Now… Joe is Eeyore!
The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, is opening its 50th Anniversary Season with a delightful romp through the Hundred Acre Wood. And Joe is the beloved Eeyore! The family musical Winnie-the-Pooh, directed by Leora Morris, is based on the A.A. Milne books and runs June 7 – July 8 at the Rich Theatre in the Woodruff Arts Center.
Angels in America—2018
2018 is the year of Angels in America. Revivals of Tony Kushner’s play—from Broadway to LA—have introduced the ground-breaking play to new audiences. In Atlanta, the Actor’s Express production, directed by Freddie Ashley and Martin Damien Wilkins, earned accolades for its audacity and depth. Joe Sykes brought a new level of humanity and soul to the part of Joe Pitt, a closeted gay man—Mormon, married, and an ethical nightmare.
“A resourceful ensemble of eight actors, each playing several roles, excels…. (Joe Sykes is) … outstanding. Besides truly registering as the tortured Joe, Sykes offers fleeting kicks, too, as the incarnation of a prior Prior Walter, and even a mechanical diorama mannequin.”—Bert Osborne, Atlanta Journal Constitution
But why do the play in 2018? Why is understanding Joe Pitt so important now? And how does an actor prepare for a daunting two-play production in just five weeks? In a wide-ranging interview, Joe talks politics, character and craft.
About Joe Sykes
In Joe’s rookie year, Atlanta’s entertainment weeklies put readers on notice: Joe Sykes was “an actor to watch.” They were right. Fifteen years of committed work with innovative directors and writers has revealed an exceptional talent—on stage and in film. Joe has the veracity and comic timing of a seasoned character actor and the addicting presence of a powerful lead.
“One of Joe’s greatest strengths is his versatility. He attacks with equal skill very masculine alpha characters along with more sensitive and vulnerable characters. His range never ceases to surprise me.” —Freddie Ashley, artistic director, Actor’s Express.
“I’ve seen Joe range from caregiver to predator in the course of one show. He’s an incredibly versatile performer. His work is exceptional.” —Lara Smith, managing director, Dad’s Garage. Read more about what directors say…
Versatile. Oh yeah. Joe has pingponged from edgy, unsettling dramas like Wolves and Pluto to The Geller Girls, an Alliance Theatre showpiece about Atlanta’s plucky young women. In film, Joe famously sacrificed vital body parts in the cult horror favorite V/H/S (Amateur Night) and later seduced a much-loved character in the popular BET series Being Mary Jane.
There’s a humanity about Joe that can’t be faked. He’s comfortable with the unsettling ambiguities of life. When audiences see parts of themselves in the bigot Karl in Clybourne Park or look to Death for comfort in Steve Yockey’s disturbing play Pluto, that’s Joe. That’s Joe making it ok for us to look into the raw, damaged places. Maybe it’s even funny. Joe can do that. Of course, if he’s playing a psychopath, it’s unnerving.