Judy Simpson Cook is a writer, producer, director, and actress. She received a B.A. in English and Fine Arts from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina in 1970.
She is co-author, with Terry Bryan, of Revolution without Casualties, a play exploring the self-concepts most women share. The production has played successfully to audiences in North and South Carolina.
Additionally, she has written nine full-length plays: Country Songs, which premiered to packed houses at the 1986 Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, S.C. and had numerous performances elsewhere; Earline, a sellout premier run at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre's 1986 Summer Season in Mars Hill, N.C.; Sweepstakes, commissioned and produced in 1988 by her Alma Mater, Presbyterian College; Nuptials, winner of the 1989 Thompson Theater Award from North Carolina State University and which has played to full houses across the nation and in 1992 had its professional premier at the Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theatre of North Carolina; Retrieving the Lamb, a Christmas play premiered in 1991 by Charlotte Shakespeare Company, and produced by theatres in North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas; Cerulean Blues, a comedy first produced in April 1996; Benedictions produced in January 2001 as a world premiere by Charlotte Repertory Theatre receiving rave reviews and the Creative Loafing Best New Play Award; Starstruck, a comedy presented in a staged reading by SummerStage in August, 2002 and premiered in June 2003 by Flatrock Playhouse, and 1963, which received its first public reading by Charlotte Repertory Theatre in January 2002, and was premiered by BareBones Theatre Group and Torchbearer Productions in February 2004.
She has written numerous one-act plays, including, A Novel Romance, which was commissioned by the prestigious Actors' Theatre of Louisville, and The Aurelia Women's League Flower and Garden Show Gala Planning Committee, which was presented by the Rock Hill Community Theatre in competition and won best play in the South Carolina Theatre Conference and best ensemble production at the South Eastern Theatre Conference in Mobile, Alabama. Her latest one-act, After A Fashion, is a companion piece to Aurelia... and was premiered in July, 2002 by Centre Stage South Carolina in Greenville SC.
She also wrote Appoggiatura, a one-woman dramatic portrait of Nannette Streicher née Stein, a gifted woman who became one of the leading fortepiano builders of Vienna during the time of Beethoven, which has been performed on college campuses, churches, and at the Smithsonian Institution; and Gladys, a one-woman show about Gladys Avery Tillett, a suffragette and political activist, commissioned by Charlotte Repertory Theatre, the League of Women Voters, and the Museum of the New South.
Through a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Commission and funds from other sources, the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Library developed an exhibit: The Spirit of lmagination--the CharlottelMecklenburg Literary Tradition. Judy was one of four playwrights included in this exhibition and subsequent book.
She is also a recipient of the 1986 Emerging Artists Grant from the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the 2001-2002 Regional Artists Project Grant from the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council.
As an actor, Judy has played many stage roles including Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Mrs. Patrick Campbell in Dear Liar, and Truvy in Steel Magnolias. She has also appeared in the M-G-M feature film, Brainstorm, Winter People from Columbia Pictures, Black Rainbow, produced for Showtime, and the TV movies A Stoning in Fulham County, The Charlie Wedemyer Story, She Says She's lnnocent, Scattered Dreams, Blessed Assurance, ln A Child s Name (a mini-series), Having Our Say, and guest starred in an episode of the CBS television series, American Gothic.
Judy was a talent representative for JTA, Inc., a talent agency in Charlotte for more than fifteen years. In June 2000 she left the talent agency to devote full time to writing. Judy is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a founding member and officer of North Carolina Playwrights Alliance, a board member of North Carolina Writers' Network, and a member of Providence Presbyterian Church where she sings - joyfully - in the choir.