John Blondell, Artistic Director

About Artistic Director John Blondell

John Blondell is the Founding Artistic Director of the Lit Moon Theatre Company in Santa Barbara, California, and its international extension Lit Moon World; Professor of Theatre Arts and Global Ambassador for the Performing Arts at Westmont College, also in Santa Barbara; and Co-Founder of the Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival.  To date, John has directed over 100 productions in the US, Europe, and Asia. Recent directing credits include Eurydice for the Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Drama Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia; Pirej for Lit Moon World in Belche, Macedonia; so now i have confessed for the Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival; and Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya for Lit Moon. 

John’s theatre work features dramaturgical and theatrical experiments in the classics, site-specific work, festival development, and directing in languages he doesn’t speak but can order a beer in.  He fosters and enjoys miminalism, simplicity, suggestion, and mixes elements in a unique style honed over 35 years of directing in the US and abroad.  He uses the theatre to create inter-related webs of community and relationship, and has well-loved artistic communities in Santa Barbara, Bitola, Yerevan, and Karaganda. 

His Lit Moon productions have been seen in Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada, Scotland, China, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, and on the Network.  International credits include productions for the Tampereen Teatteri in Tampere, Finland; the Bitola (Macedonia) National Theatre; the National Theatre of Tirana (Albania); the Russian Drama Theatre of Karaganda Named After Stanislavsky in Karaganda, Kazakhstan; and the aforesaid Sundukyan in Yerevan. 

John’s Bitola National Theatre production of Henry VI Part 3 was featured at the 2012 Globe to Globe Festival, presented by Shakespeare’s Globe London, and his Westmont College 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.  

John is the recipient of 13 Independent Theatre Awards for excellence in Directing, the 2003 Faculty Research Award from Westmont College, and in 2013 was named Teacher of the Year in the Humanities at Westmont. In 2009, the Santa Barbara Independent named John a “Local Hero” for his “tireless devotion” to the international theatre community. 

To date, he has directed 14 Shakespearean plays, two projects related to the Sonnets, and multiple productions of Henry VI Part 3, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he has directed six times in four different languages.  2023 productions include Uncle Vanya in Santa Barbara; Richard III in Prague; the Macedonian novel Pirey in Bitola, North Macedonia; and The Skin of Our Teeth in Karaganda.