Joe Gulla

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Joe Gulla
Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater Performance
Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater Performance
BornJoseph Santo Gulla
July 23, 1964
Bronx, New York
Notable worksGarbo, Bronx Queen Trilogy, The Bronx Queen, Faggy at 50, Daddy, Reel Wood, Knock Off!, Gay.Porn.Mafia, Christmas Caroline, Gayfever, Fall and Rise, Sleeping With The Fish, My Darling Love, Members Only

Joe Gulla (born July 23, 1964) is an American playwright, actor and reality television participant.[1][2][3] He is best known for the autobiographical monologues that he writes and performs for the theater. He is a regular performer at Feinstein's/54 Below and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater.[4] An award-winning playwright, his plays have been performed Off-Broadway, nationally and internationally.[5]


Early life[edit]

Gulla is a native of Bronx, New York. He is a 1982 graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School. Upon graduation, he attended the State University at Albany, but eventually transferred to Fordham University at Rose Hill. His post-graduate work includes study at Fordham University and Circle Repertory in New York City.[6]


Gulla is a regular performer at Feinstein's/54 Below and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. His play, “My Darling Love” won the 2019 Christopher Hewitt Award for Drama. His plays, "The Bronx Queen”, “Garbo” and “Gay.Porn.Mafia” won the 2016, 2017 and 2018 NYC Downtown Urban Arts Festival "Audience Award”, respectively. As an actor, Joe performed in San Francisco's “Tony & Tina's Wedding” for many years and Off-Broadway's “My Big Gay Italian Wedding”. He also starred on NBC's LOST, one of television's first adventure reality series.[7]

His best known work, Bronx Queen Trilogy is based on his experience growing up as a gay boy in the Bronx.[8]The Bronx Queen, first in the series, won the 2016 Downtown Urban Arts Festival "Audience Award" for Gulla's sold-out performance at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater.[9]"The Bronx Queen" was also awarded Best Comedic Script and Most Popular Show at NYC Theater Row's 2012 and 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival, respectively.[10][11]Faggy at 50, second in the series, was awarded Best One-Man Show at NYC Theater Row's 2014 United Solo Theatre Festival.[12]Daddy, the series' final installment had its World Premiere at NYC Theater Row's 2015 United Solo Theatre Festival.[13] Gulla won the 2015 United Solo Award for Best Comedian for his performance.[14]

REEL WOOD, a short play written by Gulla, had its World Premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2015. It was also selected by NYC's Village Playwrights to be performed in their "Re-Inventing Family" series commemorating Gay Pride.[15][16] Gulla's play, Knock Off!, had its world premiere in Houston, TX at Theatre Southwest.[17] Christmas Caroline had its World Premiere at Studio C Theatre, Hollywood, CA in November 2015.[18] His play, Gayfever had its World Premiere at the Funky Little Theatre Company in March 2016.[19] "Sleeping With The Fish" by Joe Gulla opened the Village Playwrights' "Gay Pride and Prejudice" series in June 2016.[20] In June 2016, Gulla's play, Fall and Rise had its World Premiere at the Carrolwood Player's "One Act Weekend" in Tampa, Florida.[21] Later that month, Gulla's Fall and Rise premiered at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival.[22] Fall and Rise was awarded "Best Play" in 2016 at the Acadia University Mini Fest in Nova Scotia, CN.[23]

Gulla was a contestant on the NBC adventure reality series Lost in 2001. The show followed three teams of two as they made their way from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia back to the United States.[24] He played the role of "Frankie" in Off-Broadway's long-running hit, My Big Gay Italian Wedding.[25]

The Advocate named Gulla its "Anti-Bullying Hero" in 2012.[26]

Gulla is a member of the Dramatists Guild.[27]

Rome Years[edit]

Gulla lived in Rome, Italy from 2007 to 2010, his play Garbo was based on an unrequited love affair experienced while living there. Garbo was selected to be part of the New York City's Times Square International Theater Festival in 2012.[28] Garbo was also produced at New York's Cherry Lane Theater as part of the 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival. It won the "Audience Award" for that performance.[29]

Original Plays (select)[edit]

