Cynthia L. (Cindy) Cooper

Cynthia L. (Cindy) Cooper

I write plays united by a passion for social themes, stylized staging and a mixture of comedy and drama. My plays have had the good fortune to be produced in many venues across the U.S., Canada and in Europe. I often write about justice and culture, drawing upon my background as a journalist and lawyer (of the nonpracticing variety). Many of my plays feature women in pivotal roles; in my writing, I seek to...
I write plays united by a passion for social themes, stylized staging and a mixture of comedy and drama. My plays have had the good fortune to be produced in many venues across the U.S., Canada and in Europe. I often write about justice and culture, drawing upon my background as a journalist and lawyer (of the nonpracticing variety). Many of my plays feature women in pivotal roles; in my writing, I seek to pierce barriers and explore the nature of change and transformation -- individual and societal.

RUNNING ON GLASS (on NPX) tells the story of a woman sports scholar who turns to her designer friend and running buddy to build a pop-up museum about women in sports history -- reviving the tales of six women from sports history, three African American and three white. "Extraordinary writing," wrote one very nice critic in Maryland.

HOW SHE PLAYED THE GAME (on NPX; a predecessor play to RUNNING ON GLASS) is written for one performer and sometimes performed by six. It tells the stories of sports women from the perspective of a 19th-20th century iconoclastic sportswomen (Eleanora Randolph Sears) and was produced off-Broadway by The Women's Project, by Primary Stages, and in theaters in more than 100 other locations including Reno, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Montreal, Helsinki and Budapest. It was excerpted on a Lifetime TV spot and included in several anthologies, including "Women Heroes." A four-actor version for young audiences, "GO, GIRL, GO" (on NPX) has been received enthusiastically in schools in Los Angeles, New Jersey and elsewhere.

STRANGE LIGHT (on NPX), produced at Wings in NY, Bailiwick in Chicago, in Philadelphia and Buffalo, involves a gay woman who struggles with light and dark, studying the history of illumination at the same time that she tries to capture information from her mother's failing memory and hold together her relationship. Of the play, critic Stewart Benedict wrote, "Cooper is a graceful and skilled writer."SECOND SIGHT (on NPX), a full-length play, weaves together multiple mysteries in an exploration of the truth as experience by Gerard Croiset, the "Mozart of psychics."

SILENCE NOT, A LOVE STORY (on NPX), published by Gihon River Press, immerses audiences in the courage and danger of a Jewish woman and Catholic man who raise their voices against the rise of the Nazis, and survive to tell about it. "Powerful, poignant and penetrating," wrote Michael Berenbaum of American Jewish University. The play opened at Center Stage Theatre in Jerusalem and has had readings at The Anne Frank Center USA, Wellstone Center (MN), Anne Simley Theater (Hamline Univ.), Geraldine Page Center for the Arts, Poconos Playhouse and Primary Stages. It was a finalist in the ForeWord independent press for best drama and a finalist for the Original Playwright Series, Shawnee Playhouse.

STONES OF TIANANMEN (on NPX alternatively titled: I HAVE NO ENEMIES) tells of the struggles of the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lui Xiaobo, in his nonviolent struggle for peace and democracy, and for this own sense of morality, as well as the stories of his artist-wife, Lui Xia, and a group called the Mothers of Tiananmen, which works with Xiaobo's guidance. Finalist Kitchen Dog Festival, semi-finalist, Play Penn and Bay Area Playwrights.

THE OUTERMOST HOUSE, commissioned by and performed by Marvin Einhorn at the Cape Cod National Seashore, Primary Stages, Portland OR, and by others in Los Angeles, is the elegiac story of author Henry Beston, as he counteracts the trauma of war with the meditation of nature.

SLOW BURN (viewable on NPX), a finalist in five playwriting awards for its tale of entanglement between two teen boys and an elderly neighbor, was produced at Wings in New York under the direction of Michael Warren Powell.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS describes how a single issue - pornography - enters and then takes over the campaign of a woman politician. Produced by the Women's Theater Project in Minnesota, which commissioned it, it was a finalist at the O'Neill Theatre Conference, and presented at West Coast Playwrights Festival.

