Graduate leads ‘Ragtime’ traveling play

A self-taught singer and dancer, Quentin Darrington, has made his way into the big time.

Darrington, a USF alumnus, has made a name for himself in New York and across the nation starring in the traveling tour of the musical Ragtime.

Darrington joined the show in August, and the cast recently celebrated its 200th show.

“Ragtime is one of my favorite musicals. Two and a half years ago I remember watching the show. I never imagined that I would play the lead role,” said Darrington.

After an intense audition and some hand-shaking Darrington held the leading role as Cole House Walker Jr.

Darrington said he feels emotionally tied to his part.

“It is one of the greatest roles written for a black man. He is in search of justice and finds that love and compassion allow for justice. Plus, there are a lot of similarities between Cole House and myself – both built out of faith,” Darrington said.

Only 23 years old, Darrington explained a story of ambition and faith to a crowd of approximately 25 students and faculty in a theater rehearsal hall Monday afternoon.

He spoke of his views as a young artist in theater.

“We (actors) should all aspire to greatness. We have been blessed with a gift for enhancing other people’s lives, encouraging and teaching others, and, at the same time, we do the same for ourselves,” he said.

Darrington reinforced the importance of respect, humility and kindness to all the people who allow him to share his gift.

“USF is where I began to gain my focus. My future and the possibilities all made the value of my art even more,” he said.

The advice Darrington passed on to his peers in the audience included the need for supreme discipline and drinking several gallons of water a day.

“(Darrington) is amazing. I remember one day walking in the hall as he was coming out of one of the practice halls. He was sweaty, and he was teaching himself to tap dance. His talent is truly incredible,” said USF student Seth Travaglino.