Before coming to CalArts, Ehn taught in a number of theatre programs including those at the University of Iowa and Princeton University. Erik Ehn is a member of New York City's New Dramatists, an organization dedicated to the development of up-and-coming playwrights. Receiving his BA and MFA degrees in playwriting from Yale University, Ehn has written more than three dozen plays including Wolf at the Door, 'Maid, Beginner, Erotic Curtsies, Swedish Tales of Woe, Chokecherry and Red Plays.
Ehn is co-founder and co-artistic director, alongside Lisa Bielawa, of the Tenderloin Opera Company in San Francisco and also an artistic associate of San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen. He was a recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts in 2002 and the Whiting Writers Award in 1997.
"CalArts stands at the head of the field at a time when the best is required from the arts in our communities, local and global," said Ehn in a statement. "So much may be done so quickly these days—the causes and consequences of our actions (our rehearsals, our poetry, our self-recollection in history and symbol) are slighted in the roar of fact and lie, slash and burn, perpetual, busy doing, doing, doing. Art is as possible, as natural, but standing between fact and lie is a more difficult position to attain and hold. It is the space for belief, for infinite expansion. The school, the region, is all heliotropically facing the future. It is a wonderful time to pursue the difficult, to gather belief, to act deeply rather than expediently, to perform with moral sacrifice rather than pragmatic desperation, and to build that which will endure (our ongoing rehearsal) over and against that which merely gets away with itself."