WALLS (on NPX), a semi-finalist at the O'Neill Theatre Festival, is about a woman prisoner in the US with radical politics and who finds solace in reconnecting with a gay male friend on the outside. WORDS OF CHOICE, a compilation of several writers created by Cooper, has toured to over 60 locations and 20 states, and is published in "Front Lines: Political Plays be American Women." It has lived streamed to dozens of venues with LiveArts.tv.

My one-act plays attempt to present unconventional women characters in complex situations. SENTENCES AND WORDS (on NPX), published in a volume released by the Women's Project in New York, has been produced at the University of Washington and a dozen other schools and theaters, finds two women -- a lawyer and a victim's mother -- grappling with the death penalty. In WORKS OF ART, winner of the First Prize for Playwriting at Pen & Brush and other awards, a woman sculptor interviews women for an elusive position, but is drawn only to the candidate who can recite poetry. BEYOND STONE tells how the father of a firefighter and a woman artist, both at a loss for words after a devastating fire, connect through art. Others short plays are powerful stories of a woman who runs a shelter for women (DWELLING, a winner of the Malibu International Short Play contest), a television reporter who reaches for black humor instead of dealing with her breast cancer (MOUNTAIN, a finalist at Louisville), witches who clear a workspace of negativity (THE ACCOUNTING OFFICE) and a DNA scientist determined to prevent the desecration of Elvis (SAVING GRACE, published in 'Elvis Monologues').

Another series of plays deliver uplifting images to young people -- the life of the inventor of the Braille system of reading for the blind (LOUIS BRAILLE: THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS), nontraditional career options (REACHIN', published by Holt); ways to counter prejudice (HIGH-FIVE); CHANGEMAKERS about teens who unite against bullying. SOR JUANA, produced by Enrichment Works in LA, tells the true story of a young Mexican woman in the 17th century with a burning desire to learn, and who becomes a visionary poet and writer.

Currently in New York City, I began my playwriting career in Minneapolis, where I was twice awarded a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, directed a Women's Playwriting Conference and served as an Interim Director; I am currently an Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights' Center.

I have been lucky enough to win several awards. 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," and was honored with the Anne E. Fisher Champion of Choice Award for her work on women's rights. Other awards are from Pen and Brush, Malibu International Short Play Festival, Samuel French Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, White Bear Arts Council, Barn Theatre, Hutchinson Festival of New Plays, Nantucket Short Play Festival, Camino Real Playhouse Show-Off!, Theatre of Western Springs, as well as several commissioned projects and grants.

In addition to theater, I work as a journalist and author on human rights and justice. My 8 books include "The Impeachment of George W. Bush," co-authored with Elizabeth Holtzman, and "Mockery of Justice," about the Dr. Sam Sheppard murder case and featured on Dateline and made into a CBS-TV movie. My articles have appeared in The Nation, Women's eNews, Glamour, National Law Journal, Marie Claire, In These Times, Ms., Equal Justice, others, and she has worked with or consulted with Amnesty USA, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Open Society, LAMDA, and other nonprofits.

More at my website: www.cyncooperwriter.net

Plays

  • Silence Not, A Love Story
    In the uncertain economic times of Germany in the early 1930s, an idealistic young Jewish woman joins with a rebellious Catholic craftsman, to resist the rise of Nazism while deepening their love for humanity and each other. Drawn from the true stories of Gisa Peiper and Paul Konopka, this is a story of courage and love that thrive despite the dangers, telling of the hope and art of speaking out for the highest...
    In the uncertain economic times of Germany in the early 1930s, an idealistic young Jewish woman joins with a rebellious Catholic craftsman, to resist the rise of Nazism while deepening their love for humanity and each other. Drawn from the true stories of Gisa Peiper and Paul Konopka, this is a story of courage and love that thrive despite the dangers, telling of the hope and art of speaking out for the highest human values in the most pressing of times.

