Director of Production
Joe Cerqua is a freelance composer, producer, vocalist, sound designer and teacher
He has contributed original music to many of the Music and Theater Department's main stage and studio shows. Educated at the American Conservatory of Music and the Art Institute of Chicago, he also teaches master classes in theatrical composition and sound design at Roosevelt University.
Cerqua has contributed music to almost every major off-loop theatre in Chicago, including: Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Northlight, Court, Royal George, Apple Tree, The Athenaeum, National Jewish, and Shakespeare Rep. His music has also been heard nationally and internationally in productions at the American Players Theatre, The Cleveland Playhouse, Forward Theatre, Deaf West Theatre in LA, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Madison Rep, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Alliance in Atlanta, the Met in Los Angeles, Studio Arena, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Weston Playhouse, and the English Speaking Theatre of Vienna, as well as productions in Australia, Scotland, and Ireland.
His scores for Sideman, originally at Steppenwolf; How I Learned to Drive, Master Class, originally at Northlight Theater; and Broken Glass, originally at National Jewish Theatre have all enjoyed national tours. He was a featured composer at the Fringe Festival in Edinborough two years in a row.
Cerqua is the Producing Director and composer-in-residence for the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, a critically acclaimed thirteen-piece jazz orchestra and ten-member dance company. The musicians that have played on Joe's recordings read like a who's who of nationally known recording artists like Marcos Loya, Johnny Frigo, Orbert Davis, Bobbi Wilsyn, Aisha DeHaas, Liz Carroll, and Regina Taylor to name a
Cerqua has composed music for over 250 productions locally, nationally, and around the world.
His music and/or sound designs have been "Jeff" recognized 10 times, and he is also the recipient of four After Dark Awards and an Ostrander Award.