David Cote (pronounced “Cody”) is a playwright, librettist and arts journalist based in New York City. His operas include Blind Injustice with composer Scott Davenport Richards for Cincinnati Opera; Three Way with composer Robert Paterson (Nashville Opera and BAM); The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype Festival and Chicago Opera Theater) with Stefan Weisman; and We’ve Got Our Eye on You (SUNY New Paltz) and 600 Square Feet (Cleveland Opera Theater) with composer Nkeiru Okoye. His plays include The Müch, Saint Joe, and Otherland (National Playwrights Conference finalist).
Recent premieres include Cocoa Cantata (a sequel to Bach’s Coffee Cantata), composed by Paterson. Opera Memphis recently presented an expanded version of David’s dating-app song cycles with Paterson, In Real Life (cast recording this summer). David also wrote the text for Okoye’s Black Lives Matter monodrama for baritone and orchestra, Invitation to a Die-In. Recordings include Blind Injustice (NAXOS), Three Way (American Modern Recordings) and choral works Did You Hear? and Snow Day, performed by Musica Sacra and conducted by Kent Tritle on Eternal Reflections (AMR).
David’s TV and theater reviews appear in The A.V. Club, Observer, 4 Columns, American Theatre and elsewhere. He was the longest serving theater editor and chief drama critic of Time Out New York. His writing has also appeared in Opera News, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and The New York Times. He’s the author of popular companion books about the hit Broadway musicals Wicked, Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening. He taught arts criticism at Brooklyn College. For the Best Plays Yearbook series, David contributed essays on Shining City, Blackbird and The Receptionist. In the 1990s, he co-founded and edited the grassroots theater magazines OFF: a journal of alternative theater and EdgeNY.
As an actor, David worked with avant-garde legend Richard Foreman, the exiled Iranian auteur Assurbanipal Babilla, and writer-directors Richard Maxwell, Robert Cucuzza and D.J. Mendel, among many others. He directed Babilla’s acclaimed monologue Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot) for its world premiere, and the 2013 revival with Robert Honeywell, co-founder of Williamsburg’s Brick Theater. He also directed Honeywell in Matthew Freeman’s dramatic monologue, The Sea The Mountains The Forest The City The Plain at the Brick.
David was born and adopted in New Hampshire and now lives in Manhattan. He has been honored with residencies at MacDowell, Jentel, Ucross, Hambidge, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Proud alumnus of Bard College.