Not Your Average Joe: Math Teacher Trades Angles For Arias

For 31 years, Joe Gladstone worked as a math teacher in Syosset, New York. “I loved teaching, loved the kids, loved math, loved Syosset High School, loved my department. We had a bunch of people that we all grew up together. We were a family. It was marvelous.”

But in 2001, things changed when a new chairman of the Math Department arrived. “He micromanaged everything and had the personality of a piece of paper.” So Joe quit teaching and decided to pursue his other passion…the theatre.

Joe had been involved in community theatre for 20+ years in a number of different roles. But over time, he gravitated to the position of stage manager. Stage managers serve as the right hand to the director, overseeing sets, props, lights and sound and calling all technical cues during performances.

Today, he travels the country working as a freelance stage manager, primarily partnering with a wide range of opera companies. “It’s so emotional when the curtain goes up and the audience gives you a standing ovation.”