The History of The Robinson Players
"Professor Rob": posed, above;
and below, on one of his excursions to Europe.
In 1896, Grosvenor May Robinson (1867-1953) joined the Bates College faculty to teach Elocution and direct the college's Little Theatre. His studies extended outside Bates during summer vacations through extensive travel: he toured various theaters and attended drama and theater workshops as he traveled throughout Europe and Russia. Professor Robinson organized tours by the College's theater productions to various Maine communities.
In 1922, Professor Craig Baird founded the 4-A Players. The title "4-A Players" came from the only theater-related course taught at Bates at that time: English 4A, Professor Baird's class on playwriting. The course was modeled after George Pierce Baker's pioneering class in playwriting at Harvard, English 47A.
In 1938, Professor Robinson retired and the 4-A Players honored him by renaming the group "The Robinson Players", a name that has stuck ever since. The year also marked the establishment of the new Department of Speech which housed the College's theater and drama curriculum.
The academic year of 2020-2021 marks the 99th anniversary of the Robinson Players: 99 years of theater at Bates!!
Photo Credit: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library