WRITER & STORYTELLER
CINDY D HANSON
I’m a founding member of the Sweat Girls, the critically acclaimed and Chicago-based “mighty monologue mavens”. I also participated in Write Nights at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene Brooklyn until Frank’s closed its doors. At heart, I am a theater person who writes out loud and loves the feel of pages in hand.
How Margaret Got Home, a full length play, recently had a wonderful workshop production in Chicago. Me and My Chakras, a performance piece, is portable and powerful and can travel with an accompanying workshop for participants to develop their own chakra stories. I’m working on a project about and for my mom who has passed away, entitled Hurricane Betty. Because yes, she was a force. And there is also a book about healing, Angels in Every Window, which will be my full story. And finally, a television project with a pilot and outline of 1st season episodes. That’s all I can say until I meet you in person and we cross our hearts to keep it between us.
More things that I’ve written about. A dental emergency which proved to be a great eye opener. Learning to play the drums for Daisy Raiser, an all girl rock ‘n roll band. Falling in love with Smart Design. Helping to run the wildly popular Creative Theatrics in Brooklyn where I learned the value of simply tying a shoe. And if it makes you laugh, it’s probably funny.
LISTEN / OUTLOUD
Unabashed from 2B - true stories straight from the heart - is available for your listening pleasure. Have some laundry to fold, need to clear your head from a busy day or hear a friendly voice? No need to hesitate. Enjoy.
Not too long ago I returned from the Fillet of Solo Festival in Chicago – an event dedicated to the telling of stories – some hot off the press and read, some memorized and fleshed out. I performed with the Sweat Girls and had the opportunity to take in a few of the other shows. And I came away with an affirmation of how much I love this form. I love to watch, I love to hear and I love to be a part of it. It is theater at its simplest. And beyond that, I love to read words. I like them on a page. I like to move them around. Hurricane Betty will be a book or a play. Me and My Chakras is a performance piece. A good portion of the material for each came from stories with the Sweat Girls and Write Nights at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Ft. Greene. A deadline is a powerful motivator.
I took ballet classes from the age of 6 to 15 and transitioned to theater when I was a senior in high school. I won trophies in speech contests which are lost somewhere in Texas and a medal for prose interpretation that I found when I was packing up my mom’s things after she died. I came to New York, the first time, to attend Circle in the Square’s two year actor training program. I did showcases, summer stock and worked a fair amount regionally. Commercially, I was considered “left of center”. Most of the plays I acted in were new plays. I wrote the first words of Evelyn Dances, my first play, after my second attempt at the first level of an improvisation class with the Groundlings. Then I fell in love and moved to Chicago where I started working with the Sweat Girls and, most important, realized that putting words together had captured my imagination.
A package of Me and My Chakras and an accompanying workshop is a lovely idea. Or it can simply be – telling your story. One day, one weekend, one week. Time for developing stories can easily be filled with wonderful exercises, culminating in performances that highlight what has begun to be developed, the participant’s voice out loud. We are as individual as snowflakes, as like-minded as bear cubs. Everyone has something to say and we benefit from listening – to ourselves and others.
I’ve participated in numerous residencies at schools and companies – from Kindergarten through college – with students and teachers and working professionals. One of my very favorite workshops was a senior project for Western Connecticut State University’s theater arts graduates - Should I Have Said That? … It’s All Write. I can easily recall their beautiful work and it still makes me smile.
Co-conceived, developed and written with a talented designer and art director, not to mention a fellow Texan, well … that’s really all that can be said about it at the moment. There’s a half hour pilot written exploring a really, really wonderful idea and format with a cast and crew of interesting and entrepreneurially spirited folks. It’s family, fun and delicious. Okay. I must stop before I spill the beans. But we are happy, and deliriously so, to meet and discuss.