Bruce Coughran is the Artistic Director of Indra’s Net Theater, and a freelance director in Berkeley, California. He is also a playwright, having written a Time for Hawking (2018 Critics Circle Award: Best Production) and The Secret of Life (2015 TBA Nomination: Best World Premiere Play in the Bay Area), as well as a biopic of Joni Mitchell (I think I’m Fallin’) that is in development.
For Indra’s Net Theater he has directed the 2013 version of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, a staged reading of In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, starring James Carpenter as Oppenheimer, and the Bay Area premiere of Peter Parnell’s QED, starring Jeff Garrett, the world premiere of Jennifer Blackmer’s Delicate Particle Logic, The Secret of Life (which he also wrote), Darwin in Malibu, Partition (about Indian mathematician Srinivasan Ramanujan), and a Time for Hawking (about a young Stephen Hawking.) These plays have received over a dozen TBA Award and Critics Circle Award nominations, and a Broadway West Award nomination. a Time for Hawking was awarded the Critics Circle Award for Best Overall Production in the East Bay for 2018.
In 2019 he directed the US Premiere of the updated (2018) version of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, which won 3 Critics Circle Awards including Best Overall Production in the Entire Bay Area (under 100 seats).
In addition he has directed Brecht’s Life of Galileo at Masquers Playhouse, Antigone (by Jean Anouilh) at Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Bad Connections (world premiere) West Valley College, Hickory Miles at Novato Theatre Company (world premiere), in addition to the world premiere musicals A Hot Day in Ephesus and What Women Want: The Marriage of Sir Gawain.
Before coming to the Bay Area he directed plays in Southern California at The Bitter Truth Playhouse, Playhouse West, The Larry Moss Studio, San Diego Actors Festival, and the world premiere of Dénouement (starring Richard Herd and Ethan Phillips) at First Stage LA. Bruce has also directed dozens of staged readings in the Bay Area, including Shakespeare, new plays, new musicals, and contemporary classics.
Bruce has directed four short films, including the 2013 PlayGround film ‘Undone’, and ‘Love for Love’ (2001) which was distributed by Halcyon/Big Film Shorts and was “short listed” for the Cannes Film Festival. He produced an award-winning feature film called ‘East of Sunset’ (2005) (Awards: Best Actress, MethodFest 2005; Maverick Award for Quality in a Low Budget Film), and also wrote several screenplays that were considered by major production companies (including Walden Media, Echo Lake, and Mandalay), and served on the staff of the Palm Springs Film Festival. He studied at UCLA film school, AFI, and at Playhouse West (with Robert Carnagie and Jeff Goldblum), as well as privately with writer/directors Sydney Pollack, Ted Post, and Danny Simon.
In addition to his work in theater and film, Bruce has degrees in Biology (BA UCSD), History (MA CSU Dominguez Hills), and Arranging and Composition (Grove School of Music).
He is a member of Directors Lab West and Directors Lab Chicago, recipient of a SDC Observership, a TBA ATLAS fellow, and a Titan award finalist. He is a proud member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.