by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Robert J Townsend Brings His Acting Experience to Westview High School

faces_townsend3Robert J Townsend, a local actor and teacher, fell into the theatrical world somewhat accidentally. He started off studying chemistry at UCSD and transferred on a whim to Cal State University, Long Beach, where he focused on music. After that, he got his Master’s at UC Irvine in vocal performance. Now that he’s earning a living in the acting field, Robert explained, “I call my job my ‘accidental career,’ because I started off performing just for fun. My early training as a musician and a singer really propelled me and slowly but surely I kept growing and learning. Before I knew it, I was working year-round as an actor!”

Robert has appeared on Broadway and on national tours of Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys, Camelot, Grease, and even the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. As for his roles in local regional theaters, Robert has played Sweeney in Sweeney Todd, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, and Papa Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Robert admitted, “I’ve been so fortunate with my acting career; it’s taken me all over the world, and all over the country many times over.”

Name: Robert J Townsend
Communities: Works in 92129; lives in 92130
Profession: Actor and teacher at Westview High School
Hobbies: Dogs, hikes, and food (cooking and dining)
Favorite Spots in 92129: The waterfall hike on Peñasquitos Creek, or any amazing restaurant we can find!

faces_townsend2Now that he has a young son with his wife, whom he met during a production of Oklahoma at the Welk Resort, Robert is less interested in worldwide travels and more interested in staying close to home and hearth. Therefore, in addition to performing in local productions, Robert is also the drama and tech teacher and director at Westview High School. “What I like the most is collaborating with incredible young adults and artists. The amazing shows we put on are the result of the kids coming together, dedicating hours of their free time in this very fast-paced school to make something unique and beautiful,” said Robert.

Some of those unique and beautiful shows have included ambitious choices, such as Blithe Spirit, in which the student design team created a black and white set similar to an old movie, and Noises Off, a farce with a pantomime section. Robert proudly proclaimed, “Both turned out to be incredible successes and were exciting to watch! The dedication and talent of the students runs deep at this school, and I feel so lucky to work side by side with the leaders and creators of tomorrow.”