Cheryl Davis started off her professional career as an attorney working at major law firms while having a big aspiration for writing. Few decades later, she has written over dozens of TV shows and plays winning multiple awards including Ed Kelban Award, Writer’s Guild Award as well as getting an Emmy nomination for her work on “As the World Turns” while providing legal counsels to many authors and writers all over the city. But her journey to becoming an award-winning writer wasn’t an easy one. Cheryl talks with Kazuki about the people who encouraged her down that path, and her realization that she needs to follow what jazzes her.
To learn more about Cheryl, please check the website here:
Cheryl L. Davis is a practicing attorney in Manhattan and is General Counsel of the Authors Guild while writing for variety of TV shows and plays.
Stories For You is hosted by Kazuki Akiba. This week’s episode is produced by Ed Lee and edited by Kazuki Akiba. Ray Lanuza and Brian Blum mixed the episode. Music by GrayLaptop.
About Cheryl Davis:
Cheryl is a recipient of the Ed 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 Maid’s Door was produced at the Billie Holiday Theatre to excellent reviews and received seven Audelco Awards; and was also presented at the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival. Her play Carefully Taught was performed at the Astoria Performing Arts Center. Her new musical, Bridges, was produced by the Berkeley Playhouse in February 2016 and received great reviews, including from the San Francisco Examiner.
Cheryl’s play about the desegregation of the nation’s school system, The Color of Justice, which was commissioned by Theatreworks/USA, received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly. Her play Winnie the Pooh KIDS was commissioned and is currently licensed by the Disney Theatrical Group. Her play Cover Girls, which is an adaptation of the Bishop T. D. Jakes novel, was produced and toured by ClearChannel Entertainment. She has written commissions for the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project, the Red Mountain Theatre Company (Mandela and The MLK Project), and the Birmingham Children’s Theatre (Tuxedo Junction, about Alabama Jazz musician Erskine Hawkins). Bridges was written on commission from the Berkeley Playhouse. Her play Swimming Uptown has received developmental readings at the Lark Play Development Center, the Abingdon Theatre, and the Classical Theater of Harlem. Her work has been read and performed internationally, including at the Cleveland Play House, the Kennedy Center, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
She received a Writers’ Guild Award for her work on the daytime dramatic serial “As the World Turns” and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on that show as well. She was the sole script writer for the health-related radio drama, Staying Well in Camberwell, and was one of the writing team for the web soap opera Our World. Her musical Barnstormer, which is 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, Stamford Center for the Arts, and as part of Hartford Stage’s “Brand:NEW” Festival; it has also received a BareBones presentation at the Lark Play Development Center and has been presented as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s Annual 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 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 is a former Dramatists Guild Fellow, having been 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 the Milk Can Theatre Company, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She is the Vice President of Theater Resources Unlimited, a producers’ networking organization, and is General Counsel for the League of Professional Theater Women.
She is a practicing attorney in Manhattan and is General Counsel of the Authors Guild.