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DOUG COONEY is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, lyricist -- and educator --  based in Los Angeles.  In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Charlotte Chorpenning Cup by the American Alliance for Theater and Education for his distinguished body of work for young audiences.  In 2009, NOBODY'S PERFECT, his youth musical based on the novel co-written with actress Marlee Matlin, received a national tour through the Kennedy Center.  IMAGINE ME, a musical, was produced at South Coast Rep in 2008.  His play, THE FINAL TOUR, was developed at the Sundance Theatre Labs 2003 with director Moises Kaufmann.  His musicals, THE VERY PERSISTENT GAPPERS OF FRIP and THE LEGEND OF ALEX, premiered at the Mark Taper Forum’s P.L.A.Y. and toured Los Angeles County.  THE BELOVED DEARLY was produced by Lincoln Center Institute in a production directed by Elizabeth Swados. 

Doug Cooney

As a playwright, Cooney has been produced at the Kennedy Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Dance Theater Workshop, the International Very Special Arts Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, among others.  He has been awarded grants, commissions and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund, A.S.K. Theatre Projects and the Ruth Simon Foundation.

Cooney has written screenplays for SONY Pictures and Nickelodeon and television scripts for the Disney Channel and the Discovery Channel.  His most recent screenplay, HEROES FOR GHOSTS, concerns an early AIDS activist.

He has also published several works of children’s literature including, THE BELOVED DEARLY, adapted as a novel for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in 2002 and released as an audio book by Full Cast Audio, I KNOW WHO LIKES YOU, and NOBODY'S PERFECT and LEADING LADIES (co-written with actress Marlee Matlin.)  He is presently working on HUGO & FRITZ and a novel adaptation of his play BATTLEDRUM.

Cooney is also extremely active as a community-based artist in educational outreach programs.  He is currently writing songs with elementary school students as a part of VOICES WITHIN for the Master Chorale of Los Angeles, writing plays with high school students in THE GRAFFITI PROJECT for Florida Stage and visiting classrooms as a teaching artist with the Playwrights Project.

As a performance artist, Cooney was a finalist for the CalArts/Alpert Foundation's 1998 Award for Excellence in the Theater.  He recently premiered SO A LAWYER, A PRIEST AND AN ATHEIST WALK INTO A BAR, a triple bill evening with John McGivern and Rob Nash at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, sponsored by the Suitcase Fund of the National Performance Network.  Last February, Cooney premiered another full-length solo-work, AN EYE FOR AN EYE, at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida – recreating a famous murder trial as a 1950’s television variety show.  In LAND O’LEISURE, a solo piece about Florida tourism, Cooney appeared onstage with a live alligator.  His signature piece, DANCING LIKE MY FATHER, was presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  TOM & SALLY, a performance work built with Karen Stephens about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, toured extensively throughout the United States through the National Performance Network.  

He attended the University of Virginia, the University of Florida and Trinity Rep Conservatory.  He serves on the board of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA and Blue Planet Writers Room.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  He is also a member of the California Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association and the Rhode Island Bar Association.     

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© 2003 Doug Cooney
Last Updated 22 Apr 2011
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