    "The play is innovative in a number of ways.... there are two versions of Gisa on stage at almost all times – the younger activist Gisa and her more grown-up counterpart viewing and commenting from the raised railway station. This adds perspective by enabling us to undergo experiences as they happen to the younger Gisa, and yet still look back at the action from the hard-earned vantage point gained by the older Gisa.... The play is billed as a love story, and it is that. The charming deepening relationship between Gisa and Paul satisfies our romantic thirst. Yet the play is a love story on a larger level, too — a love for humanity, a love for the courage of people who care for others and fight for the betterment of all despite the personal costs, in ordinary times as well as in extraordinary times. ...(A) great many of us appreciate and admire purity of spirit like Gisa’s, and that is one of the reasons that the play is so satisfying.... you (leave) feeling not only entertained but also ennobled and elevated." Midnight East, Jerusalem, Israel.

    "Silence Not, A Love Story (has) a meditative, pure tone that reiterates the need to face oppression with unflinching love...Cooper is a playwright at the height of her powers. She easily balances themes of empowerment, struggle, and equality, and raises the stakes ....The result is striking and breaks new ground in much-trodden soil...The action rises steadily to the last act, and only in the final pages is the tension lightened....Gisa is a strong, independent character....Thought-provoking without being abstract, historical without being condescending, Silence Not is a heady, beautifully written play. Worth reading several times, it strikes a lovely balance between poetry and reality, bringing to life a diverse cast of characters in a challenging time period. Cooper reminds us that true resistance to oppression comes from the act of love..." Claire Rudy Foster, ForeWord Magazine

    Fall 2013: Reading, Primary Stages, NYC, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser,More Info; May 2013: Excerpts, More Jewish Women You Should Know, Anne Frank Center USA; Oct 2012: Anne Frank Center USA; Sept 2012: Norwalk Public Library, discussion; July 2012: Book Expo, Monroe Public Library, PA; Mar 2012: Holocaust Museum, DC, Book Signing; June 2011: Book Fair, PA; Mar 2011: Worthington Players at Shawnee Playhouse, PA; Nov 2010: Staged Reading, Pocono Playhouse, East Stroudburg University, Margaret Ball, dir.; July 2010: Book Event, E.Stroudsburg Library, PA;.June 6-7, 2010: Book Signing U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC; May 2010: Reading, Julia's Room, League of Professional Theatre Women, NYC; April 2010:Production, Center Stage Theater, The Merkaz, Jerusalem, Israel. Directed by Gabriella Willenz. World Premiere. See Review;March 2010: Production, Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem, Israel. Directed by Gabriella Willenz; Feb. 2010, Staged Reading, Wellstone Center, St. Paul, Directed by Carolyn Levy. Sponsored by The Konopka Institute of the University of Minnesota, in celebration of the Life and Legacy of Gisa Konopka; Press Release; 2009 -- The Anne Frank Center USA, New York, Reading, directed by Joanne Edelmann; Justice Talks Radio; Library, East Stroudsburg, Publisher, Gihon River Press; Hamline University,at the Anne Simley Theatre, St. Paul, MN directed by Carolyn Levy. 2008: Geraldine Page Center for the Arts, New York. Finalist, Original Play Contest, Shawnee Playhouse, PA, 2011.

    Published: Gihon River Press
    See Play Publications. Selected as Best Historical Fiction, Books and Authors; Finalist, Best Book in Drama/​Performing Arts, ForeWord Magazine.
  • Running on Glass
    'A sports scholar engages her friend, a designer and running buddy, in envisioning a pop-up museum of women sports figures; as they explore the stories, they take on the persona of six fascinating persons from sports history, illuminating the resilience and spirit that shape the lives of women who broke the glass before the term 'glass ceiling' even existed. Stories include: Althea Gibson,...
    'A sports scholar engages her friend, a designer and running buddy, in envisioning a pop-up museum of women sports figures; as they explore the stories, they take on the persona of six fascinating persons from sports history, illuminating the resilience and spirit that shape the lives of women who broke the glass before the term 'glass ceiling' even existed. Stories include: Althea Gibson, Gertrude Ederle, Wilma Rudolph, Gretel Bergmann, Babe Didrikson, Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson, and more. A tour-de-force for two women performers, one African American, one white.

    60-70 Minutes in length (approx)

    Minimum, two women performers 1 b, 1 w). Could be performed by six performers, or even eight.

    Production: Venus Theatre, Laurel, MD, Nov-Dec 2018. Livestreamed on Facebook.

    "The stories are compelling and well-told." "A celebration well worth attending." "A deeply personal look at what drove (the athletes) to succeed." DC Metro Theatre Arts.

