"You've got to do this because you love it, because you want to say something, because you’re trying to change the world, and you’re crafting your work to do that. Nothing substitutes hard work." - Johnnie Hobbs, Jr.
Celebrating his 30th year at the University of the Arts in the fall of 2012, Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. is a tenured associate professor in the Theater department. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Mary Louise Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is also the University of the Arts’ chairman of the Advisory Board for the Academic Achievement program and the advisor of the African-American Student Union and the African Diaspora Collective.
Directorial efforts include “Cider House Rules Part I” and “Does Your House Have Lions,” a performance of poet Sonia Sanchez’ epic poem. The Legacy of Love Foundation, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Philadelphia Chapter) recently honored Johnnie for his contribution to arts and culture.
He is proud of his 30-plus years' affiliation with the nationally recognized Freedom Theatre and attributes much of his success to the training and mentoring he received from Freedom Theatre’s co-founders, the late John E. Allen, Jr. and the retired Robert Leslie.
The three-time Barrymore Award nominee has played key roles in many of Freedom Theatre’s most critically acclaimed productions, most notably “Black Nativity,” “Black Picture Show,” “Simply Heavenly” with Melba Moore and “Zooman and the Sign” with Virginia Capers (Los Angeles Premier). He has enjoyed critical success with the works of August Wilson: “Fences,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “Two Trains Running” and “King Hedley II.”
Noteworthy film credits include principal roles in “The In-Crowd,” “Twelve Monkeys,” “Snipes,” “Up Close and Personal,” “Rocky Balboa” with Sylvester Stalone, and more recently, “Cover,” directed by Bill Duke, starring Vivica A. Fox. He also distinguished himself in a tour-de-force performance of the one-man stage play “Paul Robeson” by Phillip Hayes Dean.
He has traveled to China and Japan through Philadelphia’s Sister City Program.