
Malone toured the country as The Concert Ballet Duo. She founded The Chamber Dance Group in Washington, DC. She was a
member of the Dance Company of The National Center of African-American Artists, in Boston, Mass., a member of Maurice Bejart's
Ballet of The Twentieth Century based in Brussels, Belgium, and a member of Billy Wilson's Dance Theatre of Boston. Miss
Robinson was a member of the original Broadway cast, and assistant to the choreographer, Billy Wilson in the hit musical "BUBBLING
BROWN SUGAR". She has subsequently staged numerous companies of that show in this country and in Europe.
In 1980, Miss Robinson returned home to Tuskegee, and was appointed Director of the City of Tuskegee's Department of Cultural
Affairs by then Mayor Johnny Ford. As part of the Department of Cultural Affairs, she formed and directed The Tuskegee City Dance
Theatre School and Company. Dancers from the school and company were to become the core of the cast of a production of
"BUBBLING BROWN SUGAR" which Miss Robinson staged for the Tuskegee Department of Cultural Affairs. That production was
performed to great acclaim in Tuskegee, and at the prestigious Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama.
When The Department of Cultural Affairs was discontinued in 1989, Miss Robinson became a full-time member of the faculty of the
Department of Theatre at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where she not only taught dance, but directed dance and theatre
productions, creating six original full-length dance/dramas for Auburn University Theatre's production seasons. As the Department of
Theatre's first Scholar-In-Residence. she wrote and directed her highly acclaimed dramatic play, "STRANGE FRUIT, THE STORY OF
AN ALABAMA LYNCHING", which was debuted at Auburn University Theatre in 2002.
Determined to develop a theatre company in Tuskegee, in 1991, Miss Robinson founded The Tuskegee Repertory Theatre, Inc.
(TRT) a 501 C(3) tax exempt organization, while still working full time at Auburn University. In 1996 she personally purchased the
downtown former Tuskegee Post Office building, and opened it as The Jessie Clinton Arts Centre, in order to house the offices, and the
teaching/ rehearsal/performance space for the TRT. The mission of the theatre is to present theatre that reflects the historical and
cultural legacy of the black peoples of the world, particularly that of historic Tuskegee, Alabama, and to provide much needed
performance and creative opportunity especially for the African American artists in the community. Having retired from Auburn
University in 2005, Miss Robinson focuses now totally on the theatre company. She functions as producer, and administrative and
artistic director, directing, writing, and choreographing for, as well as sometimes performing with the company. The other creative
contributors to the company are community members who are professional in their fields either as teachers or independent artists.
They sometimes perform, but most of the performers are talented community amateurs.
Miss Robinson has written the following plays for Tuskegee Repertory Theatre, for performance at the company home in The Jessie
Clinton Arts Centre, which can seat a maximum of 80 audience members. As these plays are created, they are performed in what is
called the TRT Annual Cultural Heritage Season:
"LONELY EAGLES" (THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN MEET JOSEPHINE BAKER),
" MOTON, A MOMENT OF CRISIS", (The Story of the Creation of the Veterans Administration Hospital for Negroes in Tuskegee,
"RUN JOHNNY RUN" (The Story of Johnny Ford, the First African American Mayor of Tuskegee Alabama).
"THE WIVES OF BOOKER T." (The story of the three wives of Booker T. Washington, the first President of Tuskegee Institute, now
"GENESIS" (A Rap Opera).
" REMEMBERING SAMMY" (The story of Sammy L. Young, Jr., the Tuskegee Institute student, who was the first college student killed
in the Civil Rights Movement
"THE COTTON CLUB COMES TO 'SKEGEE",
"TOBY'S MY BROTHER, AND BEETHOVEN TOO",
"REVOLT IN STORYLAND" (The Musical) adapted by Miss Robinson from "REVOLT IN STORYLAND (The Play) by Marie Moore
"THE BROKER" (the Story of Lewis Adams, the True Founder of Tuskegee University.)
Miss Robinson was the recipient of The Alabama Shakespeare Festival's 1996 Pioneer Award. She is also the subject of an
Alabama Public TV documentary entitled
THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF DYANN ROBINSON. The documentary is part of a series called the ALABAMA EXPERIENCE. Miss
Robinson is a recipient of one of the Year 2001 Governor's Arts Awards, presented by The Alabama State Council on The Arts. In the
year 2002, she was appointed a member of The Alabama State Council on The Arts, and served for 6 years. In 2012 she was awarded
a 2012 Alabama State Council on the Arts Award.
Dyann Robinson, Artistic Director