December 5th “Chess” Talk Back at Actors’ Theatre

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Join us Friday, December 5th, for a talk-back after the performance with Professor Robert Hendershot, Ph.D, and Robert Tolbert as they discuss the Cold War, Russian and American relations today, and the game of chess; including its symbolism in the production of CHESS. Meet our talk-back panelists:

Robert M. Hendershot, Ph.D. is the Associate Professor of World History at Grand Rapids Community College.  An expert on the history of American international relations, the Cold war, and the influence of culture on foreign policy formulation, he has multiple published works and is a very active scholar in the field of transatlantic studies.  At GRCC, he regularly offers specialized seminar classes and teaches surveys of world history and Latin American history each year.

Robert Tolbert traversed many states between Grand Rapids, Michigan, his hometown, and New York City. He was a small business counselor and assistant to the director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Small Business Development Center in Lansing for four years, a supply chain specialist at FedEx in Memphis, Tenn., then a manager of sourcing and procurement at the Walt Disney Co. in New York before becoming sourcing manager for media powerhouse Time Warner Inc. At Time Warner he was responsible for identifying and implementing cost-saving opportunities for the company’s business units, as well as developing strategies to leverage corporate buying power. He was named one of the “Top 40-Under-Forty” as a top achiever by the Network Journal (TNJ), a New York City-based magazine that focuses on African-American professionals and small business news.

Tolbert decided to return to Grand Rapids in 2011, where he now works as a consultant for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, a non-profit organization that works to develop opportunities for minority owned businesses to obtain contracts with large corporations. He heads a group of area corporate executives from leading corporations specifically targeting supplier diversity strategy for West Michigan minority owned firms.

Tolbert has played chess since childhood, and continues to be fascinated by the game. As a business professional, he uses chess to relax and remain alert. He is a fan of playing speed games and loves to take time to play outdoors. He enjoyed playing games in the city parks of New York and continues to play daily online with players from around the world.

Make ticket reservations for Chess today at

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