HE • HIM • HIS
ACTOR – EDUCATOR
AEA / SAG-AFTRA
JOSEPH COSTA is a graduate of Gettysburg College (B.A.), the City University of New York (M.A.), and the Yale School of Drama (M.F.A.).
He taught at the University of Connecticut, the Boston University Theatre Institute, Brooklyn College, and Gettysburg College.
After graduating from the School of Drama, he was invited to join the acting company at the Alley Theatre in Houston and subsequently became a company member at the Barter Theatre of Virginia, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and the Yale Repertory Theatre.
New York City, Times Square
On Broadway He acted in the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man with Charles Durning.
On Tour 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 acted in eight productions for Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival. At the Manhattan Theatre Club he was in their production of 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 for their 75th birthday salute to Arthur Miller.
Without a Trace (d., Stanley Jaffe)
First Born (d., Michael Apted)
Off The Black (d., James Ponsoldt)
Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number (d., Linda Yellin) for NBC
Guest star on many network programs including The Sopranos, Mad About You, Blue Bloods, Six Degrees, The Black Donnellys, Against The Law, Renegade, Public Morals, Law and Order, Law and Order CI, Law and Order SVU, Spenser For Hire and the mini-series The Kennedys of Massachusetts (d., Lamont Johnson).
Class offerings will be posted on PDX Backstage
Private Coaching is Also Available
For classes and individual coaching,
please contact Joe Costa
What Friends and Colleagues Had to Say:
“You did great! I couldn’t be happier.”
~ Arthur Miller
“Very good work. Always committed, interesting and skillful. Thank you.”
~ Joe Papp
“Joe, you are a special joy! Thank you for all your help.”
~ Martin Sheen
“I dearly hope we can work together sometime, (and then again and again). I keep remembering your ‘Holofernes’ in New York. It was one of those performances where what the actor is doing doesn’t seem outrageously extreme and is certainly not showy, but you can only watch with open – mouthed delight, then afterwards think back and wonder, how did he do that?”
~ Amlin Gray, OBIE Award winning playwright and author of How I Got That Story
Meryl Streep with Joe Costa, The Lower Depths
Olympia Dukakis with Joe Costa in Mother Courage
Delroy Lindo with Joe Costa in A Lesson from Aloes
Love’s Labour’s Lost, New York Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Frank Farrel (Sir Nathaniel) Joe Costa (Holofernes) Bernard Canepari (Dull)
Colleen Quinn (Kate)
Pericles, The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC in 2005 and The Goodman Theater in Chicago, 2006. Joe Costa and Michelle Shupe
All My Sons, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Joe Costa (Keller) and Linda Stevens (Kate Keller)
Twelfth Night, Huntington Theatre, Boston, Joe Costa (Malvolio) and Elizabeth McGovern (Viola)
Julius Caesar, New York Shakespeare Festival, with Rob Curtis Brown, Al Pacino, Director Stuart Vaughn, and Joe Costa
Julius Caesar, New York Shakespeare Festival, with Ed Hermann, Martin Sheen, and Joe Costa
- Opened the very first new American Play Festival (now the Humana Festival) at Actors Theater of Louisville in 1975–76 with acclaimed performances in Tom Cole’s Medal of Honor Rag and David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
- In 1984 traveled to Boston to play Malvolio in the Huntington Theater’s production of Twelfth Night with the wonderful Elizabeth McGovern as Viola.
- For the New York Shakespeare Festival played Holofernes in Gerald Freedman’s memorable 1988 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Critics praised Mr. Freedman’s direction and expressed enthusiasm for the performances.
- Played Baptista in the 1993 Great Lakes Theater Festival production of Taming of the Shrew, cited as best professional production of the year by the Ohio Critics Association.
- Took on the mammoth role of Eddie in Herb Gardner’s Conversations With My Father for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in 1993, The Studio Theater in Washington DC 1994, and Actor’s Theater of Phoenix in 1996 receiving award nominations and critical praise.
- For the Williamstown Theatre Festival, played Joe Keller in their 1996 revival of All My Sons, a production and performance acclaimed by critics and praised by Arthur Miller.
- Played Solomon in the 1998 Hartford stage production of Helen Edmundson’s play, The Clearing. The Connecticut Critics Circle honored The Clearing with awards for best production, best director and best actress. The production transferred to an off-Broadway theater, and was acclaimed by many New York critics.
- Acted the role of Cleon in the Tony award winning director Mary Zimmerman’s production of Pericles. It was first staged at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC in 2005 and then at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, in 2006. The Washington Post raved: “It’s hard to recall a recent night of Shakespeare, anywhere offering such across-the-board enchantment.” The Chicago Tribune declared: “A show not to be missed. This is world class, classical theater, – which we rarely see in Chicago, -driven by relentless purpose, great clarity of ideas, and a driving, compassionate humanism.”
- In 2011, 2012 and 2013 played general Waverly in national tours of Irving Berlin’s, White Christmas a production that was invited to The Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
“Joseph Costa is a true scion of yesteryear’s good old troupers.”
New York Magazine
“Costa is hilarious, believable, disgusting, pathetic, vicious, tragic. In short, brilliant.”
The Louisville Times
“…the wonderful Joseph Costa.”
The New York 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.”
WBZ-TV4 (NBC, Boston)
“A delight … very funny …first-rate work. Joseph Costa is … tough, unpredictable, mean ..”
The Washington Post
“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
“…a surprisingly stirring revival, of the 1947 drama ALL MY SONS…boy does it still crackle in it’s Oedipal confrontations. The cast was excellent!”
The New York Times
“The riveting emotional grip of 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
“This is what theatre is supposed to be all about… at first Costa appears to be entirely too common. Will he be able to hold our interest as the fallen angel? Three days later, I am still haunted by his performance… In one extraordinary moment, Costa seems to be able to will events to go Keller’s way through an unblinking basilisk stare… The triumph of the performance is that Costa elicits empathy, even as we feel contempt for Keller. This production is a rediscovery of Miller’s early genius.”
“Joseph Costa makes the pedantic schoolmaster Holofernes as memorable and finally as pathetic – a character as Malovio. His ingenuous “This is a gift that I have” and his crestfallen reproach, “This is not generous, not gentle, not humble, seems fleetingly as pregnant as any utterance of Lear’s.”
“Joseph Costa is marvelous as Solomon, humorously huffing and puffing about while retaining the presence of a one-time patriarch.”