AroundTown is honored to be spotlighting Joseph Adler… one of the iconic contributors of South Florida’s great theater. Adler is now in his 13th season at GableStage at the Biltmore. He has been active in South Florida’s Theater and Film community for many years, directing at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, New Theater, Area Stage, Hollywood Boulevard Theater, Players Theater and more.
When asked about his earliest memories regarding passion for theater and the arts, he recalls his first love was ‘the movies’ and his determination to be an actor and a director. He followed his passion as a student of drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated from the New York University Film Department.
Adler strongly believes that in today’s world if one aspires for a career in performing arts, they must be relentless in their pursuit of their passion and that it must be their “plan A” and not an option.
In addition to his live theater accolades he has also directed hundreds of television commercials and industrial films. He was a recipient of the prestigious Clio Award. Other directorial credits include several independent feature films, a video version of the Broadway hit comedy “Doubles” and a cable TV series.
Since Adler became Producing Artistic Director of GableStage, his ‘home away from home’, his directorial talents have been recognized as the recipient of 43 Carbonell Awards and 159 Carbonell Nominations.
He has been nominated 22 times (15 at GableStage) and won the Carbonell Award for Best Director eight times: The Shadow Box (Coconut Grove Playhouse); The Killing of Sister George (Players Theatre); A Lesson Before Dying, Edward Albee’s The Goat, Frozen, The Pillowman, Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Speed-the-Plow, and twice for Best Director of a Musical: James Joyce’s The Dead and Adding Machine.
Live theater is a vital part of the South Florida cultural community and Joseph Adler has been honored and recognized for his many contributions:
• As a recipient of the George Abbott Award for “significant contributions to the artistic life and cultural development of Greater Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches”
• The 2008 Arts and Entertainment Community Service Award presented by the South Florida International Press Club
• The Truth Award from the Human Services Coalition
Adler is woven into the fabric of theater and works closely with many theaters and local schools. He has received many Best Director awards (CurtainUp, SunPost, NewTimes), a Remy Award from the Theatre League of South Florida, as well as The Heart of the Arts Award presented by the New World School of the Arts. Last year he received a Silver Palm Award for his “Outstanding Support of the South Florida Theatre Community, the Theatre League and the Theatre Festival, as well as his Consistent Outstanding Work at GableStage and his Commitment to an Educational Outreach Program in Miami-Dade County”.
Joseph Adler is DETERMINED to continue to bring provocative theater to South Florida. In our interview, he spoke of the need to have “works that make you think” and challenge the mind with depth into social issues. Entertainment for its own value in theatrical productions is important, but what is VITAL to the survival of ‘smaller’ theater productions is the thirst by audiences to be challenged mentally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually by live theater.