The Catholic University of America

William T. Newman Jr., on the set of WSC Avant Bard’s “The Gospel at Colonus.”
(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

CUA Law Alumnus, William T. Newman Jr. Starring in "The Gospel at Colonus" 

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CUA Law Alumnus and Board of Visitors Member (BOV) William T. Newman Jr., '77 is starring as the lead character in “The Gospel at Colonus.” Newman, a chief judge of Arlington County’s Circuit Court, studied fine arts in a conservatory-like program at Ohio University and was on stage in the early 1970s.

Newman got stage work right out of school, heading to New York, and making appearances in off-Broadway showcases and on the NBC soap “Somerset.” He auditioned for the Negro Ensemble Company’s “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men” and didn’t get in, but got called when the troupe needed performers for its D.C. tour. He earned his Equity card — has always kept it — and began picking up local acting gigs, including several shows at Arena Stage.

Still, it didn’t take long for him to decide to enroll in Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. “I grew up here, where every other person’s a lawyer,” Newman explains. “It was always if I wasn’t going to be an actor, I was going to be a lawyer.”

“But hold on,” he adds. “While this was going on, I would still be doing shows. I remember walking out of torts class, and everybody saying, ‘You’re crazy.’ I was in a show at Arena at the time. That’s when I was doing ‘Julius Caesar.’?”

“The Gospel at Colonus” combines Greek tragedy and African American heritage. The score is an inspiring fusion of Black church gospel with elements of blues and Motown. Written by Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson, “The Gospel at Colonus” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Best Drama in 1985 and won the Obie for Best Musical in 1984. It will be playing at the Avant Bard theatre in Arlington, Virginia from February 22 to March 25, 2018.

In fall 2017, Newman was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award for his service and demonstrated loyalty to Columbus School of Law.

Click here to read full the spring 2017 Washington Post profile on Newman.