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Joe Wilson, Jr

Joe Wilson Jr
Joe Wilson, Jr
Director of the Office of Art, Culture and Tourism, City of Providence
Professor of the Practice of Theatre, Wheaton College

Mr. Wilson, Jr. holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre training program. He is a Professor of the Practice in Theatre and Dance at Wheaton College, Norton, MA. He has worked On Broadway (2000 Tony Award-nominated production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and 2018 Tony Award-nominated Iceman Cometh starring Denzel Washington), Off-Broadway, as well as performing in regional theaters around the country. He has taught acting, and art activism, and lectured at high schools, colleges, and universities, and at conferences locally and around the country. Wilson is in his 18th season as a member of the Resident Acting Company and Artistic Staff at Trinity Repertory Company and serves as Trinity’s Coordinator of Activism through
Performance, and the Founder of Trinity Rep’s Center for Activism and Performance. Joe has recently directed The Inheritance: Parts One and Two in the Fall of 2022, the 2021 production of A Christmas Carol both at Trinity Rep, An Octoroon by Brandon Jacobs Jenkins at the Gamm Theatre in Warwick, RI, and co-directed Black Odyssey by Marcus Gardley in 2018, also at Trinity. He has been honored by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Foundation and is a Fox Foundation Fellow for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts administered by the Theatre Communications Group, New York City.

This year Joe was honored by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities with its Public Scholar Award. The award states that ”Joe Wilson Jr. is a force who uses his skills, his talent, and his passion to enact, concretely, what the humanities can do to change the world. He models on stage, in his writing, in his teaching, and in
his support of many organizations what he would like to see in our world today. He is the epitome of the better world we can imagine together and he will continue to use the humanities, the common experiences that link all of us, to pull us forward, with him, toward this better world, the one he has dedicated himself to create.” He received the 2019 Providence NAACP’s Medgar Evers Award for Public Service. Most recently, Joe was inducted into the City of Providence 2020 MLK Hall of Fame for Outstanding Service. Joe had the most fun a few years ago serving as a Grand Marshal for PVD Festival held in Providence every June. Last year, Joe was proud to be featured in the Rhode Island PBS Documentary: Black Joy. Finally, Joe is most proud to be the father of his 10-month-old fur baby named Sally.