Joe Kodeih

جو قديح

Joe Kodeih


Joe Kodeih (جو قديح) is a Lebanese theatre professor, actor, writer, director, critic, and producer with a career that spans over thirty years. His extensive experience in both academic and artistic

settings has cemented his reputation as a versatile and innovative figure in the world of theatre.

As an actor, writer, director, and producer, Joe Kodeih has developed a portfolio of over 30 productions, ranging from original works to adaptations. His creative outputs are particularly noted for their portrayal and challenge of stereotypes and social prohibitions, often through highly acclaimed monologues which he wrote and performed. Some of his productions have enjoyed unprecedented success, with more than 100 consecutive performances and tours in cities both locally and internationally. Notably, Joe was the first from the Arab world to direct a play on an off-Broadway stage at the LAMAMA ETC. Theatre in NYC in 2003.

Joe is considered to be the first stand-up comedian in Lebanon and the one who introduced comedy through a monologue. He performed more than 10 solo plays, that were acclaimed in Lebanon and abroad. Joe’s plays were published in Belgium and in Lebanon, performed by many artists in Canada, Europe, the Arab world, and Africa. 

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Joe’s journey into the performing arts began with a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the Institut d’Études Scéniques, Audiovisuelles et Cinématographiques (IESAV) at Saint Joseph University (USJ). He further honed his craft by completing a Master’s Degree in Directing at IESAV USJ in 1998, followed by another Master’s in Drama Theory in 2020. In 2023, Joe deepened his passion for the human sciences by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. His academic pursuits have culminated in his current role as a PhD candidate in Theatre at Lebanese University. 

Joe is specialized in Commedia dell’ Arte and Jacques Lecoq techniques, in addition to his teaching that is based on the Stanislavski method, for film and theatre.

In 2013, Joe founded and became the artistic director of Theatre Gemmayze, reviving the oldest theatre in Beirut, which had been closed to the public for over 60 years. Under his leadership, the theatre became a vibrant artistic hub, hosting a variety of international workshops and productions as well as many festivals, including the UN film festival and collaborated with many embassies and universities in Lebanon, UK and France.

Over the past two decades, Joe has served as a theatre professor at various prestigious institutions including. His teaching focuses on acting methods and forming the actor, emphasizing self-expression, movement, and drama therapy. This has also allowed him to work professionally with multiple organizations to deliver comprehensive programs that blend academic insight with practical theatre applications. 

Joe’s contributions to the theatre are further enriched by his participation in various workshops and seminars around the world, studying under renowned figures and learning diverse acting techniques, including those of Meisner, Jacques Lecoq, and Meyerhold, among others. His multilingual capabilities, fluency in English, French, and Arabic, with basic knowledge of Italian and Polish, have facilitated his international collaborations and broadened his artistic impact.

Apart from his professional endeavors, Joe is a dedicated nature activist and an avid chess player. He holds a black belt in Aikido and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His personal interests also include yoga, meditation, and oil painting, reflecting his multifaceted personality and his deep connection with both the artistic and physical disciplines.

Joe Kodeih’s career is a testament to his passion for the arts and his unwavering dedication to fostering a rich, multicultural artistic community. His work not only entertains but also educates and provokes thought, making a significant impact on both the local and international stage.