About Joshua H. Cohen

Photograph by Isaiah Tanenbaum

Joshua H. Cohen is a New York City-based playwright, composer and lyricist. He received a 2011 American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grant for his work with composer/co-bookwriter Marisa Michelson. Their work together includes Tamar of the River, whose off-Broadway production in Fall 2013 by Prospect Theater Company was nominated for two 2014 Drama Desk Awards. It was originally commissioned and workshopped by Signature Theatre, and featured in the Songwriters Showcase of the NAMT 22nd Annual Festival of New Musicals, among other venues. An oratorio version was produced by New York Theatre Barn and Choral Chameleon in March 2013. The world premiere recording is available from Yellow Sound Label.

Other honors include a 2010 MAC Award nomination (Special Musical Material) for his cult cabaret hit "The Sacrifice of Love" (a.k.a. The Waxing Song); Chameleon Theatre Circle's 11th Annual New Play Contest (musicals category) for Ordinary Island (formerly titled Maggie the Pirate), which had a workshop in March 2011 in Western Kentucky University's Before Broadway Series, and in New York City in August 2011 with Momentum Repertory Company; and the Anna Zornio Children's Theatre Playwriting Award for his lyrics to Keep On Walkin', including a production at UNH in 2015. Keep On Walkin' also won a NEA grant for a production by Amas Musical Theatre, to be scheduled pending a co-producer. Joshua was also a finalist for the 2010 Jonathan Wallowich Award.

He wrote lyrics for Flight School: the Musical (book by Cara Lustik, music by David Mallamud), based on Lita Judge's children's book, as a commission for Vital Theatre Company. The New York Times called it "charming... Simple and straightforward enough to be understood by a 3-year-old, but engaging enough to amuse a parent... The production's biggest boon, however, may be its score." The original cast recording is due to be released in December 2015.

His play The Thirteenth Commandment, which was a semifinalist for the 2010 Princess Grace and Playwrights First Awards, had a successful run in April 2013 at the Bridge Theatre, produced by Libra Theater Company. It was nominated for seven New York Innovative Theatre Awards, winning two.

As a composer/lyricist, his song cycle The Entropy Songs inaugurated the Abingdon Theatre Company’s cabaret space, and was revived by Libra Theater Company. Its component songs have been heard in cabarets and showcases across the country. Other collections of his songs have been heard in New York City at The Duplex with New York Theatre Barn (So These Three Girls Walk in a Bar: songs of women, for women, by Josh), The Laurie Beechman Theatre (Post No Bills: the songs of Joshua H. Cohen), Space on White with Momentum Rep, Indian Road Café with No Name Presents the Uptown Cabaret (Companion Pieces: romances, duets, and songs that go together), and the Duplex again (Speaking For Myself). His score for Cara Maltz's one-woman show My Mom is a Sex Therapist premiered there in November 2013, and was further developed at Emerging Artist Theatre's Spring 2014 EATFest/One Woman Standing.

His play Fun and Games received an extensive workshop from Little Hibiscus Productions, and is looking for its first full staging. His newest full-length play, Sam I Am, based on his bicoastally-produced one-act of the same name, received readings with Momentum Repertory Company and Active Theater Company. "Odysseus Swims For It," a ten-minute play, was published by Smith & Kraus in their 2010 The Best 10-Minute Plays. Boys at Play, a book of poetic wit and whimsy, collects his lyrics and poetry alongside the work of N.D. Austin, Artie Moffa and Wing L. Mui, and is available from Bicycle Comics Productions.

He also wrote lyrics (and sometimes music and/or book) for Still Life With Toe Shoes, which received a workshop production at Old Deerfield Productions, and a subsequent production by Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College; The Mole (Emerging Artist Theatre's Spring 2011 EATFest/Notes From a Page); The Day the World Went Queer!, whose premiere in the New York International Fringe Festival received rave reviews; Far Away From America (performed at Dixon Place’s Warning: Not for Broadway! festival); The Mirror Song (Amherst College); and Dragons (Silver Wordsmith Productions). He has contributed custom-written songs to Abingdon Theater's How [fill in the blank] Fell in Love (music and lyrics, another cult cabaret hit), Brooklyn's Got Characters (music and lyrics), The Gay Ivy (music by Julia Meinwald), Epic Fail at NYMF (music by David Mallamud), and The Snow Queen at Pensacola Little Theater (music and lyrics).

Full-length plays have received readings from Studio 42, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, Judson Church/Magic Time and Jewish Ensemble Theatre. One-act plays and musicals have been presented by City Theatre (Miami), Pink Banana Theatre Company, Secret Theatre, Salem Theatre Company, American Globe, New American Theatre, The Vineyard Playhouse, Turtle Shell Productions, Prospect Theater Company, Raw Impressions Music Theatre and 24 Hour Plays, among others. He composed incidental music for Keats in Curlers at the Looking Glass Theater.

His collaborators include composers Lavell Blackwell and Marisa Michelson; playwrights Jonathan Matthew Gilbert and James Armstrong; and singer/essayist/raconteur Brooke Ferris. He was a 2008-10 fellow in American Lyric Theater’s Composer-Librettist Development Program, and participated in the August 2012 CAP21 Writers Residency. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He received his BA from Amherst College, and his MFA from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Click here for a printable version of Joshua's résumé.