The beloved Dr. Baron Kelly joins Odyssey faculty!

Professor Baron Kelly

We are delighted to announce that this month Baron joins us as a senior, tenured professor with a joint appointment between the Odyssey Project and the UW Department of Theatre and Drama. For Baron, this new appointment represents a return to the university where he earned his PhD in theater. He also holds a diploma from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, is a four-time Fulbright Scholar, and has starred and directed in numerous plays, films, and productions.

For all 17 years of the UW Odyssey Project, we have flown Professor Baron Kelly back to Madison to lead a transformative evening introducing our students to acting. Many find a powerful voice they never knew they had. Here are sample comments from the Class of 2020 after working with Baron in February before our in-person classes shut down:

“Working with Baron Kelly was mind-altering, inspiring, and motivational, igniting happiness and excitement within me.”

From our group performance of Macbeth to my performance of Fences to even improv acting, it was all a hoot even though my hands were shaking.”

Working with Baron Kelly forces you to come out of your shell and get out of your comfort zone, and he challenges you to be a bigger, better you.”

Each year, Baron will introduce new Odyssey and Odyssey Junior students to vocal expression and to playwrights ranging from Shakespeare to August Wilson. He will also bring theater into Wisconsin prisons through our Odyssey Beyond Bars program and offer an Onward Odyssey acting techniques class for our alumni. As one student observed, “Having Baron Kelly with us more often would be like therapy because it lifts the confidence within us.”

Professor Baron Kelly with Corey, Jyneeva, and Tina