Ojai Playwrights Conference Appoints Jeremy Cohen as Producing Artistic Director

A photo of Jeremy Cohen. He has one hand under his chin and one hand rested on a surface wearing a gray suit jacket.

Ojai Playwrights Conference (OPC) has selected Jeremy Cohen as Producing Artistic Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He began his tenure on December 7, 2022.

Cohen is an experienced director, playwright, and arts leader, nationally well-known for his new play development work. For the last 13 years, Cohen served as Producing Artistic Director of Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, a well-respected theater organization dedicated to new play development that supports over 2,400 playwrights annually. In this role, he expanded upon the center’s artistic and educational programming, including the launch of a program that facilitates partnerships with 120 theaters nationwide to co-develop new plays. An advocate for forging an equitable and diverse field, Cohen strengthened relationships across the theater landscape and built initiatives such as the Many Voices Fellowship, which advances opportunities for BIPOC, Women/Femme, Queer/Trans playwrights, and playwrights in the Disability community.

Cohen’s other artistic leadership has spanned across organizations such as Hartford Stage, Steppenwolf Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, and as Founding Artistic Director of the $1 million theater company, Naked Eye Theater. His off-Broadway production of Jonatha Brooke’s My Mother Has 4 Noses recently finished touring the United States. Cohen received a bachelor of arts in theater arts and psychology at Oberlin College.

In making the announcement, OPC Board President Mark Helm said, “He has a powerful ability to engage and inspire, and proven talents as a director with new plays. His artistic and strategic leadership make him the perfect person to continue and expand the artistic vision that has made OPC a star in the world of new play development. OPC’s future is in good hands.”

“It is an absolute honor to be leading this organization, legendary in its scope and reach, into its next era,” said Cohen. “Playwrights and theatre-makers are craving a safe haven right now—not only to make new theatrical work, but also to be in conversation and community with one another. I’m beyond excited to work with the artists, board, staff, and larger community to welcome everyone back to the OPC table, set it with the resources to meet these brilliant artists and plays exactly where they are, and share their stories with audiences in Ojai and around the world.”

“Congratulations to Ojai Playwrights Conference on welcoming Jeremy Cohen as Producing Artistic Director,” said ACG Vice President Dámaso Rodríguez. “Jeremy is a visionary collaborator, energized by his love and respect for artists. I’m excited to see the ways his breadth of leadership experience and boundless generosity will benefit writers in Southern California and around the country.”

April 2023

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