005 - Off Off Broadway Joe

005 - Off Off Broadway Joe

Off Off Broadway is where this week's Joe has performed. Off Off Broadway
[on the Upper West Side of Manhattan] is where this week's Joe lives. This
week's Joe, is actually a Joey - Joey Stocks.

Joseph C. Stocks III, who has always been known as Joey, was born in
Russellville, Arkansas on February 1, 1966. He is a legal secretary by day
and a "mostly out-of-work actor by night." He is a member of Actors'
Equity Association and has performed many roles including his favorite of
Tom in "The Glass Menagerie" and his least favorite of Cole in "Keely and
Du" in which he said "I was so horribly miscast, but thought I could make it

As for where theater began for Joey - "I studied Art and Dance at the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock, then transferred to my birthplace
where I finished my B.A. in Theatre and was a guinea pig for their newly
formed Master of Liberal Arts degree, which is as vague as it sounds."

Theater is his passion and living in New York City, Joey gets to see a lot
of it. He recommended two plays - " On Broadway, "The Royal Family" and
Off-Broadway - "The Understudy" Both shows are about theater people, so I
guess I can relate." Joey can certainly relate to theater - not only as an
actor or audience member but also a creator.

Joey is Executive Producer of Summoners Ensemble Theatre. Rhonda Dodd is
the Artistic Director. Kevin Jones, Joey's partner of almost 14 years, and
Dan Renkin serve as Artistic Associates. The Board of Directors is
comprised of Michael Mafrici, Anne Kennedy McGuire and Benjamin Nixon. In
2010, Summoners Ensemble Theatre will produce their second series of staged
readings and will also continue to develop three original plays.

When I asked Joey when we could expect to see the plays, he said "Hopefully
we'll have the money to produce one of them in Spring/Summer 2010." One of
the plays is entitled "He Switched." It is a parody based on the television
show "Bewitched." Having been born in Salem, Massachusetts and a fan of
the television show, this Joe is looking forward to that production.
Summoners' other two plays are their new adaptation of "A Christmas Carol",
and "Getting It" which Joey described as "a gender-bending comedy where
"getting it" is only half the journey."

While theater may be one of Joey's greatest passions, he is also inspired
and influenced by Manhattan, the Museum of Modern Art [MoMA] and by family
members including; his niece and nephew, his parents, his sister and his
partner Kevin. Joey spoke at length about one particular influence and his
involvement in her organization.

"My influences change from time to time, but I'm continually inspired by
Patty Lindeman, Founder and Executive Director of Hunger-Free Arkansas
www.hungerfreeark.org Patty Lindeman is a college friend of mine.
Not having come from a wealthy family, I worked several jobs to put myself
through most of my undergraduate school. Often, I found myself barely able
to pay my tuition, school supplies, rent, utilities and gas to get to and
from classes, leaving myself little or nothing with which to buy food.
Although I didn't ask for help, Patty and her husband at the time, were
aware of my financial struggle. Instead of offering me money or groceries,
they would frequently invite me over for dinner, which filled my stomach
while leaving my dignity intact. In her home I was a guest, not a beggar."

He continues "A few years later, in response to the growing homeless
population in Little Rock and the surrounding areas, Patty took her
generosity and compassion by forming Hunger-Free Arkansas, now celebrating
its 10th Anniversary. HFA is an advocacy and service organization which
provides counseling, clothing and hot meals for those in need. Through HFA,
Patty manages to do this incredible and vital work while still respecting
the dignity of those she serves. Now that she has many "guests" at her
table, it is my privilege to help her serve any way I can."

Joey Stocks has a great heart and a great body. At 43, he is better shape
than most people half his age. Though it was chilly on the day of our
photoshoot, Joey was a good sport and posed shirtless for some of the
photos. I asked him about his workout routine and he told me: "I work out 6
times per week for about 45 to 50 minutes in the morning before work. I'm
not really a morning person, but I find that my attitude is better if I
start my day by doing something good for myself...I use a combination of
free weights and machines. I also work with my own weight with chin-ups,
push-ups and dips."

These days, Joey gets back to Arkansas only "once or twice a year - not
often enough" as he puts it. He lives a very full life Off Off Broadway
where is "father" to two cats.

Summoners Ensemble Theatre is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Contributions to Summoners Ensemble Theatre are tax-deductable to the
fullest extent allowable by law.

NEXT WEEK - "Curious Joel"
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