    "A slam dunk." "Hits the mark." "The spirit of each athlete shines out to the audience." "RUNNING ON GLASS is a grand slam for fans and athletes of all ages." Maryland Theatre Guide.

    "Cynthia Cooper's work is quite extraordinary." "Cooper delves into the lives of these women, finding passionate moments of intensity ... to maximize their impact upon the audience." "A remarkably felicitous way of capturing each of these female athletes." "It gets the gears turning in the mind while simultaneously stoking the fires of passion. Women have come so far and yet have so far to come... Cooper's title could not be more apt." The Theatre Bloom

    "Actually a joy." "The engaging script ... pulls out the human story." "Only when we remember ... those who have burst through supposedly insurmountable obstacles will we ... keep moving forward -- through shards of glass, indeed." DC Theater Scene

    Upcoming: Off the Page Series, Ego Actus Theatre, NYC

    Readings, SUNY Delhi, NYSSSA, directed by Tasha Solmon-Gordon, 2018; Michael Warren Powell Creative Center, NCTC), Dramatists Guild Foundation Music Hall, NYC, directed by Tasha Solmon-Gordon, Art That Matters, 2018; 24 Hours of Women, The Ivy Theatre, NYC, Arthodox (Titled She Plays!), SUNY Delhi, NYSSSA 2017, directed by Michelle Bossy (titled She Plays). Supported in development by the New York Summer School of the Arts.
  • Stones of Tiananmen
    Writer and activist Liu Xiaobo, prior to winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, creates a deepening bond with the Mothers of Tiananmen in order to seek freedom of speech and justice in China. Leaving incarceration for the third time at the start of the new Millennium, Liu Xiaobo struggles with his conscience but finds his inspiration from the Lost Souls of the Tiananmen Massacre and the Goddess of Democracy,...
    Writer and activist Liu Xiaobo, prior to winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, creates a deepening bond with the Mothers of Tiananmen in order to seek freedom of speech and justice in China. Leaving incarceration for the third time at the start of the new Millennium, Liu Xiaobo struggles with his conscience but finds his inspiration from the Lost Souls of the Tiananmen Massacre and the Goddess of Democracy, also a memory character in the play. Faced with shifting political sands, Liu Xiaobo charts a path of peaceful resistance that perhaps fails to consider the risk of rearrest and the consequences to others -- including his artist-poet wife, Liu Xia. When Liu Xiaobo is, in fact, rearrested, Chinese authorities work to further silence his ideas by placing his wife under house detention. This is a story of people who struggle with their conscience and summon the moral courage to shoulder the burdens of a people and resistance to oppression.

    Readings: Urban Stages, NYC, sponsored by the Visual Artists Guild; HBO Play Reading Series of the TV Academy, NYC. Workshop: New York City at Urban Stages, directed by Keira Loughran of Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Canada), Nov 2015.

    Finalist, Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas; SemiFinalist, PlayPenn, Philadlephia; SemiFinalist, Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, San Francisco.

    "'Stones of Tiananmen' was so engaging... People in the audience were laughing and crying.” "The audience applauded with excitement." Jing Zhang, Women's Rights in China (reading, TV Academy Play Series, HBO).

    Alternate Working Title: I Have No Enemies
  • Strange Light
    A women lawyer, Bayley, and her girlfriend, Shue, a struggling classical musician, see their relationship teeter as Bayley's mother falls to Alzheimer's and the looming memories of her own unloving marriage to a lighting scientist. In stylized storytelling with the World's Fair in the background and the WNBA in the foreground, Bayley seeks to recharge her life and chart a new path.
    ...
    A women lawyer, Bayley, and her girlfriend, Shue, a struggling classical musician, see their relationship teeter as Bayley's mother falls to Alzheimer's and the looming memories of her own unloving marriage to a lighting scientist. In stylized storytelling with the World's Fair in the background and the WNBA in the foreground, Bayley seeks to recharge her life and chart a new path.

    Various settings; 3 w.; 1 hr. 35 min. [Philadelphia, Shubin Th., Phil GL Theatre Festival., Swerve Prods.(Robin Eisenberg, dir.); Women at Wings, Wings Theatre, NY; Bailiwick Repertory Co., Chicago; HAG Theatre at Smith Theatre, Buffalo.

