Cowboy Bob was created by three female, multi-talented theatre artists. It may seem surprising for 2023, but the theatre industry is still lacking when it comes to female created work. Take a look at some of the info below. What stands out to you?
Three Special Team Members
Peggy R. Garrett
Video from Nina Garcia here
Info and resources from Nina here. coming wed.
Peggy Jo's mom, Jerry, became visually impaired later in life - and Peggy Jo cared closely for her. The actress playing Jerry (Susan Koozin) is not visually impaired, so the show's creative team brought in a consultant. Peggy R. Garrett, a Social Worker and Advocate, is working with the team to insure that the play depicts Jerry's disability in a way that is accurate and respectful. Ms. Garrett lost her sight in her 40s, and has been powerful voice for vision loss with organizations such as the AAVL.
Believe it or not, you are one of the most important members of this team. Watch this video to see why.
I Want to Break Free:
Themes in the play
Cowboy Bob is more than just an action-packed musical about a bank robber in drag. The story asks us to ponder some questions that are pretty important for our time.
Have you ever felt the need to break free?
Are some of us dealt a bad hand in life with no way out?
Is it ever okay to do a bad thing for a good reason?
A Tall Tale
What is a Meritocracy?
In Cowboy Bob, Peggy Jo is working full time and taking care of her disabled mother. But no matter how much she works, she can't seem to make ends meet. That's when she makes the choice to do something shocking.
Generations of Americans were taught that you can live your wildest dreams if you just work hard and pay your dues. But, more and more studies show that the ideal of an American Meritocracy is a myth.
Do you think it's true that everyone has the potential to succeed in the USA?
After each student plays the game, discuss choices they made and why. What did you see play out that was mentioned in the Vox article and video?
She's a Cowboy
Peggy Jo avoided capture for so long because she was dressed as a man - and a cowboy. People made assumptions based on her appearance, based on stereotypes. But what are those? And which of them are inaccurate? Let's look at what the life of a real cowboy was like.
Students define key concepts and discuss the impact that labels, assumptions, and stereotypes have on their own identity development.
EW- is this a stretch to go from the cowboy folkore to the identity activity? Can you help me bridge?
What stands out to you? What misconceptions exist about your own culture or identity?
Cowboy Bob: ANTI-hero
Most of us have a clear understanding of what a hero is: A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
But what happens when you have a character, like Cowboy Bob, who does morally or ethically questionable things (like robbing a bank)!?
Enter the ANTI-HERO.
This type of character is defintley not new. So explore these links to learn more about some popular exampes, and how to create your own.
A step-by-step guide to writing your own
Moral ambiguity: When is it ok to steal?
Would you rob a bank to pay for your sick mother’s medication?
Would you steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family?
Where’s the line for you? When is Stealing ok?
Peggy Jo Tallas claimed that she started robbing banks to cover the cost of caring for her disabled mother.
..."she eventually admitted that she had decided to rob a bank to pay for her mother’s medications. But she certainly had no intention of robbing a second bank, she said. Or a third or a fourth..." - Texas Monthly
We've now entered the world of ethics, which some people spend their whole life studying and debating. But it's important stuff, and Cowboy Bob asks us to consider:
Is it ever okay to do bad things for a good reason?
In the famous musical Les Miserables, the character Jean Valjean serves 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family.