About the Writers


Cindy Cooper and Nancy Keenan
Cindy Cooper (l) and Nancy Keenan, Ex. Dir. NARAL ProChoice America

Cindy Cooper, the creator of ‘Words of Choice,’ is an award-winning playwright and journalist in New York City. Her plays have been produced in New York, regional theaters, Canada and Europe, including at the Women’s Project, Primary Stages, Art and Work Ensemble, the Women’s Project in Minneapolis, Venus Theater, and elsewhere. Among her works is Running on Glass about six women in sports history. A member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, her plays are contained in 16 volumes, including ‘Great Monologues for Women’ and ‘On The Edge.’ With a background as a lawyer, she served as the Communications Director for a national nonprofit organization in the field of reproductive rights. She first created ‘Words of Choice’ in 2000 and began independently producing touring performances in 2003-04.

In October 2009, Cindy was presented with the Anne E. Fisher Champion of Choice Award by NARAL Pro-Choice America. For her work on reproductive freedom and the arts, she was honored with a special proclamation by the City of Providence, RI. In 2013, she was named a Generative Fellow of CoreAlign. In 2015, she was presented with The Vision Award by the Abortion Conversation Project, citing Words of Choice and the spin=off Reproductive Justice Walking Tour.

Writers: Words of Choice II – (Let Reproductive Freedom Ring!)

Contributing Writers to Words of Choice II : Judith Arcana, now living in Portland OR, is a poet whose book What if your mother was released in 2006. The late Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the decision in Roe v. Wade while serving on the U.S. Supreme Court’, and Sally Blackmun, his daughter, is a lawyer and board member of a Florida Planned Parenthood affiliate. Angela Bonavoglia is the author of The Choices We Made and Good Catholic Girls. Esosa Edosomwan is an actress, model, filmmaker and spoken word artist splitting her time between New York & Virginia. FWHC.org, the website of the Feminist Women’s Health Center, has collected hundres of stories online. Mo Gaffney is a performer and writer in Hollywood, and half of “Kathy and Mo.” The late June Jordan was a poet and activist, author of more than a dozen books and a professor of English, Women’s Studies and African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Barbara Lindsay is a playwright living in Seattle. Jana Mackey, a 25-year old law student who had served as the Interim Director of Kansas NOW, was killed in 2008 by domestic violence, and her words are taken from an interview with Cindy Cooper for the Words of Choice DVD.  Kathy Najimy is a tv, movie and theatre actress who appears on Numb3rs and performed Afterbirth:The Best of Kathy and Mo off-broadway in 2006. Alix Olson is an award-winning spoken word poet.  Michael David Quinn is a playwright and satirist living in Brooklyn. RHRealityCheck.org (now Rewire) is a major website for reproductive health news and commentary. Mary Ann Sorrentino is the former executive director of Planned Parenthood of RI, a columnist and author of ABORTION: The A Word. Kathleen Tolan is a widely produced playwright, whose work, Memory House, premiered at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Susan Wicklund is an ob-gyn now living in Montana and co-author of This Common Secret. We have also included works by Penny Lane, a filmmaker, wrote, directed and produced Abortion Diaries.  We’ve also worked with writer-performers Jessica Carmona Baez, Maame-Mensima Horne and Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo-Wondieh in special presentations.

See Words of Choice II Selections.

Writers: Words of Choice I (now in Frontlines, New Press.)

Contributing Writers to Words of Choice I:  Judith Arcana is a poet and a former member of Jane in Chicago. The late Justice Harry Blackmun is a former member of the U.S. Supreme Court and wrote the decision in ‘Roe v. Wade.’ Angela Bonavoglia is the author of ‘The Choices We Made.’ and Good Catholic Girls.’ Gloria Feldt is Past President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Mo Gaffney is a performer and writer in Hollywood, a member of “Kathy and Mo.” Joan Lipkin is the Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre in St. Louis. Emily Lyons is a former reproductive health nurse. Kathy Najimy is a movie and theatre actress, who most recently appeared Off-Broadway in Afterbirth: ‘The Best of Kathy and Mo.Alix Olson is an award-winning spoken word artist. The Onion is the nation’s premiere parody newspaper. Michael David Quinn is a playwright and satirist, who was part of the ‘Thalia Follies,’ running at Symphony Space in New York. Kathleen Tolan is a playwright whose works have been widely produced in New York, and across the country. Emilie Townes is a poet and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School. Sherica White is a mother born at the same time that Roe v. Wade was decided.

Additional Writers: Reproductive Freedom Festival and Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom included 34 additional writers on reproductive freedom, justice, health and rights. Read more.

Words of Choice, in its original inception was co-adapted with Suzanne Bennett, a director and dramaturg in New York.  She has served as co-founder of New Shoe,  Director of Special Programs for the Women’s Project and was Artistic Director of the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco.  She co-wrote, with Susan Jonas, A Limited Engagement: Women in Theatre and co-authored with Jane Peterson, Women Playwrights of Diversity. 


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