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Check out Joe's reel. It includes scenes from his Network TV debut on Chicago PD.
In February 2019, Sophomore BFA Students produced The Retreat, or Whatevs, Joe's contemporary adaptation of As You Like It at the Theatre School at DePaul University.
Joe was nominated for the Wilde Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his performance as Max in Comedy of Tenors at Tipping Point Theatre.
Union status: EMC
|Chicago PD||Kent Kosar||NBC|
|The Patient||The Doctor (lead)||Lunaform Productions (d. Ben Krueger)|
|Sweet Hitchhiker||The Hitchhiker (lead)||I've Got a Bat Productions (d. Kevin Riordan)|
|Finders Keepers||Sick Shoe||NYU Grad Film Short (d. Sasha Gordon)|
|Game Club||Nigel (lead)||Tribeca Flashpoint Acad. Film Short (d. Henry Pearson)|
|The Soul Mate||Alvy||New School Grad Film Short (d. Paola Romagnani)|
|Wilson Dow Group||Husband of Terminally Ill Woman||d. Mickey Lesueur|
|Greentown Productions||Frank the Incompetent Sales Associate||d. Thad Vassmer|
|Miller Creative||Business Traveler||d. Mark Carter|
|DuPont||Maintenance Worker||d. Mike Stahl|
|Conflict list available upon request.|
|Comedy of Tenors||Max||Tipping Point Theatre (d. Angela Kane Ferrante)
Wilde Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Play
|The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence||Watson||Open Book Theatre (d. Krista Schafer Ewbank)|
|The Totalitarians||Jeffrey Jefferson||Theatre Nova (d. Carla Milarch)|
|This||Alan||Windy City Playhouse (d. Carl Menninger)|
|No Wake||Teddy/Roger (u/s)||Route 66 (d. Kimberly Senior)|
|Engines and Instruments of Flight: a Fantasia||Tony Kushner||Goodman Playwrights Unit (d. Seth Bockley, reading)|
|Jerusalem is Beautiful||Dylan||Kickshaw Theatre (d. Lynn Lammers, reading)|
|Bulrusher||Schoolch||Congo Square (d. TaRon Patton)|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||Bottom||Sankofa Theatre (d. Edgar Sanchez)|
|Buddy Cop 2||Officer Don McMurchie||Pavement Group (d. Cassy Sanders)|
|Arcadia||Ezra Chater||New Leaf Theatre (d. Jessica Hutchinson)|
|State & Madison: The Grid||Edward Brennan||Theatre Seven (d. Jen Green)|
|Unwilling and Hostile Instruments||Ensemble||Theatre Seven (d. Elly Green)|
|Raskol||Detective Perfidy||Vintage Theatre Collective (d. David Amaral)|
|Walk Two Moons||John/Mr. Birkway||Adventure Stage (d. Matthew Reeder)|
|So Long and Thanks for All the Fish||Bud Dailey||Pavement Group (d. William Rogers)|
|Movie Theater Parking Lot||Tim/Dad||Pavement Group (d. Kathryn Walsh)|
|Kitchen||Man||Walkabout (dev. Dani Bryant)|
|War of the Genies||Nigel the Evil Genie (reading)||Adventure Stage (d. Joanie Schultz)|
|200 Funny Things||Ensemble (improv show)||Collaboraction (d. Steven Ivcich)|
|Hiawatha's Photographing||Hiawatha||Caffeine Coffeehouse (d. Brian Bell)|
|Dover, New Hampshire||Joe||Pavement Group (d. Jonathan Green)|
|Crowded House||Leonard Woolf||State Theatre (d. Siciliano/Speicher)|
|Do Not Do This Ever Again||Ensemble (reading)||Dog & Pony (d. Stephen Ptacek)|
|We Live Here||Doug, Bartman (workshop)||Theatre Seven (d. Bordelon/Sanders)|
|Lies and Liars||Marcel||Theatre Seven (d. Bordelon/Sanders)|
|Sketchbook 8||Bell Ensemble||Collaboraction (d. Anthony Moseley)|
|Parking Justice||Lead Puppeteer (After Dark)||Collaboraction (d. Seth Bockley)|
|Iowa||Ted the Tech Guy (reading)||Sanscullotes Theater Company (d. Libby Ford)|
|Looptopia||Mad Scientist||Redmoon (d. Seth Bockley)|
|The Seagull||Treplev||Another Theater Company (NYC, d. Michael Kier)|
|As You Like It||Adam/Corin/Sir Oliver||Gorilla Rep (NYC, d. Lauren Edgar)|
|To Be a Black Man in America||Game Show Host||Ujamaa Black Theater Company (NYC, d. Titus Walker)|
|Spring Awakening||Moritz||Brown U. (d. Paul Grellong)|
|Jesus Christ Superstar||Annas (priest)||Brown U. (d. Eric Green)|
|Dangerous Liaisons||Azalon||Brown U. (d. Alejandro Aixala)|
|A Flea in her Ear||Doctor Finache||Brown U. (d. Spencer Golub)|
|Moon Under Miami||Reggie Kayak||Brown U. (d. Judith Swift)|
|Principal Principle||d. Scott Bishop||World Premiere: Stage Left/Theatre Seven, 2014
Jeff Award Nomination: Best New Work
|Principal Principle||d. Heidi Handelsman||Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep|
|Principal Principle||d. Sheila Summers||Dolphin Theatre (Auckland, NZ)|
|Principal Principle||d. Suzanne Cohen||Mirror Stage Seattle (reading)|
