JOE SYKES is a rising theater maker and stage and film actor based in Atlanta. A member of Actor’s Equity Association, Joe has performed pivotal roles in theaters ranging from Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and Actor’s Express to the national comedy beacon Dad’s Garage.
In television, Joe is best known for supporting roles in BET’s Being Mary Jane and The Game. In film, he’s known for roles in The Little Death from Illustrated Films; Good Grief Suicide Hotline, from ECG Productions; V/H/S (Amateur Night) from Magnolia Pictures; and Hear No Evil from Bobcat Films. Joe is currently working with director Bret Wood, who directed Joe in The Little Death. This time it’s a contemporary thriller, Those Who Deserve to Die, set for release 2019. Read more about this film.
Behind the scenes, Joe’s voice enlivens a wide array of international films newly released in English. Joe voices both Rudolf Brenner and Otto Brenner in the award-winning German film The Dark Valley (2014), Allegro Film, released in the USA by Film Movement. He gives distinct voices to Juri, Raddick and Sainas in the war film 1944 (2015, Estonia), Matila Rohr Productions, released in the USA by Film Movement.
Joe is a favorite of Georgia theater audiences and was honored with a 2018 Suzi Bass Award (Atlanta’s version of the Tony’s) recognizing outstanding ensemble cast performances for the Actor’s Express production of Angels in America. Joe played Joe Pitt in that production, earning praise from critics for his nuanced performance. In 2015, Joe and cast members from the Aurora Theatre production of Clybourne Park were honored with Suzi awards for outstanding ensemble work. (Joe plays well with others.)
On stage, Joe’s greatest success stems from creating original work and bringing new scripts to life.
Joe has performed in four National New Play Network’s rolling world premieres: Wolves, Pluto, Blackberry Winter, and Reykjavik—by LA playwright and screen writer Steve Yockey. In each of these plays, Joe collaborated with Yockey and seasoned directors to originate pivotal characters. Wolves and Pluto received Suzi Bass Awards for Best World Premiere Production in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
“A kind of alchemy occurs whenever actor Joe Sykes appears in the work of playwright Steve Yockey. Over nearly a decade of collaboration, Sykes reliably discovers the deepest levels of meaning and implication in Yockey’s scripts, from a cheerful, gay shopkeeper in Dad’s Garage’s Large Animal Games to a swaggering, lethally cool character appropriately called “Rockstar” in Out of Hand Theater’s Cartoon. That old black magic returns with Wolves….” — Curt Holman, Creative Loafing
Joe is also a highly respected theater maker. He’s a core ensemble member of Atlanta’s Out of Hand theater, which has a reputation for creating thought-provoking, innovative theater. Here Joe stretches his talents to production, including creative work on the MP3 project, Group Intelligence. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Joe brought this experience to universities and science and arts festivals throughout the country. Joe was co-creator of a separate version of Group Intelligence (re‐titled Sine Qua Non) with the Dutch theater troupe, The Lunatics, for the Oerole Festival in the Netherlands.
A skilled teacher and theater arts instructor, Joe has taught the performance practicum for Alternative Performance Methods at Georgia Tech—offered by the School of Literature, Media and Communication at Georgia Tech. He often works with Emory theater students as a Contributing Professional, helping students workshop new productions.
Joe, who is a transplant from upstate New York, is a graduate of the drama program at the University of Georgia at Athens and lives in Atlanta.