Jo Michael is an upcoming third year Ph.D. Theatre and Performance Studies candidate at Tufts University, who recently completed an auto-ethnographical MA thesis entitled "Phantacamp: Queer Temporal Ruptures in the Performance of Restaged Camp." 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. Most recently, Jo was the Assistant Director on the Nora Theatre Company's Cloud 9 (Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production for Midsize Theater) and featured as Count Orlok in Sparkhaven Theatre's live-streamed Zoom production of M Sloth Levine's Nosferatu, the Vampyr with original music by Alissa Voth on HowlRound.TV with Homesick Play Project.
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.