    "Cooper is a graceful and skilled writer... exceptional writing ... You won't regret seeing it." Stewart Benedict, NY critic. "Speaks to the complexities of life ... and dealing with a parent's mental and physical decline." Theatremania.com. "Takes on the dynamics of relationships and the reconciliation and changing nature of the family." NY Blade "A poem of a play ...elegant construction ... sure to evoke emotion and provoke thought long after the theater grows dark." "A winner." Rick Reed, Lambda Publications.
  • Sor Juana
    Born in the mid-1600s, a young girl in Mexico who thirsts to learn, despite all odds, later becomes world renown as Sor Juana, a poet, playwright, intellectual and nun who advocates for the education of women. an uplifting story about a girl who follows her own path and makes amazing contributions to culture and society ahead of her time. 45 minutes in length.

    Written for 2w, Latina, who play...
    Born in the mid-1600s, a young girl in Mexico who thirsts to learn, despite all odds, later becomes world renown as Sor Juana, a poet, playwright, intellectual and nun who advocates for the education of women. an uplifting story about a girl who follows her own path and makes amazing contributions to culture and society ahead of her time. 45 minutes in length.

    Written for 2w, Latina, who play multiple roles, it may also be played by 1 w, or up to 8.

    Enrichment Works, Los Angeles, (2007-2017); Venus Theatre with Touchstone Gallery Reading Series, DC.; 365Women (prior publications, Indie Theatre Now).

    Video below from Enrichment Works.
  • Slow Burn
    Two neighbors finally connect after a tragic escalation of incidents between teenagers with snowballs and an elderly man. Drama. Single set of 2 locations; 3 w., 3 m. [including two teen m., one senior m; one senior w.]; 2 hr.

    Finalist, Source Theatre; Finalist, Original Playwriting Award, Aspen Theater Conference; Finalist, Western Illinois University Playwriting Award; Finalist, Robert J....
    Two neighbors finally connect after a tragic escalation of incidents between teenagers with snowballs and an elderly man. Drama. Single set of 2 locations; 3 w., 3 m. [including two teen m., one senior m; one senior w.]; 2 hr.

    Finalist, Source Theatre; Finalist, Original Playwriting Award, Aspen Theater Conference; Finalist, Western Illinois University Playwriting Award; Finalist, Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence; Semi-Finalist, Promising Playwright Award, Colonial Players; Semi-Finalist, East-West Players FDG/​CBS New Plays Program. [Wings Theatre, NY (Michael Warren Powell, dir.; film option (expired) Greenspan Productions.)"Rather than present the audience with a courtroom drama ... Cooper shows us the people and the events." N.R. Adler, critic. "Gripping play." Alberto Isaac, East-West Players.
  • Walls
    A woman with radical political beliefs languishes in prison in the mid-1980s when she hears from a gay man she knows from childhood. As the two reconnect, their interactions help them emerge from real and cultural constraints that are stifling them. 2m, 2w. SEMI-FINALIST, O'Neill Theater Center Conference.

    Readings: New York, Chelsea; New York, Circle Workshop, Tom Wolfe, directing.
  • The Spoken and The Unspoken
    Researchers try to pierce denials about sexual violence experienced by Jewish women in the Holocaust [20 min, 2 w][alt: 1 w or 3 w] Theatre, Women and the Holocaust, an event of Remember the Women at the Center for Jewish History, New York City, Spring 2016; The Actors Temple, NYC ,Service and Commemoration of Kristallnacht. Mentioned in the Ms. Blog. Fall 2017: Remember the Women Institute, Benefit, NYC....
    Researchers try to pierce denials about sexual violence experienced by Jewish women in the Holocaust [20 min, 2 w][alt: 1 w or 3 w] Theatre, Women and the Holocaust, an event of Remember the Women at the Center for Jewish History, New York City, Spring 2016; The Actors Temple, NYC ,Service and Commemoration of Kristallnacht. Mentioned in the Ms. Blog. Fall 2017: Remember the Women Institute, Benefit, NYC. Spring 2018: Untold Stories of Women at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC. Spring 2018: VIOLATED exhibit, Ronald Feldman Gallery.
  • Louis Braille: The World at Your Fingertips (co-author)
    Co-authors: Cynthia L. Cooper, Joel Vig; Lyrics: Jane Smulyan; Music: Annie Lebeaux

