Jubilation Foundation Teaching Artist Fellow Robb Zelonky

Robb Zelonky

Fellowship: 2021

“If it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have done this stuff: theatre and music; teaching kids. I love it, to this day, I love it.”

Also known as Robbo, he loves to share his joy of theatre and music, helping students discover who they are. He also writes and performs children’s songs, with five CDs to his credit. He co-headlined with folk legend Arlo Guthrie, and performed at the White House in Washington DC for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  

His musical, “Suddenly Someone,” is about a bullied eighth grader who finds his strength and gratitude in the face of adversity at school and at home. He has performed a one-man show, “A Kid’s Life,” hundreds of times across the country.

What led you to become a teaching artist?
When I was twelve, my mother encouraged me to try out for a play. I was extremely hesitant but she was extremely insistent. Making that show, meeting new friends, being led by big-hearted and supportive co-directors… I knew that I wanted to make other people feel the way that first experience made me feel. I am very fortunate that I listened to my mom!

Teaching philosophy:
It’s all about creating an atmosphere where kids can feel free to be daring and fearless — to let their emotions flow and to explore, to feel protected and supported enough to take chances.

My whole approach in my writing is to lift kids up and help them believe in themselves.

Describe a good teaching day:
Walking into the theatre/classroom and seeing kids raring to go.

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