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Artists & Elders: Kelvin Roston Jr. & Delia Jolly Gray

Kelvin Roston Jr. is an actor, singer, musician and playwright. He is the writer and performer of a one-person-show, Twisted Melodies, a look at mental illness through the eyes of legendary soul singer and musician, Donny Hathaway, which he has toured nationally. Kelvin was last seen as Clem and other characters in Day Of Absence with Congo Square Theatre Co where he is an ensemble member. Before that, he was seen as King in King Hedley II and as Oedipus in Oedipus Rex at Court Theater. Other Chicagoland theaters include: Court, Paramount, Marriott-Lincolnshire, Goodman, ITC, Eta, ATC, Writers, Black Ensemble, Timeline, Northlight, Steppenwolf. Regional: The Black Rep(St. Louis, MO), Fulton(Lancaster, PA), New Theatre(Overland Park, KS), MSMT(Brunswick, ME), Baltimore Center Stage(Baltimore, MD), Mosaic(WASHINGTON DC), Apollo(New York, NY). International: Orb(Tokyo, Japan), Festival Hall(Osaka, Japan). Television: Chicago Med, Chicago PD, KFC, Instant Care, Ace Hardware. Film: Get a Job, Princess Cyd, Breathing Room. Awards: Jeff Award, 3 BTA Awards, 2 Black Excellence Awards, NAMI Award. Kelvin is a proud member of AEA and represented by Paonessa Talent.

Delia Jolly Gray is a true renaissance woman. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York and, then, in Chicago for six years. Though a ‘born teacher’, as others dubbed her, she was called to be an artist. Her start as an actress was with The Experimental Black Actors Guild (X-BAG), a theatrical troupe on the south side of Chicago during the 1970’s. Some of her theater performance credits include A Raisin In The Sun, Steal Away, Purlie, The Amen Corner, and Miss Reardon Drinks A Little. Delia is just as fierce a business woman as she is a performer working at J. Walter Thompson and, later, at Ogilvy & Mather as Director of Business Affairs and the sole negotiator for celebrities to appear in advertising campaigns for such national clients as Sears, Equal, Klondike Bars, and the local Illinois Lottery, featuring spokespersons the likes of CHER, Lauren Hutton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Bennett, Bob Knight, Michael Clarke Duncan, Buddy Guy, John Mahoney, and others. She was appointed the first President of the Board of Directors for The Chicago Theater Co, an Equity theater company, formally, located on Chicago’s south side, created by Douglas Alan Mann and Chuck Smith. She held that position for eight years before her return to the stage as an actress and director. Some of her directing credits include Mens by Sara Finney (Joseph Jefferson Award nod, best director), Train Is Coming by McKinley Johnson (Black Theater Alliance Award, Best Direction/Musical), Miss Dessa by Shirley Hardy Leonard, Being Beautiful by McKinley Johnson, Te Amo: A Dancical by Pascual Olivera, It’s So Quiet Here and Seed: A Musical, two one-acts by June Seigel, and A Red Death by Walter Moseley, adapted by David Barr (New York Mystery Writer Guild Award, Best Adaptation of a Novel). Now as a senior citizen, still active in theater as a director (recently directing a virtual reading of Front Porch Society by Melda Beaty), Ms. Gray spends her time building 1” scale miniature roomboxes and wall dioramas.




This presentation was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with University of Chicago guidelines,  COVID-19 protocols were followed carefully, and oversight was provided to promote the health and safety of all participants and crew throughout the filming process.

Posted on December 1, 2020 in Artists & Elders

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