Director of Production
Additional Contact Information
P.O. Box 28 | One Ames Avenue
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Joseph is truly blessed to be Chautauqua Institution’s first campus-wide Director of Production. In his first year, the most visible contribution was the design and build management of the Performance Pavilion on Pratt, where Chautauqua Opera, Chautauqua Theater Company, and the School of Voice produced the core of their seasons. Lewis Black also presented a staged reading of The Deal with Joseph Grifasi and Mark Linn-Baker in the Pavilion.
According to his philosophy, Production is here to help make others’ creativity and vision breathe and come to life. He provides the catalyst where art and physics coalesce. His responsibility is to ensure everyone has what they need to do their best work – whether an outdoor tent; liaising with the amazing Building and Grounds staff to ensure the integrity of facilities for Program’s artistic practices, rehearsals, and crafts; or helping craft our creative and cultural reach beyond the more formal nine week summer season. To be in production is to serve.
Joseph has worked in the arts for over 35 years primarily as a production manager and a lighting designer. Production management credits include Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Kinetic Light Dance, Black Nativity Georgia tour, Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne and Emmett, Gallim Dance, Vail Dance Festival, The Joyce Unleashed, Theatrical Outfit, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, American Dance Festival, Pilobolus, Fred Garbo’s Inflatable Theatre Company, Charleston Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and Portland Ballet. Lighting credits include design for Alliance Theatre, Terminus Contemporary Ballet Company, staged reading of Our Town by the cast of The Avengers at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta), Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Moving in the Spirit, Full Radius Dance, Saiah International, Horizon Theatre, Blake Beckham and Lucky Penny, Ballethnic Dance, Lee Harper, Room To Move Dance, Augusta Ballet, Augusta Opera, Martha Clarke, University of Southern Maine, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Jomandi Theatre, National Black Arts Festival, and events for Amherst College, Yale University, Saab, AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Buick; lighting supervisor for Gallim, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jose Limon Dance; and master electrician for Spoleto Festival, USA. He has served on the board of directors for Full Radius Dance in Atlanta.
Why did you choose to work at Chautauqua? What do you like about working at Chautauqua?
Chautauqua Institution is the first organization I’ve worked for where I can bring everything I have to the table. All my experience, not just professional but also personal, can contribute.
Current and Former Volunteer or Board Roles
My primary volunteer and board services have centered on helping develop artists, from running coffee shops and salons to serving on the Board of Directors for Full Radius Dance in Atlanta. I’ve always had an open ear to any artist who wants to learn more about who they are as an artist and how to develop business plans. Also, way back in the day, I published a local dance magazine in Atlanta that also was available for local dancers to use as their performance program.
Making music, conversations about art, culture, faith in any combination or individually. Small scale art and wine collecting. Roasting coffee.