Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus is a Theatrical Photographer living in Manhattan New York, USA.

During her extraordinary career, Marcus has also trained her camera on hundreds of Off-Broadway shows, regional theatre productions, and national tours. Her inimitable work has been featured in countless magazines, newspapers, websites, theatre programs, and billboards — bringing these shows, and their unforgettable characters and the brilliant actors who inhabit them, to full-blown life. [1][2]


Marcus, originally from Pittsburgh,[3] was educated at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has been active as a theatrical photographer in Washington, D.C. and Served as the house photographer for the Kennedy Center and then moving to New York City for most of her career. Starting in 1986, she has been a photographer on Broadway theatre productions,[1] covering over a hundred shows including Wicked, The Lion King, Sister Act, and The Book of Mormon.[4] She is considered to be “one of the preeminent Broadway photographers.”[5]


Having an eye for unique moments in a show is key to Marcus’ success. Sometimes a moment is all you get. She took what would become an iconic photo of Angels in America during a brief shoot at a run-through of the first of the two-part epic, Millennium Approaches. She was standing in the house and was able to get off just a handful of snaps in the show’s final moments, when the Angel bursts through the ceiling of a man dying of AIDS. [11]




In 2014, Joan Marcus was awarded a Tony Honours for Excellence in the Theatre at the New York Broadway Tony Awards.[9][10] The Tony Honours for Excellence in the Theatre are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories. Marcus has photographer almost 300 Broadway shows, as well as hundreds of Off Broadway productions across the country.




My big break photo would have to be Lillian [a one person show about Lillian Hellman starring Zoe Caldwell]. I was working at the Kennedy Center, and it was the first Broadway show I photographed— because it had tried out at the Kennedy Center. It was the first time I had done something in the commercial arena, and it became a very visible photo.[12]


Karel Vanhaesebrouck wrote: From its very beginning photography has always held a tense relation with theatre practice, both media influencing and contaminating each other in a permanent and systematic way. At the same time, both are traditionally situated at the opposite ends of a spectre in which the degree of medium specificity is taken as a pivotal point of reference. Within theatre history and performance studies (the scope of which is not solely defined by contemporary forms of theatricality), Photography and more specifically theatre photography occupy a privileged place they are no longer considered to be a theatrical residue, but are, on the contrary, regarded as an integral part of a visual history, of a cultural history which focuses on the place of theatre in society. [13]

Joan Marcus is married to the theatrical press agent Adrian Bryan-Brown of Boneau/Bryan-Brown, a leading theatrical press agency.[6][7] They are both involved with Broadway theatre and have been included in “The 10 Greatest Broadway Couples of All Time”.[8]

See a Slide Show of Joan’s Photographs from Hartford Stage Production HERE

See More of Joan’s Remarkable Theatre Works at her WEBSITE HERE





  1. Joan Marcus at the Internet Broadway Database.
  2. Ferri, Josh (8 June 2014). “Tony Award Recipient Joan Marcus Looks Back On 10 Photos That Changed the Course of Her Career”. The Daily Scoop ( Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. Greer, Ann (December 1991). “People: Marcus’s job is more than shooting stars”. American Theatre.
  4. “Pictures from “Wicked” A New Musical”. Beyond the Rainbow to Oz. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  5. Rothstein, Mervyn (19 May 2006). “A Life in the Theatre: Photographer Joan Marcus”. Playbill. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  6. Adrian Bryan-Brown at the Internet Broadway Database.
  7. “Picture – Adrian Bryan-Brown and Joan Marcus at The Plaza Hotel, Tony Awards New York New York United States, Monday 9th June 2014”. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  8. Stewart, Zachary (13 February 2014). “The 10 Greatest Broadway Couples of All Time”. TheaterMania. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  9. Gans, Andrew (9 April 2014). “Tony Honors for Excellence Will Be Presented to Joe Benincasa, Joan Marcus and Charlotte Wilcox”. Playbill. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. “BWW TV Exclusive: Tony Honors Joan Marcus – A Tony Awards Special Feature”. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  11. Playbill Photographer Joan Marcus Captures Theatre History
  12. Tony Award Recipient Joan Marcus
  13. Karel Vanhaesebrouck published by Manuel Vason – Theatre Performance Studies


External Links

Holding the Man on DVD Here