Cecilia Copeland is a successful screenwriter, writing in different genres but especially science fiction and fanstay. Her current project, 13th Street Scare, is about a vampiress. It has recieved several awards already and will be read as part of NYSeeing2020 on October 21.
However, it's not all about vampires. Cecilia endured a most unusual and tragic childhood, having been kidnapped by her dad. She writes about this in her script The Copeland Case. She is also an advocate for women and Latinx woman, though she is quick to point out that she does not write for Latinx women but writes stories reflecting life with Latinx experiences in it.
Read on to find out how her life has affected her stories and what she is doing to help promote the arts in New York City.
Who is in the cast?
Cecilia Copeland: Our cast includes Natasha Coppola-Shalom, who I met shortly before Covid-19 hit New York, is playing Clara. Coppola-Shalom did a developmental reading of my award-winning screenplay, The Copeland Case. She has that magical quality of making you fall into her performance, which is exactly what we needed for Clara. It’s hard to cast someone to play the role of a good actress. Like finding someone who can act and tap dance at the same time. It’s a layered challenge to artistic craft that requires a sophistication of technique, which Coppola-Shalom makes look effortless. We’re so lucky to have her.
You have lived through some extraordinary events as a child. You were kidnapped by your father. Tell me about how you told that story in your script The Copeland Case.
When I was five months old, my father kidnapped me and my brother. Our mother had to search the world to find us and change US Law to get us back. I wrote The Copeland Case out of a need to do something about Child Separation at the US Border.
As a kidnapping survivor, I know what is ahead for these children and families. I wanted to find a way to advocate for them without getting caught in the political quagmire that has gripped the nation. The Copeland Case is my only autobiographical work.
What other work have you done? I see you gravitate towards science fiction and fantasy.
Do you see a brighter future for women in the Latinx community in film? Have you encountered any challenges - besides the normal ones from just being female?
Romy Nordlinger and Rachel Collins in Copeland's play "R Culture" Photo by Jody Christopherson