In Discussion with Gregg T. Daniel, Director of Cobb Monday, March 12, 2012
Sherry Netherland
While I was familiar with a number of Lee Blessing’s plays (Eleemosynary, A Walk In The Woods), I was not familiar with COBB. A dear friend in Ojai, California, where I’ve directed several plays at Theatre 150, brought COBB to me with the intention of producing it himself. He asked me to play the role of the character, Oscar Charleston in a future production. A few years passed and the production never materialized, how ever, I always thought of the play as highly theatrical. Baseball is such a physical sport. I was intrigued with how to translate that physicality to the stage while telling a fascinating story. “Flawed” Heroes, sports or otherwise seem to dominate the American landscape lately. Think of Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, etc. We endow these talented athletes with prestige, power and riches. Yet their public images are frequently at odds with the truth. One of the many things COBB explores is the divide between popular myth versus the truth.


I was introduced to GRT and specifically Larry Eisenberg when I was invited to direct the play HEROES by Gerald Sibleyras. At the time, Ernest Figueroa who was GRT’s new Artistic Director had planned to open his inaugural season with several plays running in rotating repertory, HEROES was one of them. I had a delightful time working with Larry, Klair Bybee & Lloyd Pederson. It’s not always easy for a “guest director” to come in and work with the members of an established company. The members are sometimes resistant to an “outsider.” However, my experience with everyone at GRT was supportive, welcoming and creative. There were no personal agendas other than putting up the finest production we could.

I am currently the Artistic Director of a Los Angeles based Theatre Company known as, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble. The company mounted the West Coast Premiere of Afro Caribbean playwright Mustapha Matura’s. THREE SISTERS AFTER CHEKHOV in 2010, a wonderful adaptation of Chekhov’s classic set in Trinidad in 1914. The production was well received and garnered a 2011 NAACP theatre award. The company’s next production is slated for June-August 2012. I can’t mention it in print since we’re in negotiations to obtain the performance rights. However, I’m excited and passionate about bringing this story to L.A. audiences. Please invite your members and audience to sign up at our website (www.lowerdepththeatreensemble.org) and stay informed of upcoming events.
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