Joel Froomkin, received his undergrad and masters from the University of Southern California. Seven years ago Joel and his partner Richard Najuch moved from NY to Huntington to renovate a 100 year old vaudeville theatre and create a professional theatrical company, Different Stages. Their MainStage productions were proclaimed “a gift to NE Indiana theatre-goers” by Whatzup Magazine. While renovating the main auditorium they created The Supper Club, a cabaret venue which has welcomed 17,000 patrons and presented 24 original productions. They were named Main Street Indiana Business of the year in 2012 (a state-wide award celebrating a business having the most impact on a downtown area). Joel won the 2006 award for Outstanding Director at the NY Fringe Festival. He staged a 400th anniversary production of The Tempest starring Anthony Stewart Head, Giles of “Buffy” fame and Kelly McCreary ("Grey’s Anatomy"). For over two years he worked on the Broadway By the Year Series at NYC’s famed Town Hall. There, he also directed Broadway By the Year 1928 with Tony-winner Bob Martin and the innaugural Broadway Rising Stars concert at the same venue. He directed Kathie Lee Gifford in Rupert Holmes Thumbs at the Cape Playhouse and worked again with Mr. Holmes developing the musical Dorian starring Tom Hewitt. Joel directed Judy Kuhn and ‘The Nanny’ star Charles Shaugnessy in The Unexpected Man for the Bermuda Festival. He directed Alan Tudyk and Molly Ringwald in the workshop production of White’s Lies and Patrick Paige and Carolee Carmello in the development of You’re My Boy at the Actor’s Studio.
As an assistant director, Joel has worked at Northshore and Papermill Playhouse. He was the A.D. of the original NY production of John Cariani’s Almost Maine, now one of the most produced plays in the US. He directed original NY productions of Life Science and The Fastest Woman Alive, now both in print. He was the assistant director on Encore’s Tenderloin (Walter Bobbie), David Zippel’s Lincoln Center songbook starring Barbara Cook, and the West End production of A Delicate Balance starring Dames Eileen Atkins and Maggie Smith. He has also assisted Broadway director’s Sheryl Kaller (Last Fall) and Marcia Dodge (i).
As an educator Joel has taught dialects and speech at New York University’s musical theatre program, CAP21; directed at Fordham, taught for Purdue, and is currently the Director of Drama at Manchester University. Joel’s passion for young audiences, dialects and his love of the classics led him to develop the ‘Page of Stage” series in which he would present solo performances of A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, Jekyll and Hyde, Sleepy Hollow and others to middle schoolers all across Indiana.