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Sara Cooper: Featured Instructor

Teaching Playwriting Summer 2018

I spoke with Sara Cooper via Zoom on Friday, May 30th, and asked

What are the most exciting things students can hope to learn from your play writing course this summer?

In this course, we will examine both plays and musicals as we explore character development and storytelling. We cover both the basics of playwriting and the fundamentals of musical theatre and lyric writing.

Who is Sara Cooper?

Sara Cooper is a playwright and lyricist. Recent awards and honors include: Queens Council on the Arts grant (2018); 92Y Musical Theatre Lab Collective (2017-2018); American Opera Initiative Fellowship, Washington National Opera (2017); Queens Council on the Arts grant (2016); New York State Council on the Arts Individual Theatre Artist Commission (2015); Jonathan Larson Grant, American Theatre Wing (2014); New York Fringe Festival Overall Excellence Award in Playwriting (2014); Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Recipient (2014); National Endowment for the Arts and National Alliance for Musical Theatre National Fund for The Memory Show (2013); Weston Playhouse New Musical Award for Loving Leo (2012); American Opera Projects Fellowship (2011-2012).

Some of the highlights from her work are: Fault Lines, World Premiere at The Kennedy Center (2018), workshop with Washington National Opera (2017); The Memory Show, United Kingdom Premiere, New Bard Productions in London (2016), Original Cast Recording, Yellow Sound Lab (2015), Transport Group at The Duke on 42nd Street (2013), Asian Premiere, Water Gate Media in Seoul (2012-2013), Barrington Stage Company (2010), NAMT (2010); Elevator Heart, concert reading, The Tank (2017), workshop, New Studio on Broadway at NYU (2016), concert, Producer’s Club (2016), concerts, Dixon Place (2015); Mechanical, concert, Dixon Place (2017); Things I Left On Long Island, musical: concert, Dixon Place (2016), play: FringeNYC (2014), Time Out New York Critics’ Pick (2014), readings, Theater for the New City, Dixon Place (2013); Loving Leo, Weston Playhouse (2013), demo by Sh-K-Boom Records (2013), readings, Contemporary Traditionalists, TriArts Sharon Playhouse, Adirondack Theatre Festival (2010-2012); Windows, American Opera Projects (2013); The Tenth Floor (book only), New York Musical Theatre Festival (2010); Emergency Contraception, Theater for the New City (2007); We Love You, Johnny Hero, New York International Fringe Festival. Concerts and short plays, musicals, and operas around NYC.

As an educator, Sara’s favorite teaching credits include New York University, Montclair State University, Purchase College, Theater for the New City, CUNY Guttman Community College, and Lincoln Center. MFA Musical Theatre Writing and BFA Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts. Dramatists Guild, ASCAP. 


If you’re interested, do sign up for her online course this summer (purchase.edu/summer):

CRN 20013 PSW1000 Playwriting I