    A young blind genius invents a way for those without sight to read during a time in the 1800s when the blind are treated as castoffs. Flexible staging, 3 m., 2 w. (with doubling); up to 25 (without doubling), 1 hr. (Theatreworks USA: Town Hall, NY; Promenade, NY; Triplex, NY; Henry Street Settlement, NY; BAM;...
    Co-authors: Cynthia L. Cooper, Joel Vig; Lyrics: Jane Smulyan; Music: Annie Lebeaux

    A young blind genius invents a way for those without sight to read during a time in the 1800s when the blind are treated as castoffs. Flexible staging, 3 m., 2 w. (with doubling); up to 25 (without doubling), 1 hr. (Theatreworks USA: Town Hall, NY; Promenade, NY; Triplex, NY; Henry Street Settlement, NY; BAM; Kennedy Center; 20 touring states)(dir. Alma Becker) Finalist, 2002 National Children's Theatre Festival 2002; Special Feature Florida 2005. . "The performance was wonderful -- it opened up new avenues of thought for curious minds" (5th grade teacher); "One of the best children's theatre productions I have ever presented ... informative in a very entertaining way" (Rita Donald, Children's Theatre Rep, Papermill Playhouse; "I'll never forget this show. I was very impressed. I am blind myself ... I would like all the people in my school to see this play." (Student, Forest Grove Jr. High School, Mass.) 2015: Kanab High School, Utah; Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, NY(dir. Drew Feldman), July 2016.
  • Heaven Scent
    A gay couple's relationship is challenged when they seek to order a flower arrangement to greet their soon-to-be-adopted daughter, but encounter an unwilling florist. [30 min., 3 w, 1 voice (OS or on)]

    Upcoming; Sandbox presentation, New Circle Theatre Company, New York City
  • How She Played the Game
    Six spirited women from sports history overcome obstacles and stereotypes:Babe Didrikson, Gertrude Ederle, Althea Gibson, Sonia Henie, Eleanor Randolph Sears, Gretel Bergmann. Simple set, One-woman show (may be performed by six actors),65 min. [Also 45 min. version.]

    Enrichment Works, LA 2008-12, Venus Theater, Maryland, September 2006 2006 Capitol Fringe Festival, DC, Summer Camp 2011; D.C./​MD...
    Six spirited women from sports history overcome obstacles and stereotypes:Babe Didrikson, Gertrude Ederle, Althea Gibson, Sonia Henie, Eleanor Randolph Sears, Gretel Bergmann. Simple set, One-woman show (may be performed by six actors),65 min. [Also 45 min. version.]

    Enrichment Works, LA 2008-12, Venus Theater, Maryland, September 2006 2006 Capitol Fringe Festival, DC, Summer Camp 2011; D.C./​MD, Venus Theater, Deb Randall; 2005: Randolph Macon Woman's College[see poster to left]Virginia; Touring performances Washington D.C. by Venus Theatre; Marblehead Festival of Arts; Women's Project & Productions, Off-Broadway, Samuel Beckett Th., New York; Primary Stages, New York; Helsinki,International Women's Sports Conference; Budapest; Los Angeles; Montreal; Vancouver Fringe Festival; Women's Theatre, New Jersey; Theatre Inconnu, Canada; Nashville Public Theatre; Wells College; Women's Arts & Culture Conference; Threshold Theatre, Boston; Barnard College; A Daring Adventure Theatre, Reno; First Stage; Brooklyn BACA Showcase; Grand Valley State College; Touring Performances); Pennsylvania Women's Conference 2011; Stacey Linnartz ("Gretel Bergmann"), Anne Frank Center USA, 2012; Stacey Linnartz ("Gretel Bergmann"), The Shed, Brooklyn, 2014.

