JOSEPH COSTA is a graduate of Gettysburg College (B.A.), the City University of New York (M.A., Theatre History and Criticism), and the Yale School of Drama (M.F.A., Acting). He has been a guest artist and teacher at the University of Connecticut and Gettysburg College, and also taught at Boston University and Brooklyn College.
He made his Portland acting debut in the Artists Repertory Theatre production of The Price directed by Adriana Baer.
He was a member of the acting company of the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Barter Theatre of Virginia, the Alley Theatre, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he opened their first New American Play Festival (now the Humana Festival) with acclaimed performances in Medal of Honor Rag, and David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
Joe also played leading roles at the American Repertory Theatre, the Huntington Theatre, the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Virginia Stage, Center Stage in Baltimore, GeVa Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the Studio Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Drama Guild, the Cleveland Playhouse, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, Syracuse Stage, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the Arizona Theatre Company, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Utah Shakespearean Festival.
On Broadway he acted in the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. He was also featured in the first national tour of Dirty Dancing (Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles), and in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Kennedy Center.
Off Broadway he has acted in The Tempest, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, Love’s Labours Lost, Congreve’s the Way of The World, and David Hare’s A Map of The World – directed by Mr. Hare – all for Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival. For the Blue Light Theatre he was in The Clearing, cited by many New York critics as one of the ten best productions of 1999. At the Manhattan Theatre Club he appeared in The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs, and for the Roundabout Theatre he was in The Show-Off and The Crucible. He was invited to perform at Lincoln Center’s 75th birthday salute to Arthur Miller, and played “Joe Keller” in the highly praised Williamstown Theatre Festival production of All My Sons.
Film: Off The Black (d., James Ponsoldt), Power (d., Sidney Lumet), Without a Trace (d., Stanley Jaffe), First Born (d., Michael Apted), and Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number (d., Linda Yellin) for NBC.
Television: Guest star on many network programs including Blue Bloods, Six Degrees, The Black Donnellys, The Sopranos, Mad About You, Renegade, Public Morals, Law and Order, Law and Order CI, Law and Order SVU, and the mini-series The Kennedys of Massachusetts (d., Lamont Johnson).
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What people are saying
“Joe, you are a wonderful actor. I’m always happy to have you working here.”
~ Joe Papp
“You did great! I couldn’t be happier.”
~ Arthur Miller
“Joe, you are a special joy! Thank you for all your help.”
~ Martin Sheen
“…the wonderful Joseph Costa.”
The New York Times
“Costa is hilarious, believable, disgusting, pathetic, vicious, tragic. In short, brilliant.”
The Louisville Times
“But the evening belongs to Joseph Costa as the conceited, self-righteous Malvolio
who is tricked into thinking Olivia loves him. But he’s so much the victim of his own vanity. He was absolutely terrific.”
WRZ-TV4 (NBC, Boston)
“Joseph Costa is a true scion of yesteryear’s good old troupers.”
New York Magazine
“Cross the fiery delivery of Ron Liebman with the subtle power of Robert Deniro and you get Joe Costa’s Eddie … It’s a massive role … and the charismatic Mr. Costa, blunt and edgy, never wears out his welcome.”
The Washington Times
“….Arthur Miller’s ALL MY SONS at the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Other Stage begins with the faint tinkle of wind chimes and the thundering roar of an airplane. It ends with a stifled cry. What happens in between is an evening in the theatre you are not likely to forget…The result is absolutely extraordinary…Joseph Costa…builds his portrayal slowly, carefully, with disarming innocence…Costa’s “Joe” does not loom larger than life. He is very life-size; as strong as any human being and as weak…This is theater the way it is meant to be: the kind of event that, if you’re a critic, makes all the nights of miserable or mediocre theater worthwhile…When it was all over, I sat in my seat, my eyes wet, my body quivering. What else can I say?”
The Berkshire Eagle
“Joseph Costa balances impeccable comic timing and heart-aching tenderness as Gregory Solomon, an elderly Jewish antiques dealer. The ensemble fuels one another throughout this barreling freight train, and Adriana Baer’s direction disappears effortlessly, allowing these powerhouse actors and Miller’s well-crafted text to have center stage.”
“Joseph Costa is marvelous as Solomon, humorously huffing and puffing about while retaining the presence of a one-time patriarch.”
“A delight … very funny …first-rate work. Joseph Costa is … tough, unpredictable, mean ..”
The Washington Post
“Costa is very strong, a man who backs away from no one … he’s thrilling.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch