Anytime a Sesame Street cast member comes to town, we get a little excited. That’s why where thrilled that veteran actor Roscoe Orman, who has played “Gordon” on Sesame Street for 36 years, will be in Nashville in a couple of weeks. He’ll be here on Tuesday, August 31 for a “Toast to the Team” reception and fundraiser for Tennessee State University’s Forensic Speech Team. The event is 6-8 p.m. at Richland Country Club, One Club Drive in Nashville, and will be hosted by Dr. T.B. & Mrs. Yvette Boyd. It will include readings by Orman and other surprise guests and a silent auction. Organizers promise an elegant evening and “literature haven.” A limited number of tickets are available for $75 — $50 of which is tax deductible — and must be reserved by August 23. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please call 615-293-8422 or visit http://www.tnstate.edu/forensicstoast.
TSU’s State Champion Forensics Speech team had a banner 2010 year, winning 266 awards, among them third place in the nation in poetry interpretation and third place in the nation in dramatic interpretation. In February of this year, the team garnered rave media attention for its dramatic performances commemorating the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins of 1960.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Orman has long history of writing, theatre, television and film credits in addition to his work on Sesame Street. He made his professional theatre debut in 1962 with the Next Stage Theatre Company’s production of If We Grow Up. A founding member of Harlem’s New Lafayette Theatre, he appeared prominently in most of that company’s productions, including Whose Got His Own, We Righteous Bombers, The Duplex, The Devil Catchers and The Fabulous Miss Marie. Recent roles have included Troy Maxon in Fences at Madison Repertory Theatre and Hoke Colburn in the Delaware Theatre Company production of Driving Miss Daisy. He is a five time nominee of an Audelco Theatre Award. In 1997, his took home the award for his performance in Do Lord Remember Me at Manhattan’s Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse.
As a writer, Orman was a contributing editor of Black Theatre Magazine during the 1970s. Orman’s memoir, Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor was published in June 2006. His children’s book Ricky & Mobo, which he wrote and illustrated, was published in 2007.
In 1973, Orman made his feature film debut in the title role of Universal Pictures’ Willie Dynamite. His other films include Follow That Bird, FX, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, Drive By, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, 30 Days, and Twilight’s Last Gleaming. His television credits include Sanford and Son, Kojak, All My Children, A Man Called Hawk, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Cosby, Sex and the City and The Wire.