|Principal Principle||d. Ben Brownson||Theatre Seven of Chicago (reading)|
|Principal Principle||d. Stephen Landry||Acadiana Repertory Theatre (reading)|
|The Absent Minded||d. Steve Peebles||Shattered Globe Theatre (reading)|
|The Absent Minded||d. Dennis Frymire||The Ruckus Theatre (reading)|
|The Pigeons||d. Cassy Sanders||Walkabout Theater Company|
|The Pigeons||d. Rebecca Zellar||Stage Left (reading)|
|Everythingaoke||d. Elly Green||LiveWire - VisionFest|
|Kodak Shirley||d. Ben Brownson||Broken Nose Theatre - Bechdel Fest|
|Overnight Parking Ban, in Effect||d. Sarah Swift||Collaboraction - Sketchbook|
|Roll||d. Eric Turner||Tympanic Theatre - Today We Escape|
|Ferrotitanium||d. Kate Lester||Station Nation (Providence, RI, conceived by Erik Ehn)|
|At the Old Ball Game||d. Stephen Anderson||Chicago Dramatists (Saturday series)|
|The Staircase||d. Bettie Stegall||The Source Theater (Washington, DC)|
|Hold Me, Drill Me, Kiss Me||d. Chris Hayes and Alix Sobler||Chicago, Winnipeg, DC|
|Dead White Men in Bed||d. Liz Hayes||NYC, Providence|
|"What Inspired You as a Writer This Season?" The Dramatist, Vol. 17 No. 5.5. June 2015.|
|Principal Principle. Dramatic Publishing. 2015.|
The School at Steppenwolf - Summer 2014
On-Camera - Shannon Cochran, Matthew Miller, David Murphy
Meisner - Amy Morton, Audrey Francis, Darci Nalepa, Mark Cohen
Improv - Sheldon Patinkin, Susan Messing, Ed Illades, iO (levels 1-2)
Shakespeare/Folio Technique - Susan Hart, Jeffrey Carlson, Bob Mason, Nick Sandys
Voice - Kate DeVore, Peggy Mollenero
Viewpoints - Jon Berry
Text Analysis - Tim Hopper
Monologues - Kimberly Senior
Feldenkrais - Suzanne Thompson
Chekhov - Zeljko Djukic
Clown - Paola Coletto, Jane Nichols
Devised/Physical Theatre Workshop - Jonathan Walters, Hand2Mouth
Brown University (magna cum laude)
Solo performance - Lowry Marshall
Dramaturgy - Oskar Eustis
Alexander - Kristen Davis
Dialects, jazz bass, taught middle and high school for seven years and still really enjoys working with children, driver's license, passport, moderate French, moderate Zulu, moderate HTML/CSS/PHP, can work without glasses
This page collects photos and press clips about Joe's acting. For information about Joe's writing, click here.
"I felt almost guilty for laughing so hard." Kym Reinstadler, Encore Michigan
"Zarrow's all-in performance was, for me, the true standout." Jenn McKee, We Love Ann Arbor
"Mr. Zarrow does an excellent job of changing characters...Zarrow’s humanity in his role as artificial-intelligence guy is slightly eerie." David Kiley, Encore Michigan
"Zarrow displays a natural comedic timing and ease." Raymond Pierce, Chicago Stage Standard
"It's a testament to Zarrow's standout performance that Alan never feels like a trope, conveying with gentle smiles and a few barbs what a mixed blessing his perfect memory can be." Allison Shoemaker, Time Out Chicago
"The real standouts however, are Amy Rubenstein (Jane) and Joe Zarrow (Alan). Their complexities are so strong and unique, we can't help but latch on." Sean Margaret Wagner, Windy City Times
"The three who deserve the most praise are the trio at the center of the story: Cyd Blakewell, Gabriel Franken, and Joe Zarrow, playing three small-minded but well-meaning small-town cops, each of whom wants desperately to turn the story of a young girl dying of a mysterious disease at Christmas into a heartwarming made-for-TV movie." Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader (Recommended)
"★★★★" Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
"Joe Zarrow is quite good as Chater, the cuckolded wanna-be poet and would-be rival of Septimus. This is a part that does require an air of blustery farce, and Zarrow delivers to a tee." Alex Huntsberger, Centerstage
"[A] fabulous little play." Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"★★★★ Mr. Zarrow is a courageous and ambitious fellow...Zarrow's dentists appear to be relatively sane; it's he who is nuts." Tim Treanor, DC Theatre Scene
"★★★★" - The Winnipeg Sun
"★★★★ No need for nitrous oxide...writer-performer Joe Zarrow gets you laughing the natural way, with his rapid-fire patter, sharp comic timing and engaging storytelling." - CBC Radio
John in Walk Two Moons, Adventure Stage
Schoolch in Bulrusher, Congo Square
Check out Joe's profile on the New Play Exchange.
