August 10, 2022

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Gerald Carpenter: Westmont Theater Goes World | Arts & Entertainment

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John Blondell

John Blondell

Living inside incredibly close horizons, as we all do currently, it is encouraging — not to say inspiring — to come across a nearby carrying out arts business achieving out to develop a human, as opposed to virtual, network for sharing their artwork and know-how with identical corporations all-around the entire world.

It is logical and fully correct the sponsoring company ought to be an institution of greater studying.

Hence, the Westmont Theater Arts Department has founded a new program targeted on variety, justice, world-wide engagement, and intercultural competency.

Starting this autumn, as a element of the Justice and Worldwide Engagement in the Theatre Arts Initiative, Westmont’s resident magus, John Blondell — director, designer, professor of theater arts — will become the new international ambassador in the performing arts. The software will also establish a new artist/scholar-in-residence for range, fairness and inclusion in theater arts.

“I am delighted and honored,” reported Blondell. “These positions reflect the department’s commitment to request alter and transformation relative to community, countrywide and world-wide discussions and actions.”

Blondell will train and direct for one particular semester at Westmont and invest the remaining semester doing the job in worldwide theater.

Westmont’s chair of Theater Arts, Professor Mitchell Thomas, stated: “John has created a stellar and altogether one of a kind skilled occupation directing global theater all above the globe. His ordeals, connections and specialist do the job right benefit our theater arts college students and give a distinct lens into international theater-earning.

“Westmont Theater has hosted artists and students from all more than the world in link with John’s networks, producing a really magical artistic and instructional environment below in Santa Barbara. I just can’t believe of a more apt and fitting title for John than worldwide ambassador as he certainly embodies the world aspiration of the college’s vision.”


Blondell is the founding artistic director of the Lit Moon Theatre Firm, director of the Lit Moon World Theater Festivals, and co-founder of the Bitola (Macedonia) Shakespeare Pageant. He has directed more than 80 professional productions, and manufactured an additional 60 for Lit Moon’s various intercontinental festivals.

Blondell’s Lit Moon productions have been staged in China, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Scotland and Canada. His global credits involve productions for the Tampereen Teatteri in Tampere, Finland the Bitola (Macedonia) Countrywide Theatre (four instances) the Russian Theatre of Karaganda in Kazakhstan and the National Theatre of Albania.

Blondell’s Bitola Countrywide Theatre output of “Henry VI, Section 3” was featured at the 2012 World to World Festival, offered by Shakespeare’s Globe London. His 2013 Westmont College or university generation of “The Pirates of Penzance” gained a few national awards, which includes Distinguished Manufacturing of a Musical and Distinguished Director of a Musical, from the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C.

Until finally we have the world pandemic on the run, Blondell will devote himself to distinct intercontinental tasks these kinds of as the two he’s by now completed: a film of “A Midsummer Night’s Aspiration Quarantine” with Kazakh and American actors, and a virtual creation of “Uncle Vanya,” presented reside on Fb final summer.

“Coming up in the winter and spring,” Blondell reported, “I’ll immediate a few intercontinental, networked productions — with actors from Armenia, Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Russia, Italy and the U.S. — ‘Ivanov’ and ‘The Three Sisters’ by Anton Chekhov, and Shakespeare’s ‘Cymbeline,’ ” Blondell said.

“When things open all over again, I have been invited to immediate in Karaganda (Kazakhstan), Yerevan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Cetinje (Montenegro), and to co-produce an international festival in China,” he claimed.

Blondell is also producing a new class about contemporary global theater observe, which will satisfy Westmont’s Contemplating Globally Basic Education Need.

In the meantime, Westmont has launched a search for the new artist/scholar-in-home, who will interact with the larger Santa Barbara local community through workshops, productions, visitor lectures and creative collaboration.

“The guest artist/scholar posture will infuse new lifetime, power and perspectives into our neighborhood, and enable us to supply a greater array of critical core classes focused on equity, inclusion and range in the theater arts,” Thomas claimed.

— Gerald Carpenter handles the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be arrived at at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his individual.