Matt Cook is the artistic and executive director of the award-winning Sierra Madre Playhouse, a dynamic Southern California cultural hub with a rich history spanning nearly a century that energizes audiences and the community with distinctive theatrical productions and captivating live performances.
Throughout his multifaceted career in the performing arts field, Cook has consistently demonstrated innovative, distinguished and effective leadership. Before coming to the Playhouse, he served as executive director of the Los Angeles-based Blue 13 Dance Company. Previously, he was executive director of the noted Pacific Opera Project, and held development and production positions with the critically acclaimed Wild Up new music ensemble. In the dance field as a producer and artist, Cook has collaborated with Martha Graham Dance Company, Akram Khan Company, Heidi Duckler Dance, among others.
During his tenure as Executive Director of the Pacific Opera Project, Cook nearly tripled the operating budget of the non-profit organization through creative and impactful fundraising efforts and marketing strategies. He also established the company’s first community engagement department, which is now a resident in 15 Title-1 classrooms throughout the Los Angeles region. Cook has produced meaningful social justice work, including the West Coast premiere of “I Can’t Breathe,” which highlights stories from black voices speaking out against police violence. He produced more opera during the global pandemic (2020-2021) than any other opera company in the country. Serving in development and production positions with Wild Up New Music ensemble, Cook was responsible for overseeing operations for all performances, events and fundraising activities. He produced performances at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Fluxus Festival, the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City, and led partnerships with organizations such as the Martha Graham Dance Company. Cook also worked with the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet from 2008-2016 in various roles. Cook is a Grammy Award-winning percussionist and five-time nominee who has toured extensively and whose work is heard on studio and film recordings, such as Aquaman and various Netflix series. He is on the faculty of Fullerton College.
Cook has been a featured clinician at Stanford University, Colburn School, and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, among other institutions. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Cook holds a BA from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University. He is married and has two children.