By Josiah Robinson
Hello folks! My name is Josiah Robinson, and I am playing Dennis Sanders in Sanders Family Christmas! I’m an actor and musician most recently from Chicago – but originally from the small town of Canyon, Texas. I graduated from West Texas A&M University with a degree in Musical Theatre. Lanesboro actually reminds me a lot of my hometown! It’s welcoming, friendly, and focused on local business and local art, which I very much appreciate.
I’ve spent the last few years in Chicago, exploring the improv and theatre scene there. More recently, I’ve shifted my focus to just musicals, and more specifically musicals where I get to showcase my fiddle and guitar playing. Luckily for me, musicals and plays that feature actors who are also musicians are very popular right now. I’ve been able to go from working in one instrument focused show to another, which is how I ended up here in Lanesboro!
I was able to connect with the director of Sanders Family Christmas, Alan Bailey, over Facebook, then sent in a video audition while I was on my last contract (all the way in Alaska of all places, but that’s another story), and now I’m here lending my musical talents to the great team at the Commonweal.
Anyone who has gone home for the holidays and experienced the joys and occasional trickiness of being around family will appreciate Sanders Family Christmas. There are really touching and tender family moments that I think are going to hit home for a lot of people. But, there is also a lot of fun, rip roaring country Christmas music that we have been working on. The music is so much fun, especially since I get to play some of my favorite instruments like violin and upright bass, which has made the rehearsal process both productive and a blast!
I have been so delighted and impressed with the quality of work and the work ethic here at the Commonweal. Everyone bands together as a team to produce some incredible theatre, especially for a small town! I would have been so excited growing up in my small hometown to have had such quality theatre so close by. I’m proud to be a part of this theatre and this cast, and I’m excited for us to show all the Commonweal patrons a heartwarming holiday hootenanny with Sanders Family Christmas! Previews begin November 15th. I’ll see you at the Commonweal!