An Interview with Nowhere on the Border Actor Chet Grissom

The Road Theatre Co. is proud to present the premiere of Nowhere on the Border by Carlos Lacámara, directed by Stewart J. Zully. The play concerns itself with the question, “Why do people cross borders?” Two working-class men, an Anglo on border watch and a Mexican, face off in the desert. What is discovered is that border crossings are both physical and emotional. The play opened on January 17th at the Road on Magnolia and will play through March 8th. Each week we will spotlight a member of the cast or creative team. This week the light shines on Chet Grissom.

Q: What character do you play? How does she serve the play?

A: I play Gary Dobbs, a volunteer with an organization that supports The Border Patrol. He’s the main antagonist (other than the desert) in the piece.

Q: How does the play challenge you as an actor?

A: Getting inside the mindset of a character I personally don’t agree with is always a challenge ~ so to overcome that you find similarities and legitimate motivations for how he thinks and feels.

On a practical level, the amount of props I have to deal with took a lot of rehearsal time to master.

Q: What do you feel is the meaning of the play? Its theme or message?

A: That, at our core, we all want the same things in life.

Q: What would you like audiences to take away?

A: That this is a complicated issue with valid points on both sides. It’s a situation that needs compassionate thought in order to come up with a policy that doesn’t criminalize people in desperate situations.

Q: Talk briefly about your director and castmates.

A: Our director Stewart Zully has had a strong vision for this play for a long time now, and what he’s done with the cast and designers is really heartbreakingly beautiful. The idea of having live music was a brilliant one and sets the tone for the evening in the first few notes. All of the cast have exhibited a strong passion and dedication to the project, and I think that shows on the stage.

Nowhere on the Border plays on Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. The NoHo Senior Arts Colony is located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. There is plenty of street parking but arrive early.  For tickets call 818-761-8838.