Robert Merrill’s earliest memories are being baby-sat backstage by strangely dressed actors in his mother’s theatre just outside of Washington, D.C. While working on a degree in English and Theater at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), he played Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antipholus in A Comedy of Errors, and Trotter in Mousetrap.
After spending time away from the theater to get a teaching credential and Masters in Education, he returned to UCR to play Gary/Roger in Noises Off. At Riverside Community College (RCC), he portrayed Tyrone in Moon for the Misbegotten and Jerry in Betrayal. Robert's Riverside Community Players (RCP) acting credits include The Real Thing, Hay Fever, The Taming of the Shrew, The Imaginary Invalid, A Man for All Seasons, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and he portrayed Machiavelli in the play of that name. He directed Lettice and Lovage and Lost in Yonkers at RCP, and other directing credits include Marvin's Room at Redland's Footlighters and Painting Churches at RCC. Recently at Rialto Community Players, he was seen as Oscar Jaffe in Twentieth Century and Astrov in Uncle Vanya.
He is honored that Rialto Community Players opened its 2013 season with his first play, Aria’s, an honor repeated when his second play, Five-Door Farce, opened the Chino Community Theater’s 2015 season.
Robert became a member of the Dramatists Guild of America in 2015. Having retired from teaching high school in 2019, he has worked with several writing groups focusing on poetry and short stories. His third play, All the Jagged Edges, was produced by Riverside Community Players in August of 2020.
Robert Merrill is a fresh voice in the theatre that connects with today’s audiences. With the charming story of Aria’s, in a stage reading setting, our audience members enjoyed the light-hearted love story with well-defined characters. From lots of laughs to touching subjects, the situations and characters resonate with audience members of all ages.
Frank Minano, Producing Artistic Director, Inland Valley Repertory Theatre
There is a saying in theater that if in farce the patrons are thinking too hard about the meaning of the piece, then we on stage are doing something wrong. In this master work, we hope you will both laugh and think because Five-Door Farce is an esoteric view of the world.
Cindi East, Director, Chino Community Theater
Marie (Lisa Shannon) waits her turn while Little Mike (Jackson Capitano) and Rose (Deborah McFatter) dance in Rialto Community Players' production of Aria's.