Jo Michael is a second year Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies candidate at Tufts University, and they are currently beginning their ethnographical Master's Thesis on queer disintegrations of time in camp theatre. They are a graduate of Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in both Drama and English, winning the Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for their direction of Melancholy Play: a chamber musical.
Their work as a theatremaker has taken them from the pedagogical development of a devising script format, to the combination of Beckett's Endgame and Stein's Patriarchal Poetry, to being covered in paint and feces in hamletmachine, to the creation of a genderqueer Charlotta Ivanovna in The Cherry Orchard, and to clown embodiment as Frank N. Furter. Jo Michael Rezes is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Penny Dreadful Theatre Company (L.L.C. and nonprofit status pending) dedicated to queer-camp productions in the Greater Boston Area and Los Angeles.
Rezes was introduced to the world of theatre as a musical actor and classically trained tenor. After years of burning within toxic masculinity, their work as dramatic auteur has taken flight. They wonder if gender and sexuality have a place in the abstract. They wonder if adaptation is ethically best for representation. They wonder if musical theatre can be experimented upon within the limits of licensing. They wonder if the discourse surrounding identity politics is too fractured. They wonder if the answers are found in the theatre they create.
Jo Michael Rezes is nonbinary, in love, the child of the greatest fireman to have ever lived and a lawyer who never needed a law degree, the middle child between two sisters, and a juggler.