is a native of Montreal who has been living and working in Toronto for the past 30 years as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright and teacher. Among directing and/or choreography credits are AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' for which he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, both Dora Award-nominated for Direction, THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, THE ROTHSCHILDS, DAMES AT SEA, starring Yvonne De Carlo and Russ Tamblyn–in two separate productions–and many SECOND CITY shows, both in Toronto and Chicago.

Playwriting credits include his adaptation of DRINK THE MERCURY, which won a Dora Award as Outstanding Young Audience Production, THE NUCLEAR POWER SHOW, which won the coveted Chalmers Award, BREAKAWAY, a play about substance abuse that enjoyed an extensive school tour, and an adaptation of Brecht's THE EXCEPTION AND THE RULE .

Joel began his career as an actor and recently he returned to the stage in productions of OLEANNA and DEATH AND THE MAIDEN. Earlier roles include "Bobby" in THE BOY FRIEND, "Pseudolus" in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, the title character in WOYZECK, "Dr. Rance" in WHAT THE BUTLER SAW, and "Grandma" in Edward Albee's THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Most recent directing work includes WHAT THE BUTLER SAW and THE UNDERDOGS for Just For Laughs/Juste Pour Rire, the international comedy festival based in Montreal–Joel was appointed Artistic Director of Just For Laughs Theatre in May 99–TAKING SIDES, by Ronald Harwood, at Montreal's Centaur Theatre in February 98, and THE COMPLEAT WORKS OF WLLM SHKSPR (Abridged), which ran for eight months at Toronto's Bathurst Street Theatre.

Teaching has been, and continues to be, integral to Joel's professional theatre life and he is currently the Chair of the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo. Prior to UW, Joel established the theatre conservatory programme at Humber College, in Toronto. He writes book reviews and articles for Canadian Theatre Review, one of the country's leading theatre journals, and he has been a regular conference contributor to The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) since he joined in 1993.

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