Alumni: Lee Cohn

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Lee recently wrote and directed the independent TV pilot The Last Resort for Route 17 Productions.  He is also the director and co-creator of Inside Private Lives, the hit theatrical show that was the LA Weekly Pick of the Week, recommended twice by LA Times, received a rave in NY Times, and out of over 2,000 shows placed in the Top 10 at The Edinburgh Theatre Festival, 2007.   He is currently attached to direct two feature films in 2012. Lee was also honored to be named Playwright-In-Residence at Cal State Northridge in the Veterans in Theater Project where he is currently adapting the true story of The Bonus Army into a stage play. Lee also teaches Film Production and lectures on screenwriting at the LA Film School.

Lee was chosen for the Warner Bros. Comedy Writers Workshop, Hollywood’s most prestigious showcase for new comedy writers, where he was one of 25 writers selected annually out of over 700 applicants. Lee is also co-author of A Practical Handbook For The Actor, the best-selling textbook (over 250,000 copies) that is required reading in literally hundreds of theatre programs.  He has written plays, feature films, PSAs, corporate industrial films and CD-ROMs, including Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.  He also wrote a series of radio spots for legendary actor/comedian John Lovitz.  He also sold a TV pilot to a major Russian TV network with noted screenwriter Gregg Ostrin.

Lee has also organized high-profile events for the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding (ffeu.org), for whom he has also written nationally aired PSAs starring Stevie Wonder, Russell Simmons, and others.

Lee’s extensive writing and journalism background also includes several writing awards, and a stint as the editor of the Santa Monica Mirror, where he also wrote numerous stories including reviews, profiles, entertainment features, and hard news.

Widely regarded as one of New York’s best acting teachers, Lee was profiled, along with 25 other top acting teachers, in Qualified Acting Coaches: NY (Smith & Kraus).  Lee has taught at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (Associate Professor), The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School (Master Teacher, New York & Los Angeles) and The New World School of the Arts in Miami (Visiting Professor) where he taught and directed for over 15 years at both the high school and college levels.  Most recently, he was selected for the second consecutive year to lecture at the annual Screen Actor’s Guild Conservatory Summer Seminar.

As an actor, Lee has worked professionally in film, TV and theatre, having originated roles in plays by David Mamet, Roger Hedden, Jason Milligan and many others.  He was seen on “Law & Order” the controversial 9/11 drama, The Reflecting Pool, Mamet’s martial arts film, Redbelt and many other.

Lee holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and also trained as an actor at the Drama Studio, London, where he was the youngest student ever accepted into the school.  He spent several years training and working professionally with David Mamet and actor William H. Macy.  Lee also holds a third degree Black Belt in Ninjutsu, the Warrior Art of the Ninja and tends to get annoyed when people ask him to pass through walls or dress up like a turtle.

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