Translator

Cohen has been a prolific translator over the years, bravely tackling the works of several eminent dramatic authors. He prepared translations of the librettos from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1989, with Lorna Cohen) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen (1999) in order to produce them in English for UCI’s stage. He confronted the challenge of Molière’s elegant French in his translations of The Bourgeois Gentleman and The Misanthrope in 1982 and 1997, respectively.

In the case of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, originally written in Norwegian, Cohen apparently felt that two languages were insufficiently challenging. His Pedro Gynt, adapted into a combination of English and Spanish and set in Mexico, was deemed "An ecstatic whirlwind ride" by one critic.

Most recently (2003), he translated Jean Verdun’s contemporary work Tibi’s Law from the French. The play, which has only two characters, is set in a rural African cemetery. The production in Hollywood was a Los Angeles Times "critic’s pick."