Samaritan Road Productions Founder and Playwright
Nicole D. Anderson-Cobb, PhD
Biography for Nicole Anderson-Cobb, PhD
Nicole Anderson-Cobb, Ph.D. is a Chicago native who grew up on Chicago’s Southeast Side in the Calumet Heights community. Dr. Anderson-Cobb earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1995), a Master’s degree in History (1998) and Doctorate of Philosophy in History (Concentrations on Africa, Comparative Islam, Gender, & Media) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007).
In addition to her work as a public intellectual, Dr. Anderson-Cobb is also an award-winning playwright and CEO/Founder of Samaritan Road Development Corporation (SRDC). Thus, SRDC is an umbrella non-profit entity for plays, courses and workshops that seek to promote reflection, dialogue, conflict resolution and personal, group and community transformation.
Because of Dr. Anderson-Cobb’s ongoing commitment to gun violence prevention, she was recruited by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) and will be serving as the Outreach Coordinator for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) for the 2012-2013 year.
Regarding her theatrical production, Dr. Anderson-Cobb’s play “TANGLED”---which examines the impacts of gun violence on post-Obama Chicago---was one of four winners of the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest sponsored by the New York City’s Castillo Theatre who staged the world premiere of “TANGLED” in August 2010. For more information, check out: http://www.castillo.org/index.html
During fall 2010, “TANGLED” was also one of the featured plays at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s Afro 212/Theatre 263 courses taught by Professor Kathy Perkins. A formal reading of the play was held on December 9-10, 2011 for a program entitled “Staging Black Chicago: An Evening of Readings” December 8-9, 2010 at the UIUC Armory Free Theatre under the direction of Professor Kathy Perkins.
In April 2011, The Metropolitan Chicago Synod's South Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) hosted a reading of "TANGLED" as a the final event of their 2011 Lenten Mid-Week Services.
In June 2011, “TANGLED” was also selected as a featured play for Readers’ Theatre Series of New Plays at the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August 2011.
In July 2011, “TANGLED” was also selected as a featured play and hosted as a reading for Chicago State University’s ArtLab: A CSU Theatre Collective In Partnership with ETA Creative Arts Foundation. The reading will occur on November 4, 2011.
In the spring of 2012, TANGLED enjoyed a full eight-week production in Chicago from March 29-May 20, 2011 at ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago. For media and reviews of TANGLED, check out: http://www.samaritanroadproductions.com/tangled-buzz-media-coverage-of-tangled-by-nicole-anderson-cobb-phd-at-eta-creative-arts-foundation-march-29-may-19-2012.html. For audience responses to TANGLED at ETA, check out: http://www.samaritanroadproductions.com/the-people-have-spoken-chicago-audiences-embrace-tangled-the-play-examining-gun-violence-in-post-obama-chicago.html
In June 2012, there was a reading of TANGLED at Howard University in Washington, DC as part of the 2012 DC Black Theatre Festival.
In addition to preparing for productions of TANGLED, Dr. Anderson-Cobb is also currently preparing her new play “CAMPUS JIHAD” for production. “CAMPUS JIHAD” is a full-length play/dramedy that examines the experiences of Muslim students of diverse races at a huge fictional state institution. This play is also quite timely as it is situated at the fault-lines of heated national debates around immigration, community and citizenship, race relations and Islam, the impacts of gun violence on campuses and in local communities---all of which impact the climate and mission of institutions of higher education.
Regarding her other theatrical work, Dr. Anderson-Cobb has also written a one-woman play, “Black Reign?: Survivin' the Obama Years”, which she performed with the American Blues Theater in Chicago during February 2010. She also performed excerpts from the show and was interviewed on American Public Media’s “The Story with Dick Gordon”. Listen to the interview during the second half of this program at: http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_995_Geoff_Edgers.mp3/view (March 2010).
“Black Reign?” was also featured in an article entitled “Black Home Chicago” published In These Times magazine (May 2010), a national progressive magazine based in Chicago. Learn more about the article at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/archives/covers_ind/34/05/
Dr. Anderson Cobb also serves as a reader for the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest for New York City’s Castillo Theatre during the 2010-2013 competitions.