Professor of Theatre Arts (Chair)
Office Hours: By Appointment
Location: Porter Hall 112
Specialization: Directing, Theory and Practice of the Modern Stage,
Contemporary Shakespearean Performance,
Mask and Physical Theatre, European Fringe Theater
John Blondell is Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Westmont. Since arriving in 1988, John has taught a wide variety of courses, including all levels of acting, directing, theatre history, and dramatic literature and criticism. His productions of classical and contemporary plays have received local, regional, and international acclaim, and secured his reputation as one of Santa Barbara’s most progressive, adventurous directors. John’s Westmont credits include Peter Pan, Mother Courage and Her Children, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Frankenstein, The Clouds, Anonymous, Play Beckett, 33 Swoons: Three Farces by Anton Chekhov, Peer Gynt, and many others.
John is co-founder and director of the Lit Moon Theatre Company, an award-winning international theatre ensemble, and founder of the Lit Moon World Theater Festival, an international festival produced in Santa Barbara. For Lit Moon, he has directed twenty-five productions, including Alice in Wonderland, Metamorphoses, Through the Looking Glass, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Peer Gynt, Hamlet, Tartuffe, The Wedding, Queen C, Humbug: a (Lit Moon) Christmas Carol, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Henry VI Part 3, and many others. John has programmed twelve World Theatre Festivals, producing over 60 productions since the festival’s inception in 1998, including Theatre Credo, Sofia, Bulgaria; the Shamans, Budapest, Hungary; Do-Theatre, St. Petersburg; the Bulgarian National Theatre, Sofia; the Marhanishvilli State Drama Theatre, Tbilisi, Georgia; Teatr Modjeska, Legnica, Poland; Canus Tempus, Montreal; the Market Theatre of Johannesburg; the State Puppet Theatre of Bourgas, Bulgaria; and many others. In 2006, he created the Lit Moon World Shakespeare Festival, the only international Shakespeare Festival in the United States, and one of seven in the world.
Since 2000, Blondell has enjoyed an active international directing career. Blondell’s Lit Moon and Westmont productions have been seen at theatres and festivals in Bulgaria, Scotland, Canada, Poland, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, and Albania. In 2009, he directed and co-wrote An American Tune for the Bitola (Macedonia) National Theatre and in 2010 staged The Wonderful Adventures of Nils for the Tampereen Teatteri in Tampere, Finland. In 2012, his production of Henry VI Part 3, staged for the Bitola Theatre, was featured at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of its unprecedented Globe to Globe Festival, in which all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays were played in 37 different languages. Most recently, Lit Moon’s performance of The Tempest was featured at the Butrinti 2000 Festival in Butrint, Albania, and the inaugural Bitola Shakespeare Festival; John’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open the 2013-2014 season for the National Theatre of Albania in Tirana.
Blondell’s productions have received numerous awards, including nine Independent Theatre Awards and the 2003 Faculty Research Award for Westmont College, for his work as director and producer. In 2009, John was named a “Local Hero” by the Santa Barbara Independent for his “tireless activity on behalf of the global theatre community.” He is the Founding President of interACT, a network of international theatres created to make co-productions with one another. John holds a Ph. D. in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Vicki and their sons Nicholas, William, and Simon.