Robert Cohen (born 1938) is an American university professor, theatre director, playwright, and drama critic. He has written many books on theatre, two dramatic anthologies and many plays, among other works. Cohen has conducted advanced teaching residencies in numerous countries and much of the United States. He has been a professor of Drama at the University of California, Irvine since 1965 and now holds the position of Claire Trevor Professor of Drama at that institution. He has been called a Master Teacher by the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, has been praised as a "walking theatre directory and encyclopedia" by fellow teachers, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education awarded Cohen the Career Achievement Award in 1999.
Robert Cohen was born in 1938 in Washington DC. His theatrical education began as an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College and UC Berkeley. He earned his doctorate in fine arts in 1965 at the Yale School of Drama. Soon after, Cohen joined the charter faculty of the new campus at the University of California, Irvine, where he served as the campus's founding departmental chair of drama for twenty-five years, and is now a Bren Fellow and the Claire Trevor Professor of Drama. Cohen is an accomplished director, scholar, drama critic, and theorist, and his approach to stage acting, which employs a system he refers to as "GOTE," has been acknowledged as one of the most widely used approaches to stage acting in use today.. Cohen resides in Laguna Beach, California with his wife Lorna. They have two children, Michael and Whitney.
Cohen has directed over seventy stage productions at Irvine, including classics like "King Lear", "MacBeth", and "Twelfth Night", as well as his own translations of "Tibi’s Law", "The Misanthrope", "Carmen," "The Magic Flute," and "Pedro Gynt."