Megan Cohen is a playwright, game designer, dramaturg, and Neo-Futurist based in San Francisco, CA.
In 2013, I was profiled in the Sept-Oct 2013 issue of Theater Bay Area Magazine.
In 2013, SF Weekly named me one of “11 Bay Area Theater Artists to Watch.”
In 2012, I became the most frequently produced female playwright in the San Francisco Bay Area, a title I still (to my knowledge) hold, with 20+ shows and readings in 24 months.
In 2011, The San Francisco Chronicle called me a “Local Luminary,” and The SF Bay Guardian’s “Year in Theater” awarded one of my shows “Most Memorable Food Fight.”
In other words, it’s been a pretty sweet couple of years, theater-wise.
My greatest artistic inspirations are playwright Tom Stoppard (for the challenge), artistic director Charles Ludlam (for the style), experimental ensemble Forced Entertainment (for the imagination), and actor Madeline Kahn. All the roles in all my plays are written for Madeline Kahn.
A high school dropout, I earned a B.A. with Honors from Stanford University (’05). My mentors and teachers have included Carl Weber, Ehren Fordyce, Cherrie Moraga, Craig Slaight, Norman Kline, and James Kass. I’ve eschewed the M.F.A. route in favor of learning directly from audiences, and from fellow artists young and old, with voices both known and new.
Critics and theatermakers have described me as “upsetting,” “refreshing,” “an Absurdist,” “a natural Brechtian,” “relentless,” “hilarious,” “a sociopath,” “a genius,” “pointless,” “often humorous,” “smarter than I remembered,” and “really… something.” Watching my pieces onstage, they’ve claimed to witness “the death of God,” “the death of fun,” and “fun.”
Audience members have laughed, wept, gasped, stormed out, thrown actual cash at the actors, jumped onstage to dance, and said some very nice things including “Don’t tell my girlfriend, but I liked your play better than hers,” “I would die to have written that,” and “I am coming back again tomorrow.”
I am a charter member of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists, my hometown’s branch of the 25-years-running national ensemble which creates non-illusory performance. I write and perform original works with them as part of the rotating cast of the weekly show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes).
As a solo artist, I’m developing a new durational piece, The Totally Epic Odyssey, based on Homer’s poem of adventure and homecoming, which had its first public showing in November 2013 as part of the S.F. Olympians Festival.
I have appeared in hundreds of performances with companies including The San Francisco Mime Troupe, No Nude Men, and American Conservatory Theater. Among other things, I’ve played… two different executioners (both male)… a talking bear… a perfect woman made in the image of Aphrodite… an asthmatic hunchbacked albino hillbilly… and even Princess Salome (yes, of the seven veils, and no, it wasn’t a comedy). I have showcased original solo performance at venues including Zeum, The Marsh, San Francisco Theater Pub, La Peña, and The Garage.
Game Design and Online Content
I write game stories, with a specialty in mobile and social platforms like iPad and Facebook. My favorite projects are close collaborations where I work with a team to create an immersive and compelling fusion of narrative design and gameplay mechanics.
I’ve recently started my own transmedia company, BetterThanTelevision, where you can sign up to have your smartphone haunted by a ghost. I love being on the cutting edge of storytelling technology, and building interactive experiences that engage players’ imaginations.
I occasionally do freelance content management, SEO consulting, and other editorial tasks in the online content world. I’ve written copy for web outlets including Yelp, Myspace Local, and the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green website (where I penned episode guides for a show starring Bill “The Science Guy” Nye).
If you’re seeking game writing, online content, or editorial support, and are interested in seeing clips or discussing rates, please contact me directly via Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @WayBetterThanTV
I’ve worked in dramaturgy as at super-established places like Tony-winning American Conservatory Theater and OBIE-winning The Builders’ Association. I specialize in new play development; some recent projects include dramaturging the world premiere of Bone To Pick & Diadem by Eugenie Chan for Cutting Ball Theater (where I was formerly the Literary Manager), and the world premiere of Failure 2 Communicate by Valerie Fachman for Performers Under Stress. I love working one-on-one with playwrights, and am available for private consultations (in person or online) to support the development of new scripts; check out this page on how and why to hire me as Your Personal Dramaturg.
Science Facts About Me
Dislikes: Jerks, bullies, the fact that over 20% of American children live in poverty.
Likes: Nachos, not being dead.