Jon Kellam, has over 30 years combined theatre experience as a performing artist, director, project creator, and teacher. Jon is a co-founder and artistic director of BÄMSEMBLE, a new theatre company based in Italy. He developed a system of performance, training and devising, called Superdrama and is currently training the company. He served as co-artistic director and co-founder of Zoo District Theatre (Los Angeles), was previously a resident director, member, and director of education at The Actors’ Gang (Los Angeles), is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre West (Los Angeles), and served as director of the Get Lit Players (Los Angeles) in 2012.
Jon is in the process of developing, directing, and co-devising (with BÄMSEMBLE) a liberal adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes classic interlude, El Retablo De Las Maravillas (The Marvelous Puppet Show) entitled SALT. SALT will premiere at Cavallerizza Reale, in Torino, Italy in November 2017 and perform at Teatro C’Art in Castelfiorentino, Italy, in winter 2018.
Some of Jon’s most notable directorial credits include Brecht’s Drums In The Night, David Ball’s adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe (toured in the U.S.), and The Exonerated, by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (toured in the U.S.), and Daniel Berrigan, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (toured in the U.S. and Brisbane, Australia as a featured production with the International Brisbane Theatre Festival, in 2009) all produced by The Actors’ Gang. Also with The Actors’ Gang, Jon assisted Simon Abkarian on the critically acclaimed production of Love’s, Labour’s, Lost. At Zoo District, Jon directed and co-created the award winning production of Nosferatu…Angel of the Final Hour, and co-directed Home; the Search for the Lost Tablet of Ur. Other notable directing credits include, Death…A Very Serious Comedy, performed at the Ebell theater in Los Angeles, Shape of A Girl (Co-director) and The Ass (by Parviz Sayyad) both presented by The Edge of the World Theatre Festival at L.A.T.C. Also directed The Raven – ‘Poe Time’ (adapted from Edgar Allen Poe) presented by Get Lit at The Actors’ Gang, Helena Modjeska – The Artist’s Dream co-developed and directed in Krakow, Poland and performed in Chicago at the Chopin theatre and at the Bowers museum in Orange County CA. In January 2014, he co-directed a development workshop of The House is Black, at the Freud Theatre produced by Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (previously UCLA Live) directed, created, and performed by Sussan Deyhim.
Independently, Jon has taught numerous physical theatre workshops nationally and internationally. Teaching credits include Commedia dell’ Arte at Playwrights’ Horizons professional actor training program in New York City, and The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He served as Co-Chair of Theatre at Champs Charter Multimedia and Performing Arts High School, and was a lead teacher for The Actors’ Gang at the California State University Summer Arts Festival in Monterey Bay, 2012. In 2008-9 he served as adjunct professor and teaching artist at California State University Los Angeles, where he directed Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. Jon contributes regularly as a teaching artist for the University of Texas summer abroad program, in Florence, Italy. He is currently teaching Superdrama and directing Il Malato Immaginario in Torino, Italy at Atelier Teatro Fisico. He was consulting director for Retro Gold, which performed at the Pennabilli International Theatre Festival and is presently consulting on the Kung Fu Project in Torino. He lead a Superdrama training and devising workshop at HERE Festival at Cavallerizza Reale, in Torino in May 2017, and is a guest teaching artist at Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy.
Jon’s acting credits include the Tony nominated production of Wilder, Wilder, Wilder, the national tour of Embedded by Tim Robbins at the Actors’ Gang, and the world premiere of The Exonerated written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. His Film and TV credits include, Flags of Our Fathers (dir. Clint Eastwood), Tangled, Brain Dead, The Homecoming of Jimmy Whitecloud, Portal, Judging Amy, and West Wing, and a part in the upcoming production, Bent, (filming in Rome, Spring, 2017) written and directed by Bobby Moresco.
In 2008 Jon was the recipient of the Surdna Fellowship to study clown based on the pedagogy of Jacque Lecoq and Yves Lebreton, with Philip Radice of Atelier Teatro Fisico and Andre Casaca, Teatro C’Art, in Torino, and Castelfiorentino, Italy.