Cohen-Cruz is a longtime writer and scholar of community-based, socially engaged, and applied theater.
Jan Cohen-Cruz (PhD, NYU, Performance Studies) wrote Local Acts, Engaging Performance, and Remapping Performance, edited Radical Street Performance, and, with Mady Schutzman, co-edited Playing Boal and A Boal Companion. She was most recently Director of Field Research for A Blade of Grass, an organization that supports socially-engaged artists, and co-founder of its magazine. From 2007–2012, she directed Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a consortium of colleges and universities committed to civic engagement, and co-founded its journal, Public. A longtime professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Cohen-Cruz initiated its minor in applied theater. She received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Award for Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement (2012). Jan was evaluator for the US State Department/Bronx Museum cultural diplomacy initiative smARTpower as well as for seven initiatives of the City of New York’s Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) project. With Pam Korza, she researched and wrote a field guide for artist/ municipal agency partnerships. She continues to teach at NYU and CUNY and to write. She is a partner in a family business that operates a food truck in rural Pennsylvania.