    "Makes you feel like praising." The Village Voice. "Important and inspirational." Billie Jean King. "The perfect theatrical hook." Marilyn Stasio, critic. "(G)raceful pastiche" ... "Cooper shows the relentless, indomitable human heart as it defeats the limitations both of society and of the body." Tim Trainer, critic, DC. "We left the theater with a mixture of admiration and elation." Bill T. "Fascinating insight into society and the culture." The Budapest Sun. "Audiences around the country are inspired." Women's Sports and Fitness magazine. "Funny, intelligent and arousing." Ronnie Gilbert, folksinger. "Emphasizes the courage and virtue of the human spirit." Estelle Ritchie, producer.
  • Second Sight
    Gerard Croiset, known as the 'Mozart of psychics,' spins open the lives of an FBI agent and journalist investigating a child's disappearance in the 1960s. Croiset, a Dutchman with limited education, was discovered to have enormous powers to provide clues to crime scenes, and is contacted by crime-fighting agences around the world, including the FBI. He is sheperded around the world by a leading...
    Gerard Croiset, known as the 'Mozart of psychics,' spins open the lives of an FBI agent and journalist investigating a child's disappearance in the 1960s. Croiset, a Dutchman with limited education, was discovered to have enormous powers to provide clues to crime scenes, and is contacted by crime-fighting agences around the world, including the FBI. He is sheperded around the world by a leading European professor -- or is the professor manipulating him? In this fascinating story, Croiset is contacted by the FBI to help with the disappearance of a young girl in NYC, a true story, at the same time that the FBI agent finds Croiset unwittingly telling him unknown details of his father's story. At the same time, Croiset, once detained by the Nazis and used for their entertainment, relives painful memories of his own. The play asks: are so-called 'psychic' abilities real? How do we know what is true and what is not? What are the roots of knowledge? A story of many mysteries. Various settings; 3 m., 2 w.; 2 hrs.

    Runner-Up, Pulse Theatre Festival, New York; Readings: 2010-29th Street Rep's The Hive, Founded by Paula Ewin, at Soho20Gallery Chelsea, NYC (Michael Hillyer, dir.); Theatre by the Blind (Michael Johnson, dir.); 29th St. Repertory, New York (Michael Hillyer, dir.) Blue Heron Theater Center, New York (Michael Hillyer, dir); Playwrights' Advocate, Illinois (Richard Pahl, dir.)
  • Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of the Belted Sandfish
    Religious zealots and liberals unite to object to a couple's scientific supertricks with DNA and stem cells to make themselves multisexual, crossing all the boundaries of gender and life. Comic drama. Single set, 1 m., 2 w. (1 off-stage voice, male), 1 hr. 40 min.

    The subject of genetic engineering and human cloning is hotly debated today. Where do we draw the line? Perhaps scientists...
    Religious zealots and liberals unite to object to a couple's scientific supertricks with DNA and stem cells to make themselves multisexual, crossing all the boundaries of gender and life. Comic drama. Single set, 1 m., 2 w. (1 off-stage voice, male), 1 hr. 40 min.

    The subject of genetic engineering and human cloning is hotly debated today. Where do we draw the line? Perhaps scientists Alicia and Duncan have crossed the line. Duncan's not sure he's happy about being pregnant, Alicia is infatuated with her rising testosterone level, and the world is at their doorstep.

    Semi-Finalist, Trustus Theatre Playwriting Festival (Readings: New Amsterdam Repertory (featuring and produced by Connie Britton, Seth Gordon, dir.); Women's Project (Melanie Joseph, dir.); Primary Stages (Liz Margid, dir.); Option, Playwrights' Theatre of Baltimore.

