One was among the most successful racing pilots of her day and the first woman to break the sound barrier on May 18, 1953. The other began flying at the age of twelve and by her twenties, was setting world records in flying speeds, distance, and altitude. The former (Jackie Cochran) helped form and finance Mercury 13, a group of accomplished women flyers who underwent the same rigorous training as the original, all-male, and world-famous Mercury 7 astronauts. The latter (Jerrie Cobb) bested all her male counterparts in the extreme conditions of a NASA-like isolation tank, ten hours to the most of any man, only four hours. The men went into space; the world recordholder for tank-endurance, speed, distance, and altitude along with her twelve, female co-trainees did not.
What better way for me to celebrate International Women’s Day than to reflect and revel on the inspiring lives and stunning accomplishments of yet two more heroes of American history that have too long been overlooked and almost forgotten. The stories of Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb are now being boldly told and triumphantly celebrated by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in the Northern California premiere of Laurel Ollstein’s They Promised Her the Moon. Returning to TheatreWorks after appearing in workshop form in the 2018 New Works Festival, They Promised Her the Moon focuses especially on the life of Jerrie Cobb, a woman who describes her joy of flying as “I hear myself breathing the same air as angel’s breathe … I am not lost … I just don’t want to be found.”
For my complete review, please continue to Talkin’ Broadway: https://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/regional/sanjose/sj192.html.
Rating: 5 E
They Promised Her the Moon has closed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by Kevin Berne