I create plays, musicals and dance theater on my own and collaboratively. I write out of a need to make sense of the world. I find myself worrying about our planet, our choices, our inability to unite. I muck through the damage I witness in hopes reparation is possible. My subjects include climate change, gender, baseball, justice, insurgency, friendship, love, hate, race, gender, art. Sick of being female, I write being human. Intrigued by form, my plays are structurally inventive. I write seeking an intimate connection with my fellow theatre makers and my audience. I am best known for Looking for the Pony, a finalist for the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award and for the NEA Outstanding New American Play Award. It was presented in a "Rolling World Premiere" Off-Broadway at Vital Theatre Company in New York and Synchronicity Performance Group in Atlanta and subsequent productions. I am currently working on an EST/Sloan commission for a new play about the Montreal Protocol called World Avoided. I write quickly and often; other new plays include Fathers, Marrying Kind, and The Lat Jew. Recent productions include Strait of Gibraltar at Synchronicity Theatre and American Stage and Tunnel Vision at Off the Wall and Venus Theatre. I am a member of the Dramatists Guild, was a Dramatists Guild Fellow, served as the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program Director for ten years and currently teach for the Dramatists Guild Institute. M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing, Carnegie Mellon University. B.A. Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic. I am a certified personal trainer and yoga teacher. I live in Maine, which means I travel on demand.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE ABOUT ME
I used to get up every day and write. I did that from 1998 to 2017. Amazing how the years pile on; I’m turning 63. Starting in 2017, I lost my steady consulting gig that paid for what royalties did not. I needed to reinvent myself. I was also turning 60. Always a mover and active exerciser, I thought that maybe becoming a personal trainer would kill two birds with one stone. It would allow me to spend a portion of my day not leaning over my computer and allow me to make money helping people. I certified and began working as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. It completely changed my writing schedule as I was more often in the gym at 8 in the morning than at my desk. And yet, somehow, and I can’t explain it, I am writing about the same amount as ever. I was always a religious write every single day type. I don’t write every day now and sometimes I can’t remember the last time I sat down and yet, I’ve written three plays and started a fourth over the last year and that doesn’t count other shorter works. I also teach dramatic writing regularly which I love and is good for keeping my mind in the process of writing. I added Yoga training in 2019 and am currently working on my 300 hours and a certificate in nutrition. And yet I write, and still I write, I have faith that writing too will happen. I am fairly introverted, more of a novelist personality, but I write for the theatre because I want to be in the room for the conversation. I write to get in the room for rehearsal and production. To debate and argue, agree and disagree, discover and grow.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
In the midst of a new long play based on Gertrude Stein's book - Quod Erat Demonstrandum Things as They Are. You can read what I'm up to at www.andrealepcio.com. Also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with my full name.
lesbian, queer, political, memoir, climate, justice, immigration, economy, Beckett, baseball, Judaism, marriage, redemption
Cynthia L. Cooper -- or Cindy -- writes plays united by a passion for social themes, stylized staging and a mixture of comedy and drama.
Cindy's plays have been presented in NYC at the Women’s Project, Primary Stages, (How She Played the Game), Wings (Strange Light, Slow Burn, Sisters of Sisters), Clark Studio at Lincoln Center, Theatreworks USA (The World at Your Fingertips), Museum of Tolerance, EST, Anne Frank Center (Silence Not, A Love Story), New Circle Theatre Co, WOW Café, Art & Work Ensemble, Judson Church, HERE, LaMama Annex (Sentences and Words), other; as well as in Minneapolis, Philadephia, Boston, LA, DC, Reno, San Francisco, Cape Cod, Portland, Buffalo, Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Montreal, Budapest, Jerusalem, Helsinki, London, elsewhere. Her plays are published in 16 volumes.
Now based in New York City, Cindy began playwriting at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, where she was twice awarded a Jerome Fellowship and directed the first Women's Playwriting Conference. She has won awards from Pen and Brush, Malibu International Festival, Samuel French Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, Hutchinson Festival of New Plays, Barn Theater, Nantucket Short Play Festival, Camino Real, and others, including a special citation in Providence, RI for "Outstanding Achievements as a playwright ... devoted to exploring the issues and challenges that mean the most to women."
She is the founder and executive director of ReproFreedomArts.org, which does theater related to social justice and reproductive freedom. She is also a journalist and author on justice topics, drawing upon her background as a lawyer. Cindy is a member of the Honor Roll Executive Committee.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Cyn Cooper Writer http://www.cyncooperwriter.net
FB: Cynthia L. Cooper
TW, IG: @cyncooperwrtr
MORE ABOUT ME
* What was your most gratifying moment in the theater?
A play of mine about women in sports (How She Played the Game, now called Running On Glass) was performed at a conference in Budapest. People came from all over the world. Seeing the the similar responses of many people of many different languages was riveting.
* What play or production changed your life?
The first play I wrote, Dirty Laundry, a play with a comic edge about sexism, sexual deviation and restorative justice, literally changed my life. Based on it, I was lucky enough to secure playwriting fellowship, and, with that began a career.
* How do you overcome disappointment?
I remind myself that we are all on our own journeys, and that the only thing I can do is continue mine. I also devote time to activism -- redressing sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism in the theater and elsewhere, and giving back.
*If you could bring one change to theater, what would it be?
Equity, of course. Also transparency and a respect for all of the artists.
*What do you want artistic directors to know?
I wish Artistic Directors would spend more time expanding beyond their immediate circle and getting to know writers and their values.
*What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
* Why do you keep doing theater?
Theater offers the possibility transformation.
WHAT I’M WORKING ON
Currently, I am developing a play about people who seek asylum in the U.S., and the people who host them. Ongoing and continuous, I produce and write about reproductive freedom through a nonprofit I founded, ReproFreedomArts.org.
political, thriller, historical, equality, biography, comedy, mystery, nature, docudrama, queer, feminist, justice, rights