Joe Santaniello
Director, Head of Crystal Theatre Continuing Education Classes

Joe began working at Crystal Theatre in 2003 as a counselor for the very popular summer camp, Arts in the Park. Soon he was directing a multitude of Crystal Theatre productions, including Perseus the Dragonslayer, Cosmic Nightingale, A Spinning Tale, Revolution 1777, Escape to the North Pole, Teen Angel, Best of Broadway, as well as many voice recitals and scene programs. Before he began directing, Joe played an active role in over 20 Crystal Theatre productions as a student actor, including the roles of Brutus/Lucius in the Off-Broadway production Cleopatra: A Life Unparalleled that was performed as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Joe also participated in productions for Crystal Opera, including Die Fledermaus, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and The Gondoliers. 

Joe earned his degree in Vocal Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music, studying under baritone Victor Jannett, with whom he still studies. Joe coaches additionally with Dr. Michelle Alexander at Boston University. Joe’s professional career is as acclaimed as his career with Crystal; he has performed as Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Lorenzo in I Capuletti e I Montecchi, Elviro in Serse, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, the Doctor in Hin und Zurük, Le Roi in Cendrillon, and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. Joe currently works as a voice teacher, director, and acting coach. He directs the after-school Drama Program at Ridgefield Academy, and has been a guest acting teacher and lecturer in the Norwalk Public School System. 

Joe is deeply grateful for Crystal Theatre’s role as his “home away from home” for his entire artistic career. He feels incredibly supported and loved by the other faculty, students, and parents alike, and loves to see the incredible effect Crystal Theatre has on so many individuals, reflecting his own growth as a performer and educator while being here. To Joe, Crystal Theatre’s ultimate goal is to offer affordable, yet thorough, vocal and acting training in a supportive and challenging environment. He would like to encourage students to possess confidence, individuality, and a desire to perform at their maximum capacity.