About Megan Cohen

  • Julie (Stacy Ross) skis down Nob Hill in "Free For All."
  • Two women with dirty faces, messy hair, and fierce expressions stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
  • Dumplings lying in wait.
  • Julie (Stacy Ross) watches her cook John (Phil Wong), with house puppeteers Miyaka P. Cochrane and Charlie Gray. (Photo: Ben Krantz, 2019.)
  • Two women chomp carrots
  • Stacy Ross and Phil Wong celebrate the end of the world in "Free For All." (Photo: Ben Krantz, 2019.)
  • Megan Cohen rehearsing a play for the San Francisco Neo-Futurists at Boxcar Theater

Called “a ruthless innovator” (SF Weekly) with “a devilish sense of humor” (HuffPo) and “a bottomless capacity for feeling” (SF Chronicle), Megan Cohen (b. 1983) is also a fairly friendly playwright, librettist, game writer, and writing coach.

Recent Work (Megan’s News)

  • I’m writing 100 blogs in 2024. If you care about me, you might care about those. New posts every Monday and Wednesday at How To Write Something.
  • You can listen to my GRAMMY-nominated art song “Woman Walking” at the links below and/or click here to read the Woman Walking lyrics. This collaboration with composer Nell Shaw Cohen appears two commercial releases; one studio album and one live recording.

Woman Walking – Studio Album

40 @ 40. This record was nominated for the 2023 GRAMMY award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album after debuting at #1 on the Billboard Classical chart. It’s such an honor to be a small part of it as the lyricist for this track about a woman finding a moment of beauty during a solitary walk on busy city streets. Soprano Laura Strickling and pianist Daniel Schlosberg have created a gorgeous anthology of new art song, so I suggest you listen to the whole album of 40 @ 40. But if you only listen to one track, I hope it’s ours.

Woman Walking – Recorded Live

SAUNTERING SONGS. In her evening-length cantata, composer Nell Shaw Cohen has created a 70-minute work of incredible richness and musical breadth that explores the experience and meaning of walking for different bodies in different cultural contexts. Along with soloist Megan Roth’s rendition of “Woman Walking,” this project for Skylark Vocal Ensemble features a diversity of vibrant texts about walking as a personal, political, and spiritual practice. I suggest you listen to the whole record of Sauntering Songs, but if you only listen to one song, I hope it’s mine.

Personal History (Megan’s Version)

Her first stage experience was as a very small child, when her kindergarten did a show about the sea.

She got to play a shark with a cardboard fin. The other children played fish. Her job was to chase them. As they ran away in fear, Megan knew she’d achieved her heart’s desire: to be both cute and terrifying.

An intoxicating blend. She has never recovered and never will.

Performance Artist Megan Cohen poses in a formal white dress with plastic inflatable swimming floaties on her arms, carrying a massive nautical anchor larger than her.
Megan Cohen in “Take Me Home: A One-Woman Odyssey,” 2014. (Photo: Quincy Cardinale)

After being bitten by the theater shark, Megan played a lot of squirrels and things in kids’ theater until puberty hit and she started doing teen slam poetry with SF Bay Area non-profit YouthSpeaks. She did drop out of high school but went on to Stanford University where she was lucky to study Brecht’s works under the direct mentorship of his friend Carl Weber. She read a lot of books and even won the Eleanor Prosser Prize for her original research on U.K. devised theater ensemble Forced Entertainment, thereby standing out as a certified dork among a very competitive pool of fellow book-drunk nerds and dweebs.

In the decades of adulthood since then, she has mostly been incredibly cool. She has worn fantastic haircuts, toured as a performance artist, and (briefly) cruised around San Francisco in a huge white slightly-broken Cadillac with members of an actual rock band. Given all those facts it’s weird she hasn’t done more drugs, but she was always cool enough without them.

She worked many jobs: Literary Manager for an award-winning theater, Communications and Engagement Manager for big-hearted performing arts companies with small budgets, and even Social Media Manager for a climate change non-profit. In addition to being all of those managers, she was also a million-pageview blogger under a still-pretty-secret pen name. During her web content era she briefly worked as an official blogger for Bill “The Science Guy” Nye’s TV show, and wrote miscellaneous internet articles about things like how to ride a skateboard.

Mostly though, she has done fictional narrative writing. Stories. Imaginary stuff that feels or becomes real when it meets an audience. Over a hundred scripts onstage, some operas, some video games. Decades of stories.

Megan Cohen asking Dionysus to Bless her Performance of Take Me Home: A One-Woman Odyssey
“Take Me Home: A One-Woman Odyssey,” 2014. (Rehearsal video screencap.)

The majority of her life so far (childhood, teenhood, adulthood) has been based on unceded Ohlone and Pomo land (colonized as the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA.)

Now an “elder millenial,” she knocks out about half-a-million words annually as a writer and offers her 20+ years of experience to fellow writers as a respectful and supportive writing coach.

On the deepest level, she continues to be a SECRET TO ALL WHO WISH TO KNOW HER. But you can catch glimpses of whatever she’s doing via her e-mail newsletter and social media.

Artistic Practice (Megan’s Work)

Julie (Stacy Ross) in "Free For All," flanked by house puppeteers Miyaka P. Cochrane and Charlie Gray. (Photo: Ben Krantz, 2019.)

More than one hundred scripts by Megan have been performed live onstage, from Midtown Manhattan to small-town Montana to…

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Poster for an opera festival featuring a wide open mouth in bright colors against a minimalist background.

Megan doesn’t speak Italian so she writes opera libretti in English, and it’s how she met Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the legendary rodeo champ…

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The menu screen for the iPad game Fashion Tale, featuring the title in whimsical white letters against a blue sky.


While writing and ghostwriting for games and interactive/digital media, Megan learns the weirdest stuff. Did you know that Ryan Gosling…

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Playwright Megan Cohen, a pale white woman with a dark pompadour haircut, sits at a writing desk surrounded by balloons and glowing lamps.

Megan loves to support and create community through writing. When she held a 24-hour Writing Marathon..

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Work 1:1 (Megan’s Coaching)

want to write more?

Megan Cohen, a pale white woman with a dark pompadour haircut, smiles at the camera.

tell the truth.
don’t give up.
have fun.

I coach writers with respect. In a sliding scale private Zoom session, we can talk frankly about your writing goals, challenges, and strengths.

If you’d rather hire me to write for you, shoot me an email.

“In the sui generis mind of theater artist Megan Cohen, silliness intermingles with oh-no-she-didn’t moxie; searing smarts blend seamlessly with surreal reverie and a bottomless capacity for feeling.” San Francisco Chronicle

Megan Cohen, a pale white woman with a dark bob haircut, looks directly at the camera. She smiles with a closed mouth.

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Thank you for coming to my website! I made it myself, but put most of it in third-person to sound more “professional” since that is industry standard. Do you think it should be industry standard? I have mixed feelings about the idea of “professionalism.” I like that “professionalism” shows respect, but dislike that it creates distance.

Done with the site? Listen now to my short story about money, magic, and a weedwhacker.