Cynthia Simmons bio
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Cynthia Simmons

Cynthia’s love for theatre began in elementary school, watching rehearsals of the Spelman/Morehouse Players while her mother worked in the shop assisting with set-decoration. After appearing on-stage as one of the children in their production of The King and I, she knew she wanted to be an actor. She appeared in numerous high school productions and studied theatre at New York University. In Atlanta, while working with the Atlanta University Summer Theatre, Black Image Theatre and New Cosmos Cultural Theatre, she frequently shared the stage with Samuel L. Jackson. She moved to New York in the early 70s and acted in numerous off-Broadway productions and was a member of the resident acting companies of both the 127th Street Repertory Ensemble, under the direction of Ernie McClintock, and Peabody Award winner Glenda Dickerson’s Owen Dodson Lyric Theatre.

After writing Sally of Monticello, and receiving a scholarship to the Squaw Valley Community of Writers’ Screenwriting Program, her focus shifted, slowly, to writing. She was an artist-in-residence for New York’s Teachers and Writers for several years, and completed her MFA in creative writing
at Goddard College in 2004. Her work has been published in the New Press’ anthology of the African-American migration, Up South, and in Goddard College’s literary magazine, Pitkin in Progress. Currently she is an editorial contributor to Atención, the bi-lingual newspaper of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Cynthia has worked behind the scenes both in theatre and music. She was the Associate Producer for the first play festival of the Audience Development Committee (AUDELO), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Black theatre in New York, and for five of their annual Recognition Awards; road manager and development consultant for Grammy Award winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson; and development consultant for jazz vibraphonist and composer
Cecilia Smith’s Sacred and Secular Music of Mary Lou Williams concert that was presented at DC’s Kennedy Center in 2005. She continues to work with Cecilia as a free-lance grant writer. For three years, Cynthia was the Development Director of HarlemLIVE, a not-for-profit youth service organization.

Currently she is working on a memoir about her post Hurricane Katrina experiences and a series of short stories based on her family's oral history.

Cynthia Simmons
Cynthia Simmons