Joanne, originally from NY, began her theatre career in D/FW in the 80s, performing with many local theatres including Stage West - where she had the great privilege of working with Jerry Russell and Jim Covault. She is best known for later founding NYC’s award-winning Judith Shakespeare Company in 1995, where, during her 20-year tenure as Artistic Director, she expanded the boundaries for women in classical theatre, presenting over half of Shakespeare’s canon (including the entire 10-play history cycle) with innovative gender-bending and diverse casting. In 2008, she directed the Off-Broadway premiere of Timothy Findley’s Elizabeth Rex for Nicu’s Spoon Theatre, and in 2009 she was sponsored by the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America to serve as Master of Verse for the Richmond VA Shakespeare Festival production of Henry IV Part 1. She has also directed and taught for: Pace University, Stella Adler Conservatory/NYU, Stephens College/Okoboji Summer Theatre, Children’s Shakespeare Theatre, Theatre of the Open Eye, Dallas Theatre Center, National Shakespeare Conservatory, Princeton Repertory Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre for a New Audience. As a writer, Zipay co-authored Come, You Spirits!: The Supernatural World of Shakespeare (Puck Press, 2016), and her words and work are featured in several recent books on Shakespeare directing practices and gender. Zipay received her MFA from the Old Globe Theatre/University of San Diego professional actor training program and a BA in Education/English/Theatre from SUNY Oneonta, and is currently a theatre professor at Collin College.
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