COO and Managing Director
Joel Markus is thrilled to be in his sixth season as Gulfshore Playhouse’s COO & Managing Director.
Joel enjoys working side by side with Kristen to produce Broadway caliber theatre while focusing on cultivating a great staff and culture. In his time at Gulfshore Playhouse, Joel has helped grow and double the theatre’s budget, double the staff, has co-managed the design and construction of the new $72M Baker Theatre and Education Center, new Production Shops construction project, has been instrumental in joining LORT (most recently, being on the negotiating committee for LORT and Actors’ Equity Association), and navigated and guided the organization through the pandemic and Hurricane Ian.
Joel’s thirty-year career has taken him to some of our nation’s leading professional regional theatres. He most recently spent seven seasons at America’s oldest theatre, the $16 million producing Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Joel has played integral roles in the production of hundreds of plays over ten seasons at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, four years at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY, five summers at the Weston Playhouse in Vermont, American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Some of Joel’s favorite professional experiences so far include Gulfshore Playhouse’s production of Native Gardens, taking Gregg Coffin’s Five Course Love Off-broadway with Geva, producing Indiana Rep’s world premiere of James Still’s Amber Waves, working with Adam Guettel on Weston Playhouse’s NETC Moss Hart award-winning Floyd Collins, and managing North Shore Music Theatre’s Jekyll And Hyde. At Walnut Street Theatre, Joel loved producing Broadway scale musicals, including Annie, Grease, Mamma Mia, Memphis, Sister Act, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. One of his favorite contributions has been establishing co-productions between regional theatres that are states apart, making efficient use of resources to enrich the cultural landscape and exchange for both communities. Other favorite gigs have been stage managing for The Monkees, Howie Mandel, Paula Poundstone, Peter, Paul, & Mary, and CBS Sports NCAA Final Four Tribute with Jim Nantz & Greg Anthony.
Joel was awarded with a Creative Renewal Fellowship by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Eli Lilly to study the production values of Cirque du Soleil. Teaching credits include Butler University, Franklin College, Indiana University, Nazareth College, Washington College, SUNY Brockport, and SUNY Oswego.
Joel is a graduate of Indiana University and originally from Miami, Florida. Over these many years, Joel has had a front-row seat to the complex work of extraordinary theatre professionals. He is passionate about excellence in his role leading collaboration with everyone on the team – directors, designers, playwrights, administrators, educators, technicians, artisans, musicians, choreographers, and actors – in pursuit of shared artistic vision. Joel is overjoyed to invest these lessons now with the thriving Gulfshore Playhouse as it pursues ambitious goals for its cherished and discerning audiences.