  • Garbo - 2011 (Barrow Group Theatre); 2017 (Cherry Lane Theater)[30][31]
  • The Bronx Queen - 2012 (Theatre Row); 2016 (Joe's Pub); 2019 (Feinstein's/54 Below)[32][33][34]
  • Faggy at 50 - 2014 (Theatre Row); 2017 (Joe's Pub); 2018 (Tabard Theatre)[35][36][37]
  • Daddy - 2015 (Theatre Row); 2018 (Joe's Pub)[38][39]
  • Reel Wood - 2015 (Studio C Artists); 2018 (Eclectic Theatre)[40][41]
  • Christmas Caroline - 2015 (Studio C Artists)[42]
  • Knock Off! - 2016 (Theatre Southwest)[43]
  • Fall and Rise - 2016 (Acadia University); 2016 (Carrollwood Players Theatre); 2016 (Studio C Artists)[44][45][46]
  • Gayfever - 2016 (Funky Little Theatre Company)[47]
  • Sleeping With The Fish - 2016 (Emerald Theatre Company); 2017 (Darkhorse Dramatists); 2017 (Vermont Pride Theater); 2019 (KIT Playwright Series); 2018 (Island City Stage)[48][49][50][51][52]
  • The Voice - 2017 (Darkhorse Dramatists)[53]
  • GAY.PORN.MAFIA - 2018 (New York Live Arts Theater)[54]
  • My Darling Love - 2019 (Emerald Theatre Company)[55]
  • Members Only - 2020 (Almost Adults Productions)[56]

Critical Analysis[edit]

