by Cynthia Cooper

Telling Our Stories


A sports scholar entices her friend, a designer and running buddy, to help envision a pop-up museum about women in sports.

Six characters from sports history come alive, along with the challenges and successes of diverse people in any field of endeavor.

Told in monologues by the two performers, the stories include:

-Gertrude Ederle, known as “America’s sweetheart,” swims the English Channel with such speed that she beats the records of the men before her by five hours.

-Althea Gibson rises from a rugged childhood to become the first African-American star in world-class tennis.

-Gretel Bergmann crashes derogatory notions of athleticism as a Jewish-German track medalist preparing to compete in the 1936 “Nazi” Olympics. 

-Wilma Rudolph, once advised by doctors that she would never walk, instead becomes the fastest woman sprinter in international competition.

-Mamie (Peanut) Johnson takes to the mound in professional baseball as a winning pitcher in the all-male Negro Leagues after being turned down by women’s teams.

-Babe Didrikson, an all-around athlete of towering confidence and unmatched ability, earns four track and field world titles in one day and later captivates the golf world.


Cindy Cooper is an award-winning playwright with productions in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Her plays have been produced in New York City at The Women’s Project, Primary Stages, Wings Theater, (Sisters of Sisters, Slow Burn, Strange Light), Art and Work Ensemble (Sanctuary), Theatreworks USA (The World At Your Fingertips), Starfish at Lincoln Center Clark Studio (Beyond Stone), Episcopal Actors Guild (Dwelling), as well as readings at Ensemble Studio Theatre, HBO Studios, Urban Stages, HERE, Jefferson Library, Julia’s Room, Riverside-Goddard Center, Culture Center, Actors’ Temple, West Bank Café, Center for Jewish History and WOW Café. Plays include Silence Not, A Love Story (Jerusalem); Strange Bedfellows (Minneapolis, O’Neill Finalist); Sor Juana (Los Angeles); Works of Art (various); Words of Choice (20 states); The Outermost House and Stones of Tiananmen. Her work has been produced in Chicago, Reno, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Ithaca, Buffalo, Washington DC, Montreal, Budapest, London, Helsinki, and more. Her play, How She Played the Game, was previously produced by Venus. Her plays are published in 16 books, and she has won awards from Pen and Brush, Malibu International Playwriting Contest, Nantucket Theatre, Barn Theatre, Jerome Foundation (two-time fellow), and others. She lives in New York City. Special thanks for developmental work at NYSSSA, New York State Summer School of the Arts.