WALKER JOYCE grew up in New Providence and now lives in Chatham. He earned a B.A. in English, then began a 40-year career in Show Business. As a New York-based actor he performed in the city and across the country, most notably in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical BIG RIVER, Roger Miller’s take on HUCKLEBERRY FINN, playing the villainous “King.” During the national tour, Time magazine’s Pulitzer Prize winning critic William Henry wrote an essay entitled “How Does Broadway Play in Peoria?,” and praised his performance thusly: “ As a scalawag conman, Walker Joyce malevolently out-performs his antecedents.”
Another signature role is Benjamin Franklin in several productions of 1776, a part he can’t out-grow and he hopes to play again! After a spell in Los Angeles pursuing movies and television, Walker moved home to New Jersey and founded The Bickford Theatre, an Equity company now in its 23rd season. As the first Artistic Director, he produced 28 shows in 6 years, directing 10 and appearing in 5. They won numerous awards, including 3 consecutive Best Play of the Year citations in the Star Ledger’s annual survey. In recent years, Walker served in executive positions for the Opera at Florham and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He continued to appear on other local stages, including NJ Rep, Luna and 12 Miles West. Nowadays, he’s a freelance director, writer and consultant. As the Showcase’s Arts columnist, he continues to keep a sharp eye on performances and trends here and around the country.
Walker is also a life-long history buff, with a particular interest in the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers. He’s forever chagrined at how New Jersey’s rich legacy has never been properly taught or even preserved by the state, as his “Milestones” column in the Showcase has shown.