David Cote

David Cote

David Cote is a playwright, librettist, lyricist and journalist. Plays include OTHERLAND, RUDE NEWS, PORLOCK and ARISTOTLE’S COMEDICS. Opera: THREE WAY with composer Robert Paterson (Nashville Opera & BAM 2017); THE SCARLET IBIS (Prototype Festival) and FADE (Second Movement, UK) with composer Stefan Weisman. The New York Times called IBIS “an outstanding new chamber opera…a moving, intense and dignified...
David Cote is a playwright, librettist, lyricist and journalist. Plays include OTHERLAND, RUDE NEWS, PORLOCK and ARISTOTLE’S COMEDICS. Opera: THREE WAY with composer Robert Paterson (Nashville Opera & BAM 2017); THE SCARLET IBIS (Prototype Festival) and FADE (Second Movement, UK) with composer Stefan Weisman. The New York Times called IBIS “an outstanding new chamber opera…a moving, intense and dignified creation.” Other libretti: WE’VE GOT OUR EYE ON YOU with composer Nkeiru Okoye, commissioned by SUNY New Paltz. He wrote lyrics for Paterson's song cycle IN REAL LIFE; Joshua Schmidt’s IMPACT/WINTER (work-in-progress) and James Adler’s 3 INTROSPECTIONS (Albany Records). Two of David's choral works with Paterson, DID YOU HEAR? and SNOW DAY, were performed by Musica Sacra, conducted by Kent Tritle and included on ETERNAL REFLECTIONS (American Modern Recordings). David is theater editor and chief drama critic of Time Out New York. His work has been developed or supported by Opera America, Gingold Theatrical Group, HERE, Beth Morrison Projects, American Opera Projects and Fort Worth Opera. Fellowships: The MacDowell Colony. Member of the Dramatists Guild and ASCAP. B.A. Bard College.

Plays

  • Trigger Warning: Suicide, Misogyny, Racism, Sex
    After a student uprising on a college campus about Shakespeare, students put on politically corrected versions of his greatest scenes.
  • The Great Aphrodisiac
    One Friday evening the White House press corps are hastily assembled for a special announcement by the nation's first female President, Helen DeTroy. In this 10-minute verse play, sex, politics and iambic pentameter collide for a farcical look at power and desire.
  • Otherland
    In a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African-American college student Alice is waiting to meet her birth mother. From infancy, Alice was raised in New England by white bestselling memoirist Madeleine Holmes. In the same hotel, there’s a global botany symposium painstakingly organized by Professor Edgar Nunby. But the staff is on strike and half the rooms have busted plumbing. An eco-radical group called the...
    In a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African-American college student Alice is waiting to meet her birth mother. From infancy, Alice was raised in New England by white bestselling memoirist Madeleine Holmes. In the same hotel, there’s a global botany symposium painstakingly organized by Professor Edgar Nunby. But the staff is on strike and half the rooms have busted plumbing. An eco-radical group called the Pangaea Liberation Front is mounting an Occupy Wall Street-style protest outside. Throw in a pot-dealing British-Pakistani concierge, a trigger-happy Chinese security guard and Madeleine herself—who shows up hell-bent on bringing Alice back home—and soon identities and agendas are clashing wildly. Otherland is a serious farce about roots, race, adoption and how you have to create your belonging.
  • Aristotle's Comedics
    Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle instructs a rather poorly behaving class on the origin, operation and effect of comedy. This means he applies his famous scientific mental rigor to issues such as farting, fornicating with sheep, and getting kicked in the testicles. He asks that there be no laughing in class.
  • Porlock, or Nullity-Dullity
    One cold October night in 1797, the young poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge tries frantically to complete “Kubla Khan” while his opium high is fading. He is interrupted by a man from the nearby town of Porlock, whose inane chatter distracts the writer. Who is this interloper, and will the great poem ever be finished?
  • Rude News
    After not speaking for nearly a year, Jay and Derek meet in a Brooklyn café, where Jay, a writer at a Gawker-type company, badgers Derek, an artist, for having zero Internet presence. After much friendly and not-friendly banter, Derek finally opens up and shares—overshares—what he's been up to, and it's not pretty. This leads to the question: Are we more than our digital footprint—or less? And perhaps...
    After not speaking for nearly a year, Jay and Derek meet in a Brooklyn café, where Jay, a writer at a Gawker-type company, badgers Derek, an artist, for having zero Internet presence. After much friendly and not-friendly banter, Derek finally opens up and shares—overshares—what he's been up to, and it's not pretty. This leads to the question: Are we more than our digital footprint—or less? And perhaps the drone of social media just a screen for the ugly stuff that goes on in our lives.