Cynthia Cooper
she, her
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 two-time Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center, where she also directed a Women's Playwriting Conference and served as the Interim Director. Her plays--17 full-length, 35 short, a half-dozen for young audiences--are published in 16 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 produced plays: Strange Light, Sisters of Sisters, Slow Burn, Sentences and Words, Beyond Stone, A Date at Last, Works of Art, Running on Glass, A World At Your Fingertips, Sor Juana, Strange Bedfellows, The Outermost House, The Dwelling Place, Bend the Arc, Words of Choice (toured to 20 states), more. New works include Stones of Tiananmen and Heaven Scent

Her plays have won awards from Pen and Brush, Malibu Int'l Play Festival, Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, White Bear Arts, Barn Theatre, others. She is also the author of eight books, one of which was filmed as a CBS-TV movie, and dozens of published articles. An Affiliated Artist at the Playwrights' Center, she lives in New York City.


by Cindy Cooper

A woman scholar and her designer friend, a running buddy, imagine a pop-up museum to honor women from sports history. In a duologue fashion, the relive the stories of six athletes, as well as 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. Ego Actus Theatre, NYC, Off The Page Reading Series; Production: Venus Theatre, Laurel MD, directed by Deborah Randall. Reading: SUNY Delhi, NYSSSA 2018, featuring Stacey Linnartz and Abigail Ramsay, directed by Tasha Gordon-Solmon; Dramatists Guild Foundation Music Hall, NYC, featuring Stacey Linnartz and Krystel Lucas, directed by Tasha Gordon-Solmon; Michael Warren Powell Creative Center, New Circle Theatre Co; SUNY Delhi, New York, NYSSSA 2017, directed by Michelle Bossy, featuring Stacey Linnartz, Krystel Lucas; 24 Hours of Women, The Ivy Company, International Women's Voices Day at Unarthodox, NYC.

"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." "Cooper has 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... (The) 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 

"The stories are compelling and well-told." "A celebration well worth attending." "A deeply personal look at what drove (these women) 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


2 w (1 black, 1 white). The cast may be expanded to eight.
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.

Finalist, New Works Festival, Kitchen Dog Theatre, 2018; 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/Asian.
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)


STRANGE LIGHT by Cynthia L. Cooper was released in publication form by Next Stage Press. A woman 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.

THE BRIEF, about a young lawyer named Ruth Bader Ginsburg who guided a revolution for gender equality in the law, will be part of STATUEFEST FOUR ... theatrical monologues about statue-worthy women, to Put A Woman On A Pedestal.  Friday, June 18, 7 pm EDT, on Zoom. Free with RSVP More info:

My play, ALL DATABASES ARE INCOMPLETE, will be presented and then form the topic of discussion in a program of the Pace Women's Justice Center,  'A Monologue and A Chat' about gnder-based violence. Thursday April 8, 2021, 12:30 pm EDT on Zoom. Free with advance registration.


"Here Lived (Hier Wohnte) by Cynthia L. Cooper will be presented in Women, Theater and the Holocaust, sponsored by Remember the Women Institute. April 8 at 4 pm ET. Free with registration:


Sentences and Words, The Accounting Department, and Password -- three short plays by Cindy Cooper -- will be performed in Just Our Luck at Western Connecticut State University, December 9, 8 pm, on Zoom.