Education: Attended University of Virginia, University of Florida, and Trinity Rep Conservatory.
Author and playwright.
Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, ASSITEJ International, Circle Rising, Alternate ROOTS.
First Look Prize, Tada!, for The Beloved Dearly: A Play.
FOR YOUNG ADULTS
The Wind That Blew, School Board of Dade County (Miami, FL), 1993.
I Know Who Likes You, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Marlee Matlin) Nobody's Perfect, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
(With Marlee Matlin) Leading Ladies, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2007.
The Beloved Dearly (produced in New York, NY, 2000), adapted as The Beloved Dearly: A Play, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2002.
The Final Tour, produced at Sundance Institute, Beverly Hills, CA, 2003.
The Legend of Alex, produced by in Los Angeles, CA, 2004.
Author of plays produced at Kennedy Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Dance Theater Workshop, International Very-Special-Arts Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Playwright Doug Cooney is also the author of children's books, the most notable of which is an adaptation of his award-winning play The Beloved Dearly. Working with actress Marlee Matlin, Cooney has also written the young-adult novels Nobody's Perfect and Leading Ladies, and has written the teen novel I Know Who Likes You. Praising I Know Who Likes You, which reprises the characters of The Beloved Dearly, Nancy P. Reader wrote in School Library Journal that Cooney's novel features a "wellbalanced mix of description and realistic dialogue." A Kirkus Reviews writer also praised the book, citing the story's "teasing, but never mean-spirited" cast of preteens and predicted that I Know Who Likes You "will keep young readers solidly entertained from first page to last."
Originally a play that debuted at New York City's Lincoln Center, The Beloved Dearly was adapted into a children's book that features the same cast of characters seen on stage: Ernie Castellan, Dusty, Swimming Pool, and Tony. Ernie is a twelve-year-old opportunist who thinks up moneymaking schemes in order to get rich quick. After being grounded by his parents for trying to make a sales profit at school, Ernie decides to devise a new scheme that can be transacted off school grounds. When he discovers an empty lot near his home, Ernie sees its earning potential and transforms it into a pet cemetery. Supported in his new business by his team of friends-turned-employees, Ernie quickly turns a tidy profit. Things take a turn, however, when the preteen's greed overtakes his better judgment and he becomes increasingly arrogant. The lesson is learned when Ernie's own beloved pet, Mister Doggie, passes away, forcing the boy to understand the emotional component of his scheme and decide for himself what is really valuable in life.
In their assessment of The Beloved Dearly: A Play, critics often commented on Cooney's ability to integrate aspects of the stage play into his children's book adaptation. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that Cooney's playwriting skill "is evident in the tight arc of his plot and in the snappy dialogue" and added that The Beloved Dearly is "a likable story with solid appeal." Connie Tyrrell Burns, reviewing the adaptation for School Library Journal, regarded the book version of The Beloved Dearly as "witty, clever, yet touching" and with "certain kid appeal."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of The Beloved Dearly: A Play, p. 858; March 1, 2003, Brian Wilson, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 1214; July 1, 2006, Nancy Kim, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 55.
Center for Children's Books Bulletin, May, 2002, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 315.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2001, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 1683; January 15, 2004, review of I Know Who Likes You, p. 81; May 15, 2006, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 520.
Publishers Weekly, December 10, 2001, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 71; September 1, 2003, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 91.
School Library Journal, January, 2002, Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of The Beloved Dearly, p. 132; February, 2004, Nancy P. Reeder, review of I Know Who Likes You, p. 142; August, 2006, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Nobody's Perfect, p. 124.
Doug Cooney Home Page,http://www.dougcooney.com (July 7, 2007).
Florida Cultural Fairs Division Web site,http://www.florida-arts.org/ (July 8, 2007), "Doug Cooney."
Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (July 8, 2007), "Doug Cooney."*