Reviews and Recommendations
What the critics said...
Michael Sommers of the New York Times praised the "sharp and clashing swordplay" staged by Joe for the James Rana's new adaptation of "Zorro!", performed at East Lynne Theater Company, calling the production "bold", "gung-ho" and "endearing". Local Cape May theater critic Kim Merrill (Cape May Star and Wave) singled out the show's "lively sword fights", praising the way Zorro "overpowers adversaries...with panache".
"perfectly staged" said Matt Robertson of nytheatre.com, reviewing Joe's creation of the chilling attempted rape of the lead character Ruth in the Metropolitan Playhouse production of "The Great Divide". Daniel M. Gold of the New York Times described the play's heroine as "brutally set upon".
When reviewing the New England premier of Stephen Sachs' "Bakersfield Mist"at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Ellen Petry Whelan of the Cape Cod Chronicle said, "When everything comes to a head, a well-choreographed and surprising fight scene (orchestrated by Joe Travers) realistically breaks out."
The off - Off Broadway Review called his work on "Duelists: the Forgotten Champions", "flawless...breathtaking, superb theatre".
Martin Denton of nytheatre.com wrote, "terrific..the real thing is on display here...fights performed with passion and panache...",
Irene Backalenick of Backstage said of his work on Shakespeare's Henry V "the battle scenes are amazingly real...".
and Mr. Denton said of his work on King Lear, "...Mr. Travers is invaluable: the production is peppered with thrilling fight sequences. The climactic duel between Edgar and Edmund is probably the most dynamic I've ever seen..."
What the Directors said...
"brilliant sense of realism….."
"…..dedication to safety"
"a great collaborator…"
"inventive, intuitive, insightful…"
"I can't say enough about how wonderful it was to have Joe work with us…Our cast was made up of various levels of skill and experience, ranging from veteran fighters to complete neophytes. What Joe was able to accomplish, in a relatively short amount of time, was astonishing. His gentle manner, sense of humor and efficient approach to the work made everyone feel comfortable and, by the end, competent, and all remarked on what a joy he was to work with. Best of all, he thoroughly understood the style we were going for… I've worked with many fight directors over the years, and Joe is head and shoulders above them all. I'd count it an honor and a privilege to have that opportunity again. He's the best!" Stephen Russell, Director
"Joe has a brilliant sense of realism, and an uncompromising dedication to safety. He is a consummate theater artist. He carefully crafts his work to seamlessly fit the style of each play, the dramatic position of each sequence within each play, and the vision of each director he works with. One of Joe’s many remarkable talents is his ability to inspire and nurture everyone in the rehearsal hall. Every actor, the director, the stage manager, and everyone on the staff and crew feels respected and enlightened in Joe’s hands. He adds immeasurably to every production – as a top professional and a human being. I offer enormous thanks and the highest recommendation to Joe Travers."
Dan Lombardo, Artistic Director, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre
"Joe is always my first choice when I want to hire a fight director. He is extremely patient with actors,..highly knowledgeable...and he is a great collaborator. I always know his fights will be truthful to the text, faithful to the concept, and safely performable...".
David Fuller, Artistic Director, The Jean Cocteau Repertory
"I was immediately struck by his capacity to communicate with actors of varying skill levels. He is able to assess the abilities of the actors, merge them with the needs and desires of the director, and produce a safe and visually stimulating scene, that not only tells the story, but shows off the actors in the most positive way. He understands that an action sequence must blend in...He goes into the depth of the characters..He is inventive, intuitive, insightful, and has a sense of humor that puts even the most tentative actor at ease....Joe is always my first choice."
Mark Harborth, Artistic Director, Gallery Players
"I have had the great fortune to work with Mr. Travers on numerous productions. Every encounter with him has been nothing but pleasure. Every cast that has had the opportunity to work with him has praised his ability, his teaching technique, and his incredibly supportive and pleasant approach. I recommend Mr. Travers without any hesitation."
Wanda Maragni, Managing Director, The Attic Ensemble