Joe Ventricelli, Artistic Associate

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Joe Ventricelli

Born in Norwalk, CT and raised in Redding, CT, Joe found his way into the theatre community in a bit of an unusual way.

Redding, CT is a very small town about an hour train ride to NYC. A rural neighborhood more populated by deer than people, it was an interesting contrast to the major city nearby. As the eldest of 2 siblings, functioning as babysitter and "cruise director" were Joe's first stabs at performing. Along with his sister and brother, he would make up stories, run through the woods, build leaf piles and snow banks, and do whatever it took to stay occupied.

As a simultaneously bucolic and highly-educated place, Redding allowed Joe to develop eclectic hobbies. He played ice hockey from the age of 4 through his freshman year of college, and he enjoyed hiking and swimming. His first job, which he held through the beginning of college, was working for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). During his time there, Joe learned carpentry, auto mechanics, forestry, and the use of heavy machinery. When not at work, Joe attended Joel Barlow High School with kids whose parents had fast cars, big houses, and expensive toys. Having so much know-how from his job, Joe often got to help take care of and partake in the upkeep and usage of these things, giving him an appreciation for their responsibility and power.

This hockey-playing-car-racing boy was also performing in the school's choirs and musicals. The first 2 roles in which Joe was cast, thanks to the demographic of his school, were Judah in "Joseph and the Amazing...," and Agwe in "Once On This Island." Perhaps not the most appropriate casting, but combined with his love of classic R&B and Jazz (reared on Chaka Kahn, Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra, and Pavarotti... yep), this unusual opportunity allowed Joe to find the voice that now sets him apart from other people in his "type".

When it came time for college, Joe was at an impasse: either stay working for the state, or go... but for what?! Joe made the decision based on the one thing that he loved doing without anyone telling him to: what he called "voluntary homework." That one thing was theatre.

Joe applied to 12 schools, but having no formal training of any kind, was only accepted to 2. An easy decision was made, as one of them, miraculously, was Carnegie Mellon University.

Joe graduated from CMU in 2014 with a BFA in Drama. He moved immediately to Manhattan and has lived there since, taking part in many fulfilling productions. Highlights include: "Sleep No More," a national tour of "Joseph and the Amazing...," "Into the Woods," Barrington Stage Company's "Ragtime," as well as shows at the wonderful Compass Rose Theater (Lancelot in "Camelot").