Plays & Translations

Original Plays

Machiavelli: the art of terror

A new play by Robert Cohen (Formerly “The Prince”) The play (under the title The Prince) premiered at the California Repertory Theatre in Long Beach and has since been professionally staged at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles, the Madach Theatre in Budapest, and has been running since 2011 in the repertory  …  Read More »

The Möbius Strip

A play about gay-straight relations in an east-coast family in the very early 1970s. Staged at UC Irvine in 1971, in a staged reading at the Roundabout Theatre in New York the following year, and is currently (since May, 2013) in the repertory of the National Romanian Theatre in Cluj. Review Excerpts “Obscenely perceptive,” L.A.  …  Read More »

Abraham and Isaac in Jerusalem

by Robert Cohen UC Irvine 2010 A group of California student actors decide to mount their production of a medieval “Abraham and Isaac” cycle play in contemporary Jerusalem’s Rova Square, where they and their Hebrew and Arabic translators face a heckling audience of Israelis and Palestinians. “Deep religious awe and ironic kitsch collide like atomic  …  Read More »

Dramatic & Opera Translations

The Misanthrope

By Molière, translated and directed by Robert Cohen A rhyming translation set in the play’s time (1666) but with a contemporary energy; staged at the Trinity University and the University of California, Irvine, and published (January 2009) by Eldridge Publishing, which authorizes all amateur production rights. Review Excerpts “Cohen has directed a refreshing, lunatic production,  …  Read More »

The Bourgeois Gentleman

1996 Encore Press edition Translation published by, and rights available from Encore Performance Publishing. Production directed at UC Irvine, 1986. Review excerpts “A real triumph… one’s biggest complaint is that the show couldn’t run longer,” —Irvine World News “Moliere’s great comedy has been translated and adapted by Robert Cohen in a way that preserves the  …  Read More »


translated and directed by Robert Cohen Set in and around contemporary Tijuana, on the Mexican border. Premiered at UCI, 1999, with setting by Douglas Scott Goheen and costumes by Madeline Kozlowski. Full text, vivid, immensely singable, rhyming translation of Bizet’s original (Opèra Comique) version. Reading copy available; translated text matched to the score available by  …  Read More »

The Magic Flute

Mozart’s opera, translated by Robert and Lorna Cohen A rhyming translation perfectly matched to Mozart’s score. Premiered at UC Irvine in 1986, under Cohen’s direction with scenery by Douglas-Scott Goheen and costumes by Beth Novak. Also produced at Biola College, 2004. Review Excerpts “TRULY MAGICAL. Captures splendidly the essence of this spiritual-comic-serious-fantastic opera. All aspects  …  Read More »

Tibi’s Law

by Jean Verdun, translated by Robert Cohen (with David Carroll) The two-character play is set in a cemetery in a small and impoverished West African village, where the Master of Ceremonies and African “Sayer,” Tibi by name, conducts his daily funerals – which are attended by both mourners and foreign tourists, who have been sent  …  Read More »

Pedro Gynt

adapted into English and Spanish, from Ibsen’s Peer Gynt by Robert Cohen Set in rural Mexico – and around the world. Premiered at UC Irvine in 2004. Performance rights available from the author. All-Spanish version also available. Review Excerpts “An exciting adventure,… a vivid south-of-the-border “Gynt” steeped in Mexican folklore yet universal in its theme.  …  Read More »


1524 play by Niccolò Machavelli, translated by Robert Cohen Macchiavelli’s Clizia is technically categorized as a commedia erudita, a theatre form that led directly to the masked commedia dell’arte, which, except for the masks, it closely resembles. As with most such erudita (or “learned”) plays, it is an Italian Renaissance adaptation of a work by  …  Read More »

The Plaie Called Corpus Christi

Seven short, anonymous medieval plays adapted and directed by Robert Cohen This evening of medieval theatre, the first of three, was created by Robert Cohen and Edgar Schell as part of the three-year, funded Focused Research Program in Medieval Theatre during the late 1980s. In all, 21 plays originally written for Corpus Christi festivals in  …  Read More »