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Nate Cohen

Nate Cohen is a freelance director, theatre professor, and community organizer based in Chicago. 

Nate is a director, teacher and activist. He is currently an adjunct professor and curriculum development consultant at Northwestern University in Chicago,  where he recently graduated with an MFA in Directing, and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Chicago credits include productions with Griffin Theatre (Director -Heisenberg), Porchlight Music Theatre (Director - I Am A Camera, Dramaturg/Cultural Consultant - Cabaret), Steppenwolf Theatre (AD - Curious Incident df the Dog in the Nighttime, Script Assistant - Linda Vista), Northlight Theatre (AD - Mr. Dickens' HatThe Book of Will, and Beauty Queen of Leenane) , Collaboraction (Director - Manspread Madness) and the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts (Director - Peter and the Starcatcher, Winnie-the-Pooh,The Angry Brigade, Midsummer A Play with Songs). Prior to moving to the Midwest,  he was a Company Member at Theatre Vertigo, sat on the board of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, and worked extensively in various capacities with companies such as Artists Repertory Theatre (AD - American Hero and Grand Concourse ) where he was also the casting associate, the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, Third Rail Repertory Theatre (AD - Static, The Night Alive, Director - Bull, ID[ea], Reverse/Loop/Repeat, Off the Rails Festival ), Action/Adventure ( Director - All's Faire, Pilot Season ) and Theatre Vertigo ( Director - A Maze ). He was the lead producer of the international touring production of EM Lewis’ The Gun Show and has also directed the world premieres of the KCACTF recognized original plays Middle Names and Alone in a Taxicab in a Snowy Foreign Country at Three in the Morning.

Nate is also the author of the viral flow-chart "Should I Direct this Play? A Guide for Well-intentioned Straight White Men".

As a teacher, Nate has worked at Northwestern University, and as a teaching artist at Northlight Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, the Institute of Contemporary Performance, Lewis & Clark College, the National High School Institute, Oregon Children's Theatre, and more than a dozen public schools in and around Portland. He served for four years as the Program Director of Isinglass and Artists Repertory Theatre's esteemed Egg Summer Theatre Leadership Academy and has taught Non-violent Direct Action, protest safety, and bias intervention workshops throughout the United States. 

Two actors stand in a dimly lit space with one shining a flashlight in the others face.
Ten Years of The Gun Show

Ten Years of The Gun Show

27 June 2024

Ten years after writing The Gun Show, playwright Ellen Lewis looks back at the play that tasks an actor with the delivery of a series of gun stories from Lewis’s life—typically with Ellen among the audience. Lewis sits down with Nate Cohen, who worked on the show for several runs that totaled more than one hundred performances, to reflect on the ways the play, its playwright, and the world have changed over ten years of productions.

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