Jeff Cohen (playwright and theater director)

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Jeff Cohen is an American theater director, playwright and producer.

Cohen grew up in Baltimore, Maryland partially in Mt. Washington with his step-father Josh Fendell (a painter and art professor) and with his father Stanley in a house across from Druid Hill Park in the Liberty Heights neighborhood of Baltimore, the setting for his play, Men of Clay..[1] He graduated from Baltimore Friends School in 1975 before attending New York University where he studied acting with the late Stella Adler. He has taught at such institutions as Johns Hopkins University, California Institute of the Arts and Pace University. He is perhaps best known (and received a 2002 Drama Desk Award) for The Tribeca Playhouse Stage Door Canteen, his 10-week response to the attacks of 9/11 that brought Broadway, television and music stars to Ground Zero to 'entertain the troops' - the rescue and recovery workers at the World Trade Center site. Performers included Colin Quinn, S. Epatha Merkerson, Mario Cantone, Sandy Duncan, Kate Shindle, Daisy Eagan, Lea DeLaria, Kristen Chenoweth and many others.[2][3]


With his friend Jimmy Burke, Cohen is a partner in the theater, film and television production company Burke Cohen Entertainment, LLC. Among their productions are the upcoming Broadway musical about Patsy Cline and the film of the Off Broadway production of his play The Soap Myth which has been seen nationally on PBS and is the first American production on the British website Digital Theatre.[4]

He was the founder and artistic director of Dog Run Repertory Company, The Tribeca Playhouse, the Worth Street Theater Company, and The RAPP Arts Center (now the Connelly Theatre) where he produced and directed over fifty productions that have won Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Obie and Outer Critics awards.[5]

Cohen plays include The Soap Myth, The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller adapted from the short story by Christopher Stokes (Critic's Pick - New York Times, Time Out New York), Men Of Clay (Best New Play 2005 - Baltimore City Paper), and adaptations of Chekhov including The Seagull: The Hamptons, (with various casts including Tammy Grimes, D. B. Sweeney, Neil Huff, Marin Hinkle, and Laura Linney's stage debut in 1990), Uncle Jack (published in Playing With Canons).[6][7][8][9]

Award-winning and notable Cohen productions include Four by Christopher Shinn (Lortel Award), the revival of The Normal Heart (Best Revival, The Public Theater - Drama Desk nomination), The Mystery of Attraction, by Marlene Meyer (Obie Award), The Moonlight Room, (Outer Critics nomination, 2 Lortel nominations), and The Tribeca Playhouse Stage Door Canteen (special 2002 Drama Desk Award).[10][11]


  1. ^ Jeff Cohen, John Barry, 3/29/2006, Baltimore City Paper
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  5. ^ Invited Dress Rehearsal of THE SOAP MYTH, Opening 7/13, July 10, 2009, Broadway World [1]
  6. ^ Invited Dress Rehearsal of THE SOAP MYTH, Opening 7/13, July 10, 2009, Broadway World [2]
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  10. ^ Invited Dress Rehearsal of THE SOAP MYTH, Opening 7/13, July 10, 2009, Broadway World [3]
  11. ^ Some still deny the Holocaust, some simply refuse to listen, Stand-up comedy, targeted seriousness contemplate ‘how one survives surviving,’ The Villager, Jerry Tallmer, Volume 79, Number 5 | July 8–14, 2009,