If you are considering producing Principal Principle, please read this note about casting.
Photo by Emily Schwartz
Armed only with her dreams of making the world a better place and six weeks of training, Kay Josephs quits her corporate job to teach English in an urban high school. She wakes up to harsh realities: the copy machine is broken, the system is broken, and the spirits of her fellow teachers are broken. Or are they? A dark comedy of academic intrigue.
"There are very few excellent plays about public education. This is one."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"★★★★ This clear-eyed glimpse into the teachers' lounge makes hearty laughs part of an all too relevant lesson plan."
- Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
"Former public school teacher Joe Zarrow achieves something remarkable...an entertaining play about education that re-creates all the quirks and craziness of modern education without lapsing into either cynical hopelessness or Hollywood-style superteacher fantasies. His dialogue feels authentic, and his characters are flawed but likable human beings, not mouthpieces for this or that ideology."
- Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader
"Engaging, intelligent, and important. Highly recommended."
- Peter Thomas Ricci, Chicago Theater Review
NEW: A Chicago-based nonprofit director disappeared to a retreat in rural Wisconsin months ago, and in his absence the board has started firing staff left and right. One by one, they run to the woods to find new identities, new purpose, and new love. A modern update of Shakespeare's As You Like It.
NEW: A beloved comic book superheroine is finally getting her own feature film, but some fans are very unhappy with the casting. A universe-hopping play about geek culture, race, and keeping your story straight.
NEW: Domestic drone operator Boyd should be doing well: he has a loving wife, a supportive business partner, and a clean bill of health after a bout with cancer. Instead, he's so acutely desperate to escape his body that he turns to a mad scientist for help in this dark comedy about the mind-body problem.
Photo by Stephan Mazurek
When Martin's girlfriend kicks him out of their apartment for cheating, he has to find new digs quickly in Chicago's diverse, rapidly-gentrifying West Town neighborhood. To get the only existing apartment, he'll have to compete with a rabid overgrown frat boy, a Machiavellian real estate agent, a determined Polish saleslady, an embittered barista, and a flock of very angry pigeons. How far will Martin be willing to go to stay in the neighborhood he loves so much?
"Without a doubt, one can arrive unprepared forJoe Zarrow's new play, The Pigeons, produced by Walkabout Theatre, at Swim Cafe's space. It's easily the cleverest, foxiest and physically wildest farce I've seen since, well, forever."
- Paige Listerud, Chicago Theater Blog
"Very funny satire."
- Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader (Recommended)
A science-fictional exploration of the transformational power of karaoke. Includes robots, pandas, and the Gettysburg Address.
Photo by Shane Simmons
At a small town high school's active shooter drill, the backdrop of blank shots and bullet hole makeup inspires two teens and two adults to explore what is real in their world. Written for The Appetizer Plays speed playwriting festival.
"Kodak Shirley" was the colloquial term for the models whose faces were used to calibrate color film printers. This time-hopping exploration of politics and photographic technology was commissioned for Broken Nose Theatre's Bechdel Fest.
Sibling rivalry, a circle of vengeance-wreaking, and a cat named Bongo with an unfortunate haircut. A fun short play for young actors, commissioned for the Piven Theatre Scene Study Class.
Jade is crushed that her D&D group is breaking up, but she convinces Kristin to hang around for one last very important dungeon crawl. Inspired by Radiohead's "Let Down," and commissioned for Tympanic Theatre's Today We Escape festival.
"A superlative example of character driving storytelling."
- Zach Barr, Chicago Theatre Review
A Chicagoan confronts the city's parking violation bureaucracy.
The game has gone into extra innings: dozens of them. Novice sports broadcaster Guy wants to get home to his wife and child, but veteran Buck has different ideas. A metaphysical comedy morsel.
To contact Joe, please use the form below.