One-act play focuses on dark side of Cobb

Brad King (left) and Jason Adams, both as baseball great Ty Cobb, argue during a rehearsal of Cobb, which opens this weekend at the William Miller Bouknight Theatre in Edgefield.

Although the previous productions of Edgefield County Theatre's inaugural season were light-hearted, the fourth one will be more on the serious side. The theater presents the one-act drama, Cobb , this weekend and next.


Written by Lee Blessing in 1989, the play tells the story of baseball great Tyrus Raymond Cobb. Nicknamed The Georgia Peach, Cobb was an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers for 22 seasons in the early 1900s. He was credited with 90 Major League Baseball records, several of which he still holds.

"It's a powerful piece of theater," said Artistic Director Tony Baughman. "It really takes an unvarnished look at the person who was a great baseball player, but at the same time, a troubled and damaged man."

Cobb's aggressiveness might have broken records on the baseball diamond, but it caused problems in the game of life. He had a temper, was known as a racist, and became the topic of news stories when he got in fights.

"It will be a challenge for the audience because it gets up close and personal with such a controversial figure," Baughman said. "The actors do a good job of bringing Ty Cobb to life."

Three cast members -- Dave Engelman, Jason Adams and Brad King -- play Ty Cobb at various stages of his life. The three characters interact with one another, with the eldest Cobb looking back at all the great things he did as a baseball player, and the younger two portraying his controversial side.

"It puts tremendous demands on the actor. They have to dig to the deeper, darker sides of their personalities," Baughman said.

Another challenge for the three actors is the stage, which appropriately is diamond-shaped, with audience seating on three sides. "So the actors must be in almost constant motion," the director said.

The 90-minute drama will run without intermission, and contains adult language and situations.

"It's a very intense drama," Baughman said. "The audience should not come to this with faint of heart. It's not one you want to bring your Little Leaguers to."

If you go

WHAT: Cobb, a one-act play about Ty Cobb

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. April 1-2

WHERE: William Miller Bouknight Theatre, 405 Main St., Edgefield

TICKETS: $15; (803) 837-3833. Reservations are recommended.