About Clare






Cosmic Perspective
Here we live, out in the stars
On Earth, in Heaven

Together we have it in our power to rescue our little blue water planet and create just and safe communities for all beings. A simple formula to fulfill hope for the future: Get Active! Myriads of organizations exist around the globe to transform and improve social, political, economic and ecological conditions. Onward to human rights, justice and a healthy environment.

As playwright and librettist my tools are character and dialogue, conflict and narrative (linear or reeling). I am drawn to characters who go where the silence is. They forge a path to confront inaction and/or tyranny; face the challenge to speak and act; learn to celebrate difference, not fear it. Possibility, humor, and a quest for generosity sustain my vision.

These characters, some fictional, some historical, become my queer, progressive, feminist foremother/forebearer mentors as they engage in bold actions to confront, care for, and unify our world.


  • Universal Child, the Story of Emmett Till Composer Mary D Watkins, Librettist Clare Coss, Conductor Tania León, Choral Master Malcolm J Merriweather. Eight soloists, eight Black Chorus, eight White Chorus, 24 instrument orchestra. Premiere Concert Performances March 23, 24 2022, Gerald W Lynch Theater, NYC  [See Universal Child Album Section]
  • Emmett, Down in My Heart in German: Emmett, Tief en meinem Herzen Label Noir, First Screening, Berlin, Theatre on film, August/September 2021 
  • Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington, Robey Theatre, L.A., CA, West Coast premiere, featured Ben Guillory and Melanie Cruz. 2017 
  • Emmett, Down in My Heart, Castillo Theatre, NYC, Director Erica Gould 2015 
  • Emmett, Down in My Heart, winner TADA! Play Contest, Tucson Alliance of Dramatic Artists, Tucson, AZ 2015 
  • Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington, New Federal Theatre in association with Castillo Theatre, NYC starring Kathleen Chalfant and Tim Simonson 2014 
  • String of Pearls, Provincetown Theatre Company, One-Act Play, 2001 Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, Published online: 21 October 2008 
  • Our Place in Time, Ten Scenes from the Twentieth Century, co-produced by  Women’s Project & Productions and New Federal Theatre.(Now titled Love and Defiance: Ten Scenes from the Twentieth Century) 2013 
  • The Blessing, American Place Theatre starring Anita Gillette and Kelly Bishop 1989 
  • Lillian Wald: At Home on Henry Street, New Federal Theatre, featured Tony Award winner Patricia Elliott, Feminist Press  (Lincoln Center Theatre on Film and Video Collection) 1986 
  • Growing Up Gothic, featured Crystal Field, George Bartenieff and Joyce Aaron, original sound score by Thiago de Mello, Theatre for the New City/Interart Theatre 1983
  • The Daughters Cycle: Daughters, Sister/Sister, Electra Speaks co-author with Segal and Sklar, five year residency Interart Theatre, (NEA, NYSCA, CAPS, Joint Foundation Support) 1977-1980
  • The Well of Living Waters, Old Testament Story Theatre, lyricist and co-author with Mel Spiegel, original score Thiago de Mello, Cathedral of St. John the Divine 1978
  • The Star Strangled Banner, “Brechtian-Marx Brothers,” the U.S. invasion of Mexico in 1848, Berkshire Theatre Festival Barn, Playwright in Residence 1972
 “Lillian Wald” producer Woodie King, Jr. and Clare Coss at Gala Premiere.
“The Blessing” producer Wynn Handman and Clare Coss at the cast party
Robert Cooper, Chief of the Montaukett Tribe; Clare Coss; Blanche Wiesen Cook; and Lucius Ware, President of the NAACP Riverhead Branch


  • Lillian D.Wald: Progressive Activist (Feminist Press) which features the play and a selection of Wald’s correspondence and speeches. 1989
  • Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington, (Broadway Play Publishing). 2014
  • The Arc of Love, Anthology of Lesbian Love Poems ( Scribner),Lambda Literary Award Finalist. 1996

Clare Coss is a member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, PEN, The Dramatists Guild, and the Columbia University Seminar on Women and Society. For eight years she served as Board Member for The Thanks Be To Grandmother Winifred Foundation and enjoyed her ten year tenure as Poetry Editor for Affilia, a journal of women and social work.  She and Judith Arcana were co-poetry editors for the online magazine www.OntheIssues.com.  For forty years Clare Coss maintained her dual career as psychotherapist and writer.  She is grateful to her clients, for all the journeys in pursuit of a free mind.  

Clare studies the night sky, practices Tai Chi, and was born to swim.  She lives in New York City with her partner and co-conspirator biographer historian Blanche Wiesen Cook and the daily miracle of their extended family.

“Growing Up Gothic”, starring Crystal Field, George Bartenieff, Joyce Aaron. Photo: Donna Gray
Cast party for “The Blessing.” 1st row: Leila Boyd, director Roberta
Sklar, Anita Gillette, Kelly Bishop; 2nd row: Beth Fowler, Olga Merediz, Clare Coss.