A free-lance satirist based in Tarrytown, N.Y., Joe is the author of 10 books, including If You’re Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble and Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon. His 2009 memoir Closing Time was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A frequent contributor to BBC Radio, his work there includes From the Mayflower to the Moon (And Back Again), A Brief History of Shame and Hitler’s Favourite Cowboy. He also made three short films for Britain’s Channel 4: Mickey Rourke for a Day, My Fair Hugh, and So You Wanna Be a Gangster. He wrote, directed and starred in the financially ruinous 1994 low-budget film Twelve Steps to Death, an unsparing assault on 12-step programs of all descriptions He writes the Moving Targets column for the Wall Street Journal and has been a regular contributor to the New York Times, Barron’s, GQ, The Guardian and innumerable other periodicals over the years.
In May of 2019, his first play with TJ Elliott , Alms, enjoyed a sold out Off Broadway Equity Showcase production. Their second collaboration, Grudges, a dark comedy that mined the hilarity in familial polarity between two brothers estranged by the 2016 election, ran live on Zoom for seven heralded performances in July 2020. Genealogy, their third collaboration, is very fortunately part of Broom Street Theater’s 2021 season.
T.J. co-wrote 2019’s Alms with Joe Queenan, which was staged as an Equity Showcase at TheaterWorks in NYC. That SRO comeback ended his 35-year hiatus from Off-Broadway. In those lost years, he produced, directed, and performed among casts of thousands in a mélange of corporate telenovelas and tragic, comic, melodramatic, and semi-absurd organizational performance art.
Earlier stage-works included Lazy Eye at Warren Robertson’s Studio Theatre, as well as writing, directing, and producing two unexpected break-even Off-Off Broadway runs of the Captive Audiences revues. He also appeared regionally as an actor in The Devil’s Disciple (Reverend Anthony Anderson), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Bernie), and The Dumbwaiter (Ben). In the early 1980s, T.J. studied with Alan Brody, Terry Schreiber, and Jill Andre.
In the Spring and Summer of 2020, T.J. produced live on Zoom for eleven performances the dark comedy, Grudges, also cowritten with Queenan — to whom he owes his return to playwrighting. In November 2020, he directed Within The Context of No Context celebrating the 40th anniversary of the publication of that momentous essay by the late George W.S. Trow. In December, Knowledge Workings Theater premiered his mostly fake Swedish screwball comedy Keeping Right. Genealogy by Queenan and Elliott will premiere in Madison Wisconsin at Broom Street Theater in November 2021. T.J. lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife, Marjorie Phillips Elliott, with whom he co-founded Knowledge Workings Theater
Marjorie Phillips Elliott
Marjorie’s work as Executive Producer & Co-founder of Knowledge Workings Theater arises form deep roots in the arts. Having studied theater at Skidmore College and photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Marjorie brings to her role at Knowledge Workings a wide array of talents and experiences including her work in the film industry in the 1980s. Her support of our productions ranges from strategy to prop design to photo retouching to publicity consultation and beyond. Marjorie is also the Chair of the Board of Chamiza Foundation, a nonprofit helping to ensure the continuity & living preservation of Pueblo Indian culture and traditions, and on the Members Committee of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
Our amazing team of regulars and part-time volunteers are committed to these theater productions. Their talent and passion astonishes; their dedication to getting theater up energizes notable collaborators including Sally Phillips — our press release expert, John Clay — director of Alms, the stars of that sold-out production: Jack Farrell, Kathleen Huber, Aaron Long, supporter from the get-go, marvelous actress and acting coach, Lynne Otis, James Lawson, Gahlia Eden, and that wizard of our artwork, Sarah Lewis Smith
And more! Grudges brought us director Dora Endre, sparkling actors Jasmine Dorothy Haefner, John Blaylock, Andre Montgomery, Ed Altman, Assistant Emma Denson, Volunteer experts and rabble rousers Patrick O’Shea, and the ever resourceful Gifford Elliott
Knowledge Workings explored older originally non-theatrical material through our November 2020 LIVE FREE readings of George W.S. Trow’s 1980 essay Within the Context of No Context. That event brought into our happy band (again but this time as actor) John Clay , Quanda Johnson , Meghan Cox , and (again with great verve) Aaron Long Together this quartet gave life to what Kyle Chayka in The Nation described as a work that allows us to “see the world differently; becomes part of your mental landscape. … seems to apply to each new moment.”
And then there’s Joe Queenan who defies description and to whom we owe this renaissance because in a way he inspired all of this
Think you would be a good fit for such a group? Get in touch for a conversation!