Cynthia Cooper
Affiliated Writer
New York, NY
Playwright, journalist, author, former Jerome Fellow; lightly stylized plays, many touching upon human rights.

Cynthia L. (Cindy) Cooper is a New York City based playwright. She was twice a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center, where she also directed a Women's Playwriting Conference and served as the Interim Director. Her plays--10 full-length, 20 short, a half-dozen for young audiences--are published in 15 volumes and have been performed in regional theaters, New York,Europe, Canada.

How She Played the Game was produced off Broadway by the Women's Project and by Primary Stages;and has appeared in 100 venues, including Budapest, Helsinki, and Montreal. Silence Not, A Love Story, premiered in Israel. Other plays: Strange Light, Sisters of Sisters, Slow Burn, Sentences and WordsWorks of Art, Sor Juana, 24 Hours in the Life of the Belted Sandfish, Strange Bedfellows, Second Sight, Outermost House, Walls, The Dwelling PlaceWords of Choice (toured to 20 states), more. Her plays have won awards from Pen and Brush, Malibu Internat'l Play Festival, Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, and others. She is also the author of seven nonfiction books, one of which was filmed as a CBS-TV movie, and dozens of published articles. She teaches at Columbia University.


by Cynthia Cooper

Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, released from re-education camp in 1999, struggles with his conscience and tries to find his footing in a quest for freedom of speech and democracy in China. Spurred by his encounters with Ding Zilin, founder of the Mothers of Tiananmen, and the Lost Souls of 1989, Liu Xiaobo charts a path of peaceful resistance. But, as his wife, poet and artist Liu Xia, discovers, the consequences can be harsh.  

Readings: Urban Stages, NYC, sponsored by the Visual Artists Guild; HBO Play Reading Series of the TV Academy, NYC. Workshop: Urban Stages, directed by Keira Loughran, Nov 2015, NYC.

SemiFinalist, PlayPenn2015; SemiFinalist, Bay Area Playwrights' Festival.

"'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.

3 w, 3 m. All of the characters are Chinese.
by Cynthia Cooper

Two women performers explore six characters from sports history, and the challenges and successes that people encounter on any field of endeavor. Stories include: Althea Gibson, Gertrude Ederle, Wilma Rudolph, Gretel Bergmann, Gertrude Ederle, Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson. (A new and different version of How She Played the Game.)  Reading: SUNY Delhi, New York, NYSSSA. Dir by Michelle Bossy, featuring Stacey Linnartz, Krystel Lucas.

2 w (1 African-American, 1 Caucasian). The cast may be expanded to six women.
by Cynthia L. Cooper

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 Peiperand 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. 


Production, Center Stage Theater, The Merkaz, Jerusalem, Israel. Directed by Gabriella Willenz. World Premiere. Production, Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem, Israel. 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; 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. Geraldine Page Center for the Arts, New York. Finalist, Original Play Contest, Shawnee Playhouse, PA., Julia's Reading Room, NYC; Remember the Women, Center for Jewish History; Reading, Primary Stages, NYC, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser; More Jewish Women You Should Know, Anne Frank Center USA;  Norwalk Public Library, Monroe Public Library, PA; Worthington Players at Shawnee Playhouse, PA; Nov 2010: Staged Reading, Pocono Playhouse, East Stroudburg University, Margaret Ball, dir.; Book Event, E.Stroudsburg Library, PA; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC. Published, Gihon River Press: Best Historic Drama.

"The play is innovative in a number of ways." "A heady, beautifully written play." "You leave feeling ennobled and elevated."

4 w, 3 m (multiple roles)(may use more actors)


My article, A New Guide To Holocaust Plays By & About Women, was published by WomenArts.

An anthology of 30 writers from the Reproductive Freedom Festival, which I curated, has been released by Indie Theater Now. The festival of short works, broadcast by Live Arts Streaming from NYC, was seen in every state and 9 countries. Included is 'Rhymes with Ryan: On the Hill,' which I wrote. 

Completed a Workshop of my new play, Stones of Tiananmen, at Urban Stages in New York City, under the direction of Keira Loughran of the Stratford Festival in Ontario.

Cindy Cooper was honored with The Vision Award by the Abortion Conversations Project for creating Words of Choice and the Reproductive Justice Walking Tour. Both projects use theatre to open new conversations about reproductive freedom.

Interview in Sandi Klein's Conversations With Creative Women