Playwright, Composer & Lyricist | Director | Teaching Artist
Joshua Goldberg is a theatre artist based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is a 2021 graduate of Bennington College, where he received a BA with concentrations in Drama, Music, and Playwriting. Since he started acting at age 7, Josh has worked in the theatre as a playwright/composer, director, choreographer, stage manager, designer, educator, administrator, and more. A number of his family musicals for young performers have been produced throughout seacoast New Hampshire, including An Oz Story, Get A Life!, and Belle of the Barn Dance. Other recent directing credits include teen productions of Pippin, Into The Woods, and Heathers at Upside Arts, as well a number of Elementary and Middle School productions. Josh is the Managing Director at youth theatre company Upside Arts, a Company Artist at New Hampshire Theatre Project, and Webmaster for The Players' Ring Theatre and MusicalArts Academy of Music and Dance.
I strive to create theatre that is fiercely kind and unapologetically empathetic. That is not to say there is no room in my work for danger, hardship, or darkness; in fact, quite the opposite. And with that darkness comes hope. I believe in telling stories that young actors and audiences can relate to, without talking down to them or underestimating their performative and emotional capabilities.
In addition to original stories, I often write plays and musicals that reinvent or reintroduce classic stories, made accessible to young people and their families. Paired with fun, colorful characters and original music, these adaptations give young audiences and actors “a way in” to a play, leaving room for surprise and growth. I also work in direct adaptation, bringing to the stage stories like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid that are perhaps better known for their timeless and beloved film adaptations. By using and expanding on the original text, in combination with original music, I strive to honor the spirit of the author’s work while introducing classics to a new generation in a refreshing way.
In my work as a playwright/composer and director, I seek to celebrate both the spirit and originality of the individual as well as the trust, collaboration, and community of the collective. Having grown up in an encouraging and whimsical theatre community, I understand the value of an early exposure to and experience in the performing arts. I have witnessed firsthand the magic of a young actor discovering a character that was written just for them. It is a powerful tool, exploring who you are by being someone else, and it asks each student to bring themselves, unfiltered, to the table. Theatre is collaboration, and I try to emphasize the importance of working hard both individually and collectively.
As a theatre artist and educator, I find myself constantly inspired by a Maurice Sendak quote: “the magic of childhood is the strangeness of childhood – the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see.” That universal idea is a constant in all of my work, whether in a play written for children or for older audiences, whether onstage or in a rehearsal room. It is not enough to train the next great actor, inspire the next lauded playwright, or foster the next generation of theatregoers. I believe in theatre that allows young actors and audiences to build confidence, grow empathy, and learn how to be themselves.
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." – Lewis Carroll
“Never give up... No one ever knows what’s going to happen next.” – L. Frank Baum
"If you can dream it, you can do it." – Walt Disney