Joe Orrach

Joe Orrach is the Artistic Director of the Joe Orrach Performance Project. He is also an actor, singer, dancer and story-teller who has worked in theaters worldwide, in television, and on screen.

Joe’s performing career started as a boxer. He was Welterweight Champion of the US Air Force before he turned to dance. He started his dance career as a tap dancer on the streets of NYC where Gregory Hines discovered him. On stage, Joe has performed with Joan Baez, Bob Hope, the Smothers Brothers, Michael Davis, Liliane Montevecchi, Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Melissa Manchester, and the Cookie Monster, among others. He has tap danced with such greats as Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde and Savion Glover, and old masters including the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Chuck Green and Lon Cheney.  He has been directed by Woody Allen (Everyone Says I Love You), James Mangold (Copland), Tim Boxell (Valley of the Heart’s Delight), Stefan Haves (Punch Drunk) and David Shiner (Nacht Mund). CNN International has profiled Joe on “People in the Arts.”

Joe received an honors Performing Arts degree through the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) program at St. Mary’s College of California in 2009. He received his MFA from University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts in Acting in 2012.

He has won multiple prestigious awards for his teaching, performing, and writing; including Dance Studio Life magazine’s 2015 “Generous Heart” teaching award, and an Isadora Duncan Dance “IZZIES” award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Text for Original Work for In My Corner in 2010.

Joe tours In My Corner, a play with an original score by Matt Clark, directed by Jeremiah  Chechik, that Joe wrote with Lizbeth Hasse  He recently premiered STReeT/FeaT, an original work for 3 dancers and 3 musicians at the Theatre de Suresnes, Paris. The work was conceived by Joe during a Harrison House Music and Arts Residency in Joshua Tree in 2014. Joe also taught workshops through the Pasadena Playhouse/James Irvine Residency in Pasadena, CA, in the spring of 2014.

When not on the stage, Joe can be found in the classroom, community center, or boxing gym. Each year, he reaches hundreds of students with programs that help them tell their own stories through rhythm, movement and voice. He has worked with San Francisco School for the Arts, Oakland School for the Arts, Berkeley Public High School, and universities across the country to develop unique workshops and programs that encourage students to use their bodies, voices, and talents to tell exciting, vulnerable, and important stories.

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