Arbender Robinson ’98

Arbender Robinson ’98

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
Career: Actor

Arbender’s Story

In the mid ’90s, Arbender Robinson arrived at Viterbo University determined and with a plan that he knew would be incredibly challenging to accomplish.

“I wanted to be an actor and I was determined not to fail. Coming here (to Viterbo) turned out to be the best decision of my life,” Robinson said.

“To the end, I stayed focused,” he said.

That meant using Viterbo’s learning center to stay on top of academics and securing multiple roles in as many plays, musicals, and operas as he could.

The Chicago native was a familiar face on stage starring in shows such as: Three Penny Opera, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Birds, Secret Garden, The Magic Flute, and The Marriage of Figaro.

During that time, Robinson honed his skills and developed lasting relationships with faculty who helped him along the way. “All my instructors were at the top of their game and they really know what they were talking about.”

And today? Robinson is living his dream. He’s earned major roles in major productions including  Ragtime, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Hairspray, The Book of Mormon, and Les Miserable. “I never thought I’d end up in New York City let alone have roles in nine Broadway shows…and get this—be known as a 'veteran Broadway performer.’”

In a recent interview, the affable actor reflected on his decision to choose Viterbo for his theatre education. “ I picked this school called ‘Viterbo’ in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and I got what I need to make it in life and for that I am forever grateful.”