Nicole Anderson Cobb is a creative (writer for stage and screen), researcher and advocate who examines American institutions (often in crisis) and how people of color have navigated these spaces historically and contemporarily. Using the lens of examining institutions at an inflection point, Anderson Cobb has written on such moments within institutions as varied as: college campuses, funeral homes, the non-denominational church, museum cultures, early 20th century arts collectives in Charleston, South Carolina, African American sororities, gun violence in America cities and police community relations.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE ABOUT ME
What was your most gratifying moment in the theater? Sitting in the ETA Theater during the opening week of my play, TANGLED during it’s 12 week run in Chicago. It was a profound experience to see a play that I wrote attended by relatives, community members, extended family and written about in the local newspaper. I realized at that moment that more people would see my plays than would ever read my PhD dissertation. What play or production changed your life? When I was 5 or 6, my parents took me to a production of “The Wiz” on Broadway. We were visiting family and attending a graduation on the East Coast at Smith College…and so that show on Broadway was a part of our East Coast travels. What I learned from that experience is that African Americans expressing themselves on stage was a glorious part of the Black experience to be celebrated and supported. Unfortunately, it has taken me all this time to give myself permission to lean into this critical form of expression. But, better late than never. I feel most like myself when I …. Am spending great time in conversation with people I love experiencing art, conversation or recreation that we love. How do you overcome disappointment? Breathe, pray, process the experience with a trusted friend/therapist/spiritual counselor/…ask for feedback on areas where I can improve and try again. If you could bring one change to theater, what would it be? Where to begin…Whew… I would establish one uniform standard for theater submissions with a required notification process for accepting or declining projects.. The topsy-turvy theater submission process—with some theaters asking for just a script and email address… and others asking for essays, pages, references, bios, resumes, urine samples and vision boards, etc., OK, perhaps not the last two but you get my point. We have to establish a standard by which all theaters are asking for the same information and offering a 90-120 day notification in the most economical fashion possible. What do you want artistic directors to know? There are rich, valuable lived experiences between LA and New York…beyond city centers…beyond coasts…beyond urban areas that MUST BE welcomed, invited, called forth to the stage. What’s the one thing nobody knows about you that you’d like them to know? I. LOVE. OKRA. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing? Traveling, attending cultural events, binge watching TV with my husband and daughter. Why do you keep doing theater? Theater begins impacting readers before they are ever an audience member, whether or not the plays are ever staged. Recently, I received a note from a professor looking for one of my plays (that is out of print) to assist her student working on a Master's Thesis. I was flattered and humbled and sent two copies of the play to the student. Thus, I was reminded that plays matter and writing plays matters…long after the curtain is lifted and the set is deconstructed. How do you imagine telling stories in these times? Stories must continue to be told digitally, via Zoom, across time zones, in parks and open fields, in abandoned spaces, by introducing new generations of its value, presented to folks in assisted living.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am currently completing her first TV-pilot and working on new plays while devising work for the April-May 2022 Allerton Residency.
African American, Race Relations, Social Justice, Political, Intergenerational Dramedy, Global Perspectives
Honor Roll ! Members Profiles Project