The red clay tennis courts of Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD, is the setting for this sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching biographical play about the playwright’s father and his Jewish buddies in the early 1970’s.
In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared among the cannibal Asmat tribe of Papua New Guinea; this is the story of what might have happened, as told by the Asmat.
A young journalist explores the controversy surrounding the Nazi atrocity of making soap from the fat of murdered Jews – weighing a holocaust survivor’s eye-witness testimony against scholars’ insistence on evidentiary fact as a primary criteria and the pressures imposed by historical “revisionists” – i.e. anti-Semitic holocaust deniers. The play explores how history itself is determined.
Mr. Cohen is an accomplished producer, director, playwright and teacher with a career dating back to the 1980's. Most recently he wrote the provocative essay of Shakespeare criticism: "SERPENT HEART: Satanic Prophecy and Villainy in Sheakespeare's Romeo & Juliet."
His plays, many of which have been excerpted in the annual "Best Monologues" anthology series, include "The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller" - based on the short story by Christopher Stokes - which was one of the most critically acclaimed new plays of the 2010-2011 Off Broadway Season including Critic's Picks in The New York Times and TimeOut New York. His play "Men Of Clay" - an autobigraphical tribute to his father - was selected Best New Play of 2005 by the Baltimore City Paper. Other original plays include "The Soap Myth," a provocative examination of Holocaust history. His acclaimed adaptations include "The Seagull: The Hamptons" (and "The Seagull: Wellfleet") which was selected Ten Best Plays by The Boston Globe and has featured (in various productions over the years) Laura Linney (NY stage debut, 1990), D.B. Sweeney, Carol Linley, Marin Hinkle, Neil Huff, Tammy Grimes and Christopher Collet. His other Chekhov adaptation is "Uncle Jack," from "Uncle Vanya," set in West Virginia and published in the anthology "Playing With Canons." Additional adaptations include "Whoa-Jack!" (from "Woyzeck") featuring the professional stage debut of Michael Ealy, "Orestes: I Murdered My Mother" featuring (in various productions) Kathryn Hahn (New York stage debut) and Soleil Moon Frye and "Tartuffe" - set in 1930's New York.
Producer and Director highlights include: Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" at The Public Theater with Raul Esparza and Joanna Gleason, Drama Desk Award Nomination, Drama League Award; Tristine Skyler's "The Moonlight Room" - world premiere featuring Brendan Sexton and Laura Breckenridge, 2 Lortel Award nominations, Annual "Ten Best" list in The New York Times; New York premiere of Marlene Meyer's "The Mystery of Attraction" - Obie Award; New York premiere of Christopher Shinn's "Four" featuring Keith Nobbs, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. and Armando Riesco, Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Award nomination; Tennessee Williams' "Small Craft Warnings" featuring David Greenspan, and the Drama Desk Award winning "Tribeca Playhouse StageDoor Canteen" – the acclaimed post 9/11 series w/ Kristen Chenoweth, Colin Quinn, Mario Cantone, Sandy Duncan, Lea Delaria, and many others.
Jeff lives in NYC with his beautiful wife Syd & their dogs Ellie & Louie. He has a top ten singles ranking at the Riverside Park Clay Tennis courts.
More About Jeff Cohen
Meet the Playwright: Jeff Cohen [March 18, 2012]