Coleman Ray Clark (he/him) is a director and artistic leader in New York City. He is a collaborator first. Coleman loves trying new things and working with theatermakers who challenge binary thinking and reach for something greater than our everyday.

Recent directing of new plays and musicals includes M. Can Yasar’s folk-musical ONLY PLACE I BELONG (The Tank), Bailey Lee’s PAPA (New Hazlett Theater)BLUE MARBLE: OR THE OWEN PLAY written by Bailey Lee, Chris Holtkamp, and himself (The What Co.); Steve Yockey’s PARADE featuring Academy Award-winner Jaime Ray Newman and Patch Darragh (The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues); and Lizz Bogaard’s virtual short-play WAZE (Playdate Theatre).

In March 2019, Coleman directed and produced a site-specific, sold-out limited run of BARE (St. John’s Lutheran Church), which became known as “Bare in The Church” to fans of the cult-classic. Coleman later associate produced BARE: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION with Kristin Hanggi, featuring Michael Arden, Jenna Leigh Green, and more. 

As an educator, Coleman directed JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and ALL SHOOK UP (Fordham University’s Mimes and Mummers); AMÉLIE (Trevor Day School); and SOLASTALGIA (Marymount Manhattan College). In 2023, he is directing THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL with Marymount Manhattan College.

Coleman is currently a co-founder and lead artist of The What Co., an artistic laboratory for innovative theatermakers who collectively pursue the creation of brave, bold, socially relevant, and uncompromising plays. This year, he joined The What Co.’s first-ever Spring Theatermakers Retreat at the Sylvan Motor Lodge in Hillsdale, NY.  

In 2022, Coleman worked as a management assistant at the theatrical general management firm 101 Productions on DEAR EVAN HANSEN (Broadway, US tour, and London), PRETTY WOMAN (US tour), and more.

From 2016-2021, Coleman worked at The 24 Hour Plays, where in 2019 he became the deputy director. In 2020 and 2021, Coleman produced THE 24 HOUR PLAYS: VIRAL MONOLOGUES, praised by The New York Times as “artifact[s] of a disconnected time”. All online, he connected 1,000+ artists worldwide (including Daveed Diggs, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, and more) to write, rehearse, and record over 500 monologues. He also developed a series of co-produced monologues with Pride Plays/Michael Urie, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Developing Artists and more. Through partnerships with The 24 Hour Plays, Coleman co-produced THE MANIC MONOLOGUES (Drama League Award nominee) with McCarter Theatre Center/Debbie Bisno; Lisa Loeb and Beth Wishnie’s musical TOGETHER APART (raising over $35,000 for The Actors Fund); J. Holtham’s HUMAN EVENTS for The America Democracy Project; and THE DRAMATISTS GUILD OF AMERICA/FOUNDATION AND THE LILLYS AWARDS 2020.

Coleman grew up in Arkansas, where he became known to his relatives as “Johnny from Springdale”, a character he created at the age of two who wore his grandmother’s boots and a cowboy hat, and often spoke with a thick country dialect. From there, Coleman would often recreate his favorite TV shows, musicals, and books as plays performed for his family in the “playroom” with sheets hung as curtains, lampshades angled for lighting, and often elaborate cardboard boxes stacked as sets. Anyone who knows Coleman today knows that he continues to bring this kind of creativity and joy to everything he does.

While still in high school, Coleman founded New Threshold Theatre (NTT), a youth-run theater company focused on bringing a professional edge to children’s theater in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In three years, NTT produced seven full-length plays and musicals, culminating in his production of INTO THE WOODS. Also with NTT, Coleman created NEW THRESHOLD THEATRE: LIVE, a biweekly public-access television program featuring short-form comedy sketches written and performed by teens. 

Coleman graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre directing and a minor in business management. Coleman is a Stage Directors and Choreographers Society associate member and alumni of the SDC Foundation intern program. 2019-2021 Manhattan Theatre Club Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow.

Coleman has been trained by BLIND SPOT for perceiving and dismantling racial inequity, The Transgender Training Institute for supporting and affirming Transgender and Non-Binary people, Event Safety Alliance for COVID pathogen preparedness, and Arts & Sciences for COVID Compliance Officer (CCO) & COVID Safety Training for Theatre Production.

Most of all, Coleman enjoys forming meaningful relationships with artists and taking chances. You’ll never catch him doing the same thing twice.