Lark Play Development Center
for Barnstormer by Doug Cohen and Cheryl Davis
Doug Cohen received the 2010 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting and won two Richard Rodgers Awards for writing book, music, and lyrics for Now Way To Treat a Lady (produced twice off-Broadway resulting in productions worldwide) and The Gig (Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II, Goodspeed, York Theatre Company concert, Sacramento Music Circus). Doug is the composer/lyricist of The Big Time (book by Douglas Carter Beane) which debuted at the NYMF Festival. Nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Lyrics, Children’s Letters to God), he penned co-book, music, and lyrics for The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and received a Jonathan Larson Grant for composing Barnstormer, which has recently been optioned by Lawrence Poster. His latest musical is Nine Wives with collaborator Dan Elish which recently received a reading in New York produced by Larry Hirschhorn and starring Heidi Blickenstaff and Sarah Stiles. His new play, Lovely Send Anywhere, received a reading in October 2012 starring Santino Fontana and Condola Rashad and helmed by Dan Knechtges. Doug recently joined the faculty of the Neighborhood Playhouse where he teaches the 2nd year students in song interpretation. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the Tony Nominating Committee.
Bio as of October, 2012.
Cheryl Davis is a co-recipient of the Kleban Award for her work as a librettist, and her musical Barnstormer, written with award-winning composer Douglas J. Cohen, received a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, under the auspices of the Lark Play Development Center. Her play about the desegregation of the nations’ school system, The Color of Justice, which was commissioned by Theatreworks/USA, received critical acclaim, including excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her play Cover Girls, which is an adaptation of the Bishop T. D. Jakes novel, was produced and toured by ClearChannel Entertainment. She is the recipient of a commission from the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project. Her work has been read and performed nationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Kennedy Center.
Barnstormer, about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer, has received a developmental production at the Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham Alabama, and readings at the York Theater Company, the Lark Play Development Center, and Stamford Center for the Arts; it has received a BareBones presentation at the Lark Play Development Center, a reading as part of Hartford Stage’s “Brand:NEW” Festival, and was presented as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s 2008 Festival. Her play Corner Office was a finalist in the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest.
Cheryl is a musical theater librettist and lyricist, and is an alumna of the Advanced Workshop of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is working on Barnstormer with composer Douglas J. Cohen (No Way to Treat a Lady, The Gig, Glimmerglass). She is also working on Sugar Dumpling with composer C. Colby Sachs; this piece is set during the American Civil War, and is loosely adapted from the short story Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant. She has a degree in English and a Certificate in Theatre and Dance from Princeton University, and has studied playwriting with Jean-Claude Van Itallie and Jeffrey Sweet. She was a Dramatists Guild Fellow in 2002, and was mentored by playwright/librettist Alfred Uhry. She is an alumna of the Playwrights’ Lab of the Women’s Project and Productions, of the River Writers Unit of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and an associate artist of the Milk Can Theatre Company. She is the Vice President of Theater Resources Unlimited, a producers’ networking organization, and is a member of the Board of the League of Professional Theater Women. She is the recipient of a 2009 Writers’ Guild Award for her work as a writer for the daytime dramatic serial “As the World Turns”, and has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on that show as well. She is a practicing attorney in Manhattan and is a partner with the firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP.
Bio as of April, 2014