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Airline Highway - Broadway

Manhattan Theatre Club presents Lisa D'Amour's new play.

Airline Highway's Joe Tippett on Scraping Change Out of Ashtrays & Learning to Swim Without Floaties

Airline Highway's Joe Tippett on Scraping Change Out of Ashtrays & Learning to Swim Without Floaties
Joe Tippett photographed by Caitlin McNaney at Bourbon Street for Broadway.com
'I was just picking up girls—lifting them, not hitting on them. Well, maybe a little of both.'

Age: 33

Hometown: Damascus, MD

Current Role: Making his Broadway debut as the charismatic Bait Boy, who returns to his former residence at the rundown Hummingbird Motel for a “living funeral” in Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway.

Stage & Screen Cred: Tippett has appeared in the world premiere of Bull Durham, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, off-Broadway’s Ashville, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and numerous regional credits.

"My brother got me into theater when they were shorthanded for the school production of Bye Bye Birdie. I was just picking up girls—lifting them, not hitting on them. Well, maybe a little of both."

"I got a full tuition scholarship to West Virginia University. It’s like the Juilliard of Appalachia. I started taking acting seriously. Then I dropped out of college because I was also taking drinking very seriously. My BAC was higher than my GPA."

"I shit you not, any job I’ve had is just six degrees from the Williamstown Theatre Festival. I did an apprenticeship there and got some parts since I was like, the only asshole who could play guitar. I also made a lot of New York contacts."

"I had a buddy whose dad worked for Goldman Sachs and had an amazing apartment in Alphabet City but was never there. He was always skiing in Aspen or Bolivia or some shit, so I had this great place but no money. I was scraping change out of his ashtrays."

"Being directed by Joe Mantello is like how my mom taught me to swim: She takes the floaties off and throws you in the pool—and you know she’s not going to let you drown. He’s good at getting what he’s looking for by making you think it’s your idea."

"Airline Highway is written in columns; it looks like a spreadsheet. I didn’t really know how to read it at first. When we had our first read-through, everything started to sing. The musicality of the language just popped."

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