Robert Aden was one of the most prominent actor-directors working on Valley stages in the 1960s.
He came to Phoenix from New York and Minnesota (The Old Log Theatre) where he had directed and acted in numerous productions.
At Phoenix Little Theater, he appeared in Richard II, Richard III, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew and Henry IV: Part One.
Other credits include: No Time for Sergeants (1959), Phoenix Little Theatre; The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Phoenix Little Theatre; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Phoenix Little Theatre (his Big Daddy was greatly admired); Nude With Violin (for which his reviews were exeptionally good), Arizona Repertory Theatre; The Lower Depths (1964), Arizona Repertory Theatre; and Waiting for Godot (1960, 1961) Arizona Repertory Theatre.
In 1958, he received the Alfred Knight Award, given for the year’s most outstanding Shakespearean performance, for his role of Hotspur in Henry IV: Part One.
He also appeared at the Sombrero Playhouse and with the Scottsdale Community Players.
APRIL 1967. “The Lower Depths.” Arizona Repertory Theatre. Playwright: Maxim Gorky. Director: Robert Aden. Set Design: John Retseck. Cast: William Edmondson, Barbara LeCocq, Leon Black, Carolyn Allhands, Sandy Gibbons, Malcolm Dick, Jim Hurley, Helen Begam, Joseph Jenckes.
1967. “Nude With Violin.” Playwright: Noel Coward. Producer: Robert Aden. Director: Paula Sobol.
MAY 1963 “Waiting for Godot” Arizona Repertory Theatre. (See Revival review below)
APRIL 1963 “Antony and Cleopatra.” Co-Production by Phoenix Little Theatre and Arizona Repertory Theatre Company. Director: Robert Begam.
Robert played Marc Anthony in this production, which was a major hit for Phoenix Little Theatre and its partner Arizona Repertory Theatre. It was also part of the lineup at the 1963 Shakespeare Festival.
Review by Helen Backer of the Arizona Republic, April 10, 1963
1962. Phoenix Little Theatre. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
1960, Revived in 1961. “Waiting for Godot.” Playwright: Samuel Beckett. Director: Norman McDonald. Cast: Robert Aden, James Hurley, Rick Begam, Eric Karson, Jack Lang.
Helen Backer’s review of the 1961 revival, Arizona Republic, March 31, 1961.