Jan Cohen-Cruz is a scholar and practitioner of activist and community-based performance. She is currently director of Imagining America, a national consortium of colleges and universities working to strengthen democratic public participation in the humanities, arts, and design. Cohen-Cruz is also a professor at Syracuse University, where Imagining America is housed. Most recently, she was a professor in the Drama Department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she directed the Office of Community Connections. She participated in the founding of the Center for Art and Public Policy at NYU and has taught and/or directed in prisons, colleges, psychiatric facilities, migrant camps, theatres, schools, senior centers, and parks. Grounded in the resistant theatre of the late 1960s and early 1970s, she was a member of the NYC Street Theatre/Jonah Project, and has been a freelance practitioner of the techniques of Augusto Boal since bringing him to the US in 1989. Eclectic in her application of the arts to social situations, she is also versed in techniques grounded in storytelling and in the adaptation of existing texts. From 1995 to 1997, she codirected the Tisch School of the Arts' AmeriCorps project, focusing on violence reduction through the arts. Cohen-Cruz coedited Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism (1994) and A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics (2006), with Mady Schutzman; edited Radical Street Performance: An International Anthology (1998); and wrote Local Acts: Community-Based Performance in the United States (2005) and Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response (2010). Her essays have appeared in numerous national publications.