Cusi Cram is a playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, teacher, and a passionate advocate for women in the arts. She is also one of few people who can claim to be of Bolivian and Scottish heritage — her parents met at the U. N.
As a long time writer of animation, she has received three EMMY award nominations for her work on WGBH’s “Arthur.” She most recently wrote for two seasons on the Showtime series, “The Big C”, starring Laura Linney. Her play, “Dusty and the Big Bad World”, was optioned by Points West Films (Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt’s production company). Cusi recently directed an episode of This Thing Film’s web series, “Like So Many Things.”
Her short film “Wild & Precious” was made in conjunction with AFI’s Directing Workshop for women, where it was awarded both the Adrienne Shelly Production Grant and the Nancy Malone Award. The film is currently playing at festivals around the country and was awarded the Best Narrative Short by the NY LA Film Festival.
Cusi’s plays have been produced by the Public Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company, Primary Stages, New Georges, South Coast Repertory, the Denver Theater Center, and the Willamstown Theater Festival, amongst many others. Her play, “A Lifetime Burning”, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Her work as a director and writer has been supported with grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Herrick Theater Foundation, The Bogliasco Foundation, The Camargo Foundation, and The Stillpoint Fund. Cusi is a 2014/15 recipient of New Georges Audrey Residency, where she will write and direct a new piece on the impossibility of forgiveness. Cram wrote the book for Camp Kappawanna, a musical for children, with music by Lisa Loeb. It was stage in Spring 2015 at The Atlantic Theater.
Cusi is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company and sits on New Georges’ Kitchen Cabinet and on the boards of Leah’s FEWW (Fund for Emerging Women Writers) and the Lilly Awards. She teaches in the Fordham/Primary Stages Graduate Playwriting Program. She lives between the Catskills and Greenwich Village with her talented writer/actor husband, Peter K. Hirsch
Grant Winning Project: WILD AND PRECIOUS
In this dark-ensemble comedy, sparks fly when Enid arrives for her ex-husband’s funeral. She storms off and everyone in her family is either too exhausted or afraid to console her. None of this sits well with, Leah, the youngest member of the clan but she faces her fears and confronts her terrifying grandmother. Leah asks Enid the questions no one has ever dared ask —and the answers prove to be a small revelation.