Robert Chesley Foundation

C. Robert Jones
2011 Chesley Award Winner

C. Robert Jones is a playwright, composer, and director and was also founder of theatre degree programs at Gardner-Webb University and Mars Hill College, both in North Carolina. In addition, he was one of the founders of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and Artistic Director of the Little Theatre of Savannah (Georgia).

Covering a wide spectrum, C. Robert’s fifty plays include romantic comedies like Taking a Chance on Love and The Senator’s Wife; dramas like Façades and The Salieri Effect; musicals like the popular Mandy Lou; and for children: The Clown, The Spelling Bee, and The Blabbermouth.

His musical Rivals was honored by the University of Michigan via its David B. Marshall Award in Musical Theatre competition, his play Chiaroscuro (Nocturne) was a winner of Theatre Memphis’s national play search, and his musical Treasures received the Paul Green Award by the NC Society of Historians.

C. Robert received Mellon Foundation grants for his one-man plays Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts (about Stephen Foster) and Bert Williams, Broadway Star. He was a Fulbright Scholarship recipient for study at the Sorbonne and the University of Dijon in France, and is a National Endowment Fellow at Yale University.

He’s directed over a hundred plays, musicals, and operas including the acclaimed production of The Belle of Amherst starring Susan King which is still alive after thirty years. In that roster of productions are the premieres of two one-character plays: Bernard Sabath’s You Caught Me Dancing (the story of Mark Twain’s housekeeper of thirty years, Katy Leary) and Steve Bouser’s Senator Sam (about Senator Sam Ervin, the colorful Watergate chairman.)

He’s a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild.