The Gospel According to Erik Ehn

Oct 5, 2010

Last year playwright Erik Ehn succeeded Paula Vogel as the head of the Brown University playwriting program.  Not resting on the laurels of Brown's much venerated program, Ehn is making bold changes to the mission and structure of the program.  In its latest issue, Brown's alumni magazine profiles Ehn's work and his radical philosophy on arts, education, faith, and humanitarian service:
Ehn's idealism about the theater is almost boundless. Theater, he believes, must also encompass acts of charity and public service. When he lived in San Francisco in the 1990s, he founded the Tenderloin Opera Company, in which theater artists worked with homeless people and with patients living with tuberculosis and AIDS. He has now started the program up again at Brown.

"I'm working on a project in Brooklyn right now with the Foundry Theatre that invites theater artists to give food away to a community service organization," Ehn says. "To me that's playwriting. It is social collaboration. It is focused on an idea, which is charity. It is in the moment. Item for item it is made of the same stuff that any theatrical performance is made of: how can we be together and give of ourselves? That's the essential question in theater."
Visit the Brown Alumni Monthly website to read the entire article.

Tags: Erik Ehn, Brown University, education, playwright, playwriting, religion, punk

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