Professor of Theatre Arts, Chair
Phone: (805) 565-6778
Office Location: Porter Hall 112
Directing, History of Theatre, Acting
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 thirty 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, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard, and many others. From 1998-2010, John programmed twelve World Theatre Festivals, producing over 60 international productions, from such noted companies as the National Theatre of Bulgaria, the Marjanishvilli State Drama Theatre (Tbilisi), Do Theatre St. Petersburg, The Shamans (Budapest), and Theatre Credo (Sofia).
Since 2000, John has enjoyed an active international directing career. His Lit Moon and Westmont productions have been seen at theatres and festivals in Bulgaria, Scotland, Canada, Poland, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Albania, and China. International credits include three productions for the Bitola National Theatre in Bitola, Macedonia, including Antony and Cleopatra, which premiered at the 2015 Bitola Shakespeare Festival; The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, for the Tampereen Teatteri in Tampere, Finland; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the National Theatre of Albania (Tirana). 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 Hamlet played at the 2015 Bitola Shakespeare Festival, and The Cherry Orchard played at Bit Fest, Bitola’s annual multidisciplinary arts festival.
John is the recipient of eleven Independent Theatre Awards for excellence in Directing, and the 2003 Faculty Research Award from Westmont College. In 2009, he was named a “Local Hero” by the Santa Barbara Independent for his “tireless devotion” to the international theatre community. In 2014, his production of The Pirates of Penzance received three national awards, including “Distinguished Production of a Musical” and “Distinguished Director of a Musical” from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2014, he was named “Teacher of the Year” in the Humanities Division at Westmont. John holds a PhD in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Victoria Finlayson, and three strapping sons Nicholas, William, and Simon.