John Blondell, Ph.D.

Professor of Theatre Arts, Chair
(805) 565-6778

Office Location

Porter Hall 112

Office Available

By Appointment


Directing, History of Theatre, Acting

Research Interests

Global Shakespeare, International Performance, History, Theory, and Practice of Directing for the Stage


Dr. 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 80 productions of classic 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, The Pirates of Penzance, The Insect Comedy, The Dido Project, As You Like It, 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 Festivals. His Lit Moon credits include 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, The Glass Menagerie, Richard III, 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, with invitations to theatres and festivals in Bulgaria, Scotland, Canada, Poland, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Albania, and China. International credits include The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Tampereen Teatteri, Tampere, Finland 2010), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre of Albania 2013), and four productions for the Bitola National Theatre in Bitola, Macedonia, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2017), Antony and Cleopatra 2015), and Henry VI, Part 3, which was featured at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, as part of its unprecedented Globe to Globe Festival, in which all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays were played in 37 different languages. John’s summer ’17 invitations include Lit Moon’s Hamlet at the Puppets Metamorphosis Festival in Bialystok, Poland, and King Richard III at the Bitola Shakespeare Festival; his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream premiered at the Ohrid Summer Festival, and will enter the theatre’s repertory in October. 

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.