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Literary, Theatre, World Languages

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.  Dr. Kelly holds a PhD from 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!

"The Talk" is a one-man show that expresses one father's struggle to explain race and racism to his son. By combining family stories, literature, music, historical research, comedy, and poetry Sonny explores and examines the historical, social , and cultural aspects and impactsof racism in a way that is full of love,grace, and clarity. He plays over 20 different characters to draw all students together. This 60-80 performance includes a 20-30 minute Q&A. Sonny fac-ilitates a community discussion about diversity, inclusion, and unity. "The Talk" is ideal for middle school students and older.

Grade LevelsK-12
Maximums1,000 Students, 90 minutes, 5/day
Special Populations

Spanish-Speaking

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, 60-120 minutes, 2/day
Special Populations

Spanish-Speaking

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

Talking THE TALK: Dr. Sonny Kelly performs age appropriate excerpts of his critically acclaimed one-man show called THE TALK. He leads participants in a series of interactive self-expression activities  He then facilitates a positive interactive community conversation between artist, students, and faculty around difference, diversity, inclusion, equity, healing, and unity.
RESILIENCE a Virtual Interactive Storytelling Experience: Dr. Sonny Kelly will share inspirational stories and poems in the African and American storytelling traditions to encourage and inspire students, staff, and family members. This session includes live performance, interaction, virtual acting games, and a lesson on bouncing back and calling each other in to become better together.

Program consists of storytelling, interactive self-expression activities, Q & A and discussion via Zoom. 

Grade LevelsK-12
MaximumsUnlimited, 60-120 minutes
Technical Requirements

Technology/ Software  (i.e. Laptop, Zoom, Youtube, etc,)


This workshop is conducted via the artist's Zoom profile. It can also be conducted via the school's Zoom, Google Meets, Google Teams, or other synchronous online platform.

Total Fee1 Virtual Presentation - $550
School Portion1 Virtual Presentation - $275

References

  • 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