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Literary, Theatre

Professor READY

Sonny Kelly

About the Artist

Sonny Kelly (AKA Professor READY) is a professional actor, storyteller, speaker, and university instructor of performance and communication studies.  Mr. Kelly is a doctoral student at UNC Chapel Hill and he holds degrees from Stanford University and St. Mary’s University. He has served in the Air Force, corporate sales, college admissions, college Speech & Communications instruction, and church youth ministry. He has performed professionally on stage and television for over three decades. Sonny’s passion for educating and empowering others is unmistakable!

Sonny Kelly/ “Professor READY” is a master of storytelling, Shakespeare, theater arts, poetry and spoken word. He captures the imaginations of audiences of all ages with the power of words. Whether speaking English or Spanish, this artist knows how to use humor, drama and intellect to engage large and small crowds. If you want to inspire your students to reach for more in life, motivate them to achieve excellence in all that they do, and engage them with dramatic arts and literacy, then Professor READY is the artist for the job! With over 30 years of experience as a professional actor, over a decade of youth work, and a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies, this artist knows the smart way to tap into the hearts and minds of your students. At a Professor READY performance, you can expect students to learn how to be more accountable, honest, faithful, friendly, courageous, inclusive and committed to excellence and equity in themselves and their community.

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums1,000 Students, 45 minutes, 5/day
Special Populations


Technical Requirements

One microphone (preferrably wireless) and one large easels

Total Fee1 performance - $770 / 2 performances (same day and same school)- $1,100
School Portion1 performance - $385 / 2 performances (same day and same school)- $550

In The Power of Words (POW!) Workshop, Professor READY brings over three decades of professional theater and screen acting experience, a love for poetry, and over a decade of experience working with youth groups. In this workshop students are guided through the process of reading, understanding, appreciating and dramatizing literary works. It can be modified for any age group, with the objectives of helping students to memorize and dramatize literature, write their own skits, poems and pieces for dramatic interpretation. For more sophisticated students, this workshop guides them on a journey to discover jewels of some of the great poets like Paul Laurence Dunbar, Maya Angelou, Edgar Albert Guest, William Shakespeare and more.  During each workshop students will get hands-on experience with difficult literary material, and they will explore ways of making it more approachable and easier to memorize and learn. Students will also be empowered to create their own brief literary work (i.e. poems, skits and short stories). Through creative expression, students will learn how to imagine new personal and social possibilites together. 

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums50 Students, 60-90 minutes, 2/day
Special Populations


Total Fee1 workshop - $1,100
School Portion1 workshop - $550


  • Cornelia Cox, Ayden Elementary School , 252-558-3662
  • Anne McFadyen, Brentwood Elementary School, 910-864-5310
  • Patsy Patrick, Cross Creek Early College High School, 910-672-1499
  • Maria Ford, Cumberland Early College High School, 910-672-2833
  • Ron Godbolt, Retired Administrator, Cumberland County Schools, 910-988-1091
  • Kathryn Whisnant, Cumberland County Schools - AIG, 910-229-9011