CHERYL COONS serves on the National Council of the Dramatists Guild, the national trade association of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists. She has written lyrics and/or book for more than a dozen original musicals, including River’s End (ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Musical Theatre Award, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theatre for the American Musical Award), At Wit’s End (Carbonell Award), Sylvia’s Real Good Advice (Joseph Jefferson Award), Female Problems (After Dark Award), and Phantom of the Country Opera, published by Music Theater International. Her work has appeared on the stages of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s, Northlight Theatre, the Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Florida Stage, and Marin Theatre Company. Her original musicals have been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Music Theatre Conference. She is a two-time participant in the ASCAP workshops in Los Angeles and Chicago. Two of her musicals were featured in the National Alliance of Musical Theatre's annual Festival of New Musicals. Her musical River's End was a featured selection at the New York Music Theatre Festival, where it was honored with the Theatre for the American Musical Award. Cheryl appeared at Carnegie Hall, singing her original songs in an evening sponsored by ASCAP and hosted by Michael Feinstein. She has served as an animateur for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Chicago Voices program, a mentor/instructor for the Writing the Musical course at Northwestern University, and an instructor of musical theatre writing at Columbia College Chicago. She teaches two courses in musical theatre writing for the Dramatists Guild Institute and mentors musical theatre writers through the Institute’s Plays in Progress program. She designed and teaches a curriculum for musical theatre writing for Chicago Dramatists, where she was a Resident Playwright from 2008 to 2018, and where she currently serves on the board of directors. She also designed and teaches a series of musical theatre writing and appreciation classes for Porchlight Music Theatre. She is a Program Manager with Storycatchers Theatre, working with incarcerated youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.