Keith Hamilton Cobb is a speaker, an actor, and a playwright who has been drawn mostly to the stage in his working life, but has also been recognized for several unique character portrayals he has created for television. He has appeared in classical and contemporary roles on regional stages country-wide. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in acting. His award-winning play, American Moor (published by Methuen Drama), which explores the perspective of the African American male through the metaphor of Shakespeare’s Othello, ran off-Broadway at Cherry Lane Theatre in the fall of 2019. It is the recipient of an Elliot Norton Award, an AUDELCO Award, two IRNE Awards (Independent Reviewers of New England), a 2022 Cleveland Critics Circle Award, and is part of the permanent collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Keith is the director of Project Untitled, LLC, a company evolving socially just processes of analysis and inquiry at the intersection of humanities education and theater-making, and of The Untitled Othello Project, currently in residence at Sacred Heart University in collaboration with Blessed Unrest Theatre Company, which operates as an extended “interrogation and rehearsal with artists and educators” of Shakespeare’s play, Othello, disrupting antiquated ideas of its purpose and value, and exploring the human struggles with race, religion and sexuality, and other salient issues that it activates whenever it is performed.
In addition to his work as director and administrator, Keith speaks at academic institutions around the country on the topic of the intersection of race and Shakespeare, particularly as it is reflected in American Moor, and in The Untitled Othello Project. His most recent engagements have been the Arts Transcending Borders Residency at College of the Holy Cross, 2023; the 2022/23 Hurst Artist-in-Residence at Weber State University, Ogden, UT; and Artist in Residence 2021-23 at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT.
The title of his keynote address is “Untitling Shakespeare: A Brief Biography of an Evolving Practice”.