Joe's solo performances are presented in the tradition of (and homage to) monologist, Spalding Gray. This artistic choice is explained in the Bistro Awards review of "The Bronx Queen".[57] "Gulla delivered the entire show in Spalding Gray fashion: seated at a desk, reading the script aloud from a binder. At first I wondered whether this was such a great idea. Clearly Gulla knows (or nearly knows) the text by heart. But it turned out to be the right tack. There is a literary quality to Gulla’s storytelling. Were he to stand center stage or wander about—speaking his “writerly” text in stream-of-consciousness, off-the-cuff fashion—the effect might seem stilted. Gulla's strengths as a performer were evident even within the limited acting sphere he allowed himself, perched behind that table. His hand gestures were simple but emphatic, giving him an authoritative quality. He modulated his somewhat raspy voice subtly to take on the roles of the various characters in the monologue, but also to give his story shape and his sentiments depth."[58]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Joe Gulla Theatre Credits, News, Bio and Photos".
  2. ^ "Ah, to be Young, Gay and Backstage; Just Us Boys Gets Off-Bway Staging June 20–30". 20 June 2002.
  3. ^ "Hot Guidos and Macho Men Rocked His World | Next Magazine". Archived from the original on 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  4. ^ "Joe Gulla Will Perform at Dramatists Guild Event in Times Square".
  5. ^ "Joe Gulla Will Perform at Dramatists Guild Event in Times Square".
  6. ^ "Call Redialed: Joe Gulla: Daddy: United Solo Festival".
  7. ^ "Joe Gulla: The Bronx Queen".
  8. ^ "Joe Gulla's 'The Bronx Queen' Selected for Encore Performance". 23 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Joe Gulla's THE BRONX QUEEN Wins Audience Award at 2016 Downtown Urban Arts Festival".
  10. ^ "The 3rd Annual United Solo Theatre Festival". 26 April 2021.
  11. ^ "IMDb Page fr Joe Gulla". IMDb.
  12. ^ "United Solo Theatre Festival Announces Award Winners". 25 November 2014.
  13. ^ "United Solo » Daddy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-15.
  14. ^ "United Solo Festival Announces 2015 Winners". 24 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - in the basement".
  16. ^ "Villageplaywrights - Village Playwrights Production History".
  17. ^ "Theatre Southwest, Houston Texas".
  18. ^ "Hollywood's Theatre Row Unwraps Joe Gulla's CHRISTMAS CAROLINE".
  19. ^ "THE BRONX QUEEN Set for Joe's Pub, 3/8".
  20. ^ "Joe Gulla's SLEEPING WITH THE FISH to Open Village Playwrights' Pride Celebration".
  21. ^ "One Act Weekend 2016". March 2016.
  22. ^ "Writers". 27 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Minifest Award Winners - Theatre".
  24. ^ "Joe Gulla". IMDb.
  25. ^ "Broadway World Feature about Joe Gulla".
  26. ^ "Joe Gulla "Anti-Bullying Hero"". 5 October 2012.
  27. ^ "Join the Guild".
  28. ^ "Out Magazine Article about Garbo". 20 January 2012.
  29. ^ "Joe Gulla: The Bronx Queen".
  30. ^ "Garbo to Play Barrow Group Theatre; Casting Announced". 12 July 2011.
  31. ^ "Tickets on Sale Now for Joe Gulla's GARBO at Cherry Lane".
  32. ^ "THE BRONX QUEEN Set for United Solo Festival, Begin. 11/14".
  33. ^ "Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Joe Gulla & the Bronx Queen". 7 March 2016.
  34. ^ "Joe Gulla Brings THE BRONX QUEEN to Feinstein's/54 Below".
  35. ^ "Joe Gulla's FAGGY AT 50 to Hit Joe's Pub This Sunday".
  36. ^ "Joe Gulla's FAGGY AT 50 Makes its West Coast Debut".
  37. ^ "Call Answered: Joe Gulla: Faggy at 50: United Solo Festival".
  38. ^ "Call Redialed: Joe Gulla: Daddy: United Solo Festival".
  39. ^ "Photos: DADDY Brings Joe Gulla Back to Joe's Pub".
  40. ^ "In the Basement - Studio C Artists - Studio C Artists".
  41. ^ "Fantastic Z Showcase New Original Queer Plays with 4th Annual Festival | Seattle Gay Scene | Your Daily Gay in Seattle".
  42. ^ "Hollywood's Theatre Row Unwraps Joe Gulla's CHRISTMAS CAROLINE".
  43. ^ "Theatre Southwest's Festival of Originals Still Swingin' After 19 Years".
  44. ^ "Minifest Award Winners - Theatre".
  45. ^ "Local Event: One Act Weekend". 3 June 2016.
  46. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - studio c artists to launch next series of original plays "in the garage: Where you park your junk."".
  47. ^ "Call Redialed: Joe Gulla: GARBO: 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival at Cherry Lane Theatre".
  48. ^ "Joe Gulla's SLEEPING WITH THE FISH to Premiere as Part of Emerald Theatre's 'Out of the Closet' Festival".
  49. ^ "Darkhorse Dramatists return with 'Write to the Heart' festival". The Des Moines Register.
  50. ^ "Joe Gulla's SLEEPING WITH THE FISH Swims to Vermont".
  51. ^ "Joe Gulla's SLEEPING WITH THE FISH to Feature in KIT Playwright Series".
  52. ^ "'Shorts Gone Wild' Puts the 'QIA' in LGBTQIA at Island City Stage".
  53. ^ "Darkhorse Dramatists event presents 9 new plays".
  54. ^ "Photos: World Premiere of Joe Gulla's GAY.PORN.MAFIA at the New York Live Arts Theater".
  55. ^ "Joe Gulla's MY DARLING LOVE to Premiere as Part of Emerald Theatre's 'The Gift of Pride' Festival".
  56. ^ "Almost Adults Productions Presents Joe Gulla's MEMBERS ONLY".
  57. ^ "Joe Gulla : Bistro Awards".
  58. ^ "Joe Gulla : Bistro Awards".
  59. ^ "Joe Gulla's MY DARLING LOVE to Premiere as Part of Emerald Theatre's 'The Gift of Pride' Festival".
  60. ^ "Winners – Carlo Annoni Prize".
  61. ^ "History of Plays in the Lab - Last Frontier Theatre ConferenceLast Frontier Theatre Conference".
  62. ^ "Joe Gulla's GAY.PORN.MAFIA Wins Audience Award at 2018 Downtown Urban Arts Festival".
  63. ^ "Joe Gulla's GARBO Wins Audience Award at 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival".
  64. ^ "Joe Gulla's THE BRONX QUEEN Wins Audience Award at 2016 Downtown Urban Arts Festival".
  65. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - joe gulla".
  66. ^ "Minifest Award Winners - Theatre".
  67. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - joe gulla".
  68. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - joe gulla".
  69. ^ "Hollywood Fringe - joe gulla".

External links[edit]