Feet Over Grand Canyon - photo by CLF ©CLF
You might have spotted her slipping into the Marriott Guatemala City’s 3rd Floor“baby lounge” during the frantic days just before that country’s corrupt adoption industry came crashing down. Or crouched in Uganda’s rainforest as a 900-pound gorilla poked her ribs. Or braced on a hilltop in hurricane-force winds as wildfires burned Malibu, California to the ground.
You can certainly spot the results of Cynthia Lewis Ferrell's story hunts: Bold musicals, tales of intrigue, novels, films, fearless plays, essays. At turns harrowing and zany, her culturally relevant, adventurous works have been translated and published around the world, scooping up awards along the way. Born to a family of musicians, artists and writers, Cynthia's curiosity defines her writing: What makes people - and other creatures - tick?
Her first play, The Fox That Caught The Measles, she co-wrote at age seven with Deborah White, the girl who taught her to jump rope in kindergarten. The play, fully costumed, was presented by their second grade teacher, Miss Zadorian. Seven was a big year - Cynthia started studies in classical flute, which continued post-university, included vocal training, classical and jazz flute and piccolo, musical bookwriting, poetics, and lyric structure. Her musicals have been composed and performed by Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Emmy winners.
Cynthia has taught as an adjunct professor of playwriting at Pepperdine University, and has written and conducted five commissioned children and youth musicals for California’s Brentwood Presbyterian Church and Oak Park Unified School District. Fully staged and costumed, these full-length musicals were performed with live orchestras, with sets and video recordings by Disney artists and film directors. Her works have been developed by KUSC Radio, Colony Theatre, 24th Street Theatre, California International Theatre Festival, and Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles; Stage Left Studio in New York City; West Edge Opera in San Francisco; Herrenhaus Edenkoben in Germany and more.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. During her studies at USC, she won the Jerome Lawrence Playwriting Fellowship, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society’s Creative Achievement Medal for her play collection 3 On Water, the Conquest Prize for her essay Cries That Register, and the top thesis honor for her play series War and Water. Prior, she graduated magna cum laude in Mass Communications from the University of California Los Angeles. While writing speeches for senators and chasing news stories for CBS Evening News, she won UCLA’s student filmmaker prize for her documentary Fear in the Way and the university’s Scholar Athlete trophy. Professional mentors have included humorist Shelley Berman, political activist Donald Freed, and international novelist Gina Nahai.
She is a member of ASCAP and is published by the Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, Cultural Weekly, and Doubleday NY.
S a m p l e A w a r d s & H o n o r s
Hollywood Music in Media Awards
Visual Media - Song/Score Special Feature Nominee 2012
"I Know You By Heart"
Top 10 Holiday Light Shows Worldwide 2011
"Santa's Workshop" / Fantasy in Lights
Arts & Letters International Competition
"3 DB Inside" - 2nd Place 2010
Writer's Digest International Competition
"Mean High Tide"- Honorable Mention 2007
Jerome Lawrence Play Festival
"Snapshoot" - Winner 2006
Jerome Lawrence Fellowship - 2006