    Request a copy: cyn@cyncooperwriter.net
  • Sentences and Words
    A woman defense lawyer, longing for an alternative to the death penalty, turns to the victim's mother. Drama. Unit set, 2 w., 10 min. Winner,Summer Shorts 2006, Theatre of Western Springs, IL; Manchester College, IN, 2011; University of Delaware 2006; Camino Real Playhouse Show-Off 2005 Playwriting Festival, San Juan Capistrano, CA; Take Five, Kansas City; Georgia, college production, 2005; The Acting...
    A woman defense lawyer, longing for an alternative to the death penalty, turns to the victim's mother. Drama. Unit set, 2 w., 10 min. Winner,Summer Shorts 2006, Theatre of Western Springs, IL; Manchester College, IN, 2011; University of Delaware 2006; Camino Real Playhouse Show-Off 2005 Playwriting Festival, San Juan Capistrano, CA; Take Five, Kansas City; Georgia, college production, 2005; The Acting School of South Florida, Hollywood FL; Loyola University Forensics Team, 2009; Amnesty Fundraiser, Homer, Alaska, 2010; Lee Strasberg Institute, NYC, 2012; Metropolitan State University of Denver, Theatre Department, 2013; Women's Project and Productions at LaMama Galleria; Wings Theater, NY; The Artistic Home, NY; Amherst H.S., MA; University of Washington, WA; reading, Drama Book Shop, NY; others; published Rowing to America and Other Short Plays from The Women's Project and Productions, Smith & Kraus, 2002.
  • At the Train Station in Munich
    With Nazi soldiers all around, a Jewish-German underground worker summons an inner strength while awaiting a train that will take her to safety. [15 min, 2 w] Anne Frank Center USA; Resistance, Women and the Holocaust, Remember the Women Institute at the Center for Jewish History, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser. Recognizing Yom HaShoah with Women, Theater and Resistance to the Holocaust. Spring 2018: Untold...
    With Nazi soldiers all around, a Jewish-German underground worker summons an inner strength while awaiting a train that will take her to safety. [15 min, 2 w] Anne Frank Center USA; Resistance, Women and the Holocaust, Remember the Women Institute at the Center for Jewish History, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser. Recognizing Yom HaShoah with Women, Theater and Resistance to the Holocaust. Spring 2018: Untold Stories of Women at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC. Spring 2018.
  • Tru Luv
    A teen's parents aren't so happy over their child's budding love relationship with a stem cell; comic. [5 min, 2 w., 1 m; race and gender neutral casting encouraged for all roles] Venus Theater, Maryland; Words of Choice, touring; Brazen Harlots Theater, Buffalo.
    .
  • Go Girl Go
    A girl on a solo journey while at soccer camp encounters sports heroes from a different era. (School tours: Women's Theatre Co., N.J.; Enrichment Works, Los Angeles, director Murphy Cross.) Flex. set., 4 w. 40 min. K-6. Interactivity. "The response to it from principals, teachers and student audiences has been overwhelmingly positive." Abraham Tetenbaum, Executive Director, Enrichment Works....
    A girl on a solo journey while at soccer camp encounters sports heroes from a different era. (School tours: Women's Theatre Co., N.J.; Enrichment Works, Los Angeles, director Murphy Cross.) Flex. set., 4 w. 40 min. K-6. Interactivity. "The response to it from principals, teachers and student audiences has been overwhelmingly positive." Abraham Tetenbaum, Executive Director, Enrichment Works. "Great presentation, a 10, it gave the students a lot of courage." Los Feliz Elementary, Los Angeles. Women's Theater of New Jersey.

    An adaptation of 'How She Played the Game' [also on New Play Exchange], published in 7th grade text, used in state assessment testing.

  • Intervention
    Sheila's a chocoholic; her friends and family do their best to intervene, but cocoa is tough competition. Light comedy. Single set, 3 w., 2 m., 15 min. [Primary Stages, One-Act Series, NY; Mitchell Community Theater, SD.]

  • Stoneman
    Margory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998), a journalist and activist, appears from the past to bolster a distraught Parkland teenager after the tragic mass shooting at the Florida school called Marjory Stoneman Douglas. [10-12 min, 2 w] A 365Women project.
  • The Box
    A Jewish young girl (played by an adult) in Queens in 1948 helps her parents fill a care package for the man who hid them in Poland during the Holocaust, and now faces his own difficulties as a result. As those rescued reach back to aid their rescuer, the girl sorts through memories and finds caring amid the ugliness of war and the Holocaust. Inspired by a true story. [15 min, 1 w]

    May 2019:...
    A Jewish young girl (played by an adult) in Queens in 1948 helps her parents fill a care package for the man who hid them in Poland during the Holocaust, and now faces his own difficulties as a result. As those rescued reach back to aid their rescuer, the girl sorts through memories and finds caring amid the ugliness of war and the Holocaust. Inspired by a true story. [15 min, 1 w]

    May 2019: Remember the Women Institute, Yom HaShoah recognition event.