Matthew Loren Cohen has been the Groundlings music director since July of 2016. He is a classically trained pianist who has composed music for and music-directed Second City Theatricals shows at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, among others. Matthew created and music-directed the critically acclaimed improvised musical Best Musical! (The Groundlings, Porchlight Music Theatre), music-directed The Nuclear Family (The Groundlings, The Belt Theatre) and wrote the original musicals Jason & Ben (New York Musical Theatre Festival) and Broads on Boards (The Annoyance). He created and taught the music improv curriculum for the Nerdist School, and has taught music improv at USC, UCLA and the Second City. His work has been heard on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Sundance Channel and Spike TV.
I am the music director for the world-famous, non-profit Groundlings comedy theater in Los Angeles. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the theater and its board opted not to seek grant aid and instead furloughed its part-time staff, which comprises most of its workforce. Without help from the Musicians Foundation, which I generously received, I would not have been able thus far to continue supporting myself. Making a sustainable living as a working artist in normal times is not easy, and during these exceptional times, the Musicians Foundation’s support was invaluable.