by Donna Parker
Raise the Curtain
Elizabeth Cobbe ’01 stands in the wings, always ready for another entrance. The recent grad is steadily building a collection of credits in the professional theater—a field where unemployment is routine for even the most talented artists—as a writer, actor, and dramaturg.
“The reason I do all this is to staunch the panic that every actor feels. When auditions don’t work out, I turn to my writing,” says Elizabeth.
She couldn’t have scripted a better break than landing a literary internship with the American Conservatory Theater in her first year after graduation. She also snagged a part as a production assistant for renowned director Baz Luhrmann, in the Broadway-bound production of La Bohème. These months in California were also when she began to write her first produced plays.
Elizabeth credits Trinity drama professor Stacy Connelly for urging her to follow her dream as she faced graduation. “In my last semester, there were only interviews for jobs I wouldn’t be happy doing. Stacy told me I might be able to do theater for a living. It was like someone had finally given me permission to think of myself as an artist,” says this talented thespian.
Elizabeth moved to Cincinnati to serve as Assistant Editor of Dramatics magazine. During that time, she also amassed a list of acting credits from stage and commercial work. With an eye to her roots, she began holding an e-casting call of sorts, inviting all Trinity drama graduates to join her online group.
“Being in touch with Trinity grads is like having a big family and people on your side,” says the former college track and field star.
Elizabeth is moving to Austin, Texas, and again, life is unscripted but not unplanned. She’ll freelance for the Austin Chronicle and is already speaking with several theatre companies.
“The only way you’re really going to have the kind of life that produces great stories is by taking risks that are uncomfortable at times.”
The outline for this plot is straightforward: “It’s to have a body of work and simply to make my living through these creative enterprises,” says this 26-year-old artist, who is sure to make her mark in American theatre.