John Kaufmann is a theatre director and performer focusing on original and experimental work. Directing work includes Antony and Cleopatra at Consolidated Works, Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations at Seattle Children’s Theatre's Summer Stage and noSIGNAL, in collaboration with the band “Awesome.”
As planetarium supervisor at Pacific Science Center, he wrote and presented original planetarium programs including Starball, an astronomical musical comedy that has gone on to planetariums in New York, Chicago and Valencia, Spain. Other original conceptions include Line One where actors speak verbatim the dialogue they hear through their cell phone ear-pieces, and D.O.B., with a script created by transcribing recordings he made during his sister’s labor and delivery of her son.
Stage acting roles include Tony Polar in Empty Space Theatre’s Valley of the Dolls, Lucentio in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s The Taming of the Shrew and Bejart in LaBete at The Unusual Cabaret. He also appeared as Gary in the film Creatures of the Pink Lagoon, and as Luke on an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy. He was a member of Jet City Improv in Seattle and went on to develop improvisation workshops for chaplains at Harborview Medical Center and staff at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
He studied Viewpoints and Suzuki with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in a summer intensive at Skidmore College, and was a 2006 Directors Lab West Participant. He won the IRAM award for play direction for We Three in the 2008 Iowa New Play Festival, and a Meritorious Acting Achievement award from the ACTF Midwest Region for his work as Fortinbras in Fortinbras Gets Drunk.
He is interested in the intersection of theatre, game-play and social/personal change. He has applied improvisation and Boal’s Forum Theatre techniques to his outreach work with Open Door Theatre, Open Circle Theatre and at University of Iowa. He was on the creative team for Cranium Cadoo and hosted original games for several Microsoft Executive Retreats, attended by company CEO and top executives. He received his Theatre Directing MFA from the University of Iowa where he stayed on to teach for the Theatre Department, Pomerantz Leadership Academy and Creative Arts in the REACH Progam, which serves physically and developmentally disabled students. John engaged attendees with interactive activities as the “audience host” for the 2017 and 2018 TEDx Conferences in Seattle.
John currently teaches theatre at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California. He lives with his wife Brynn and two children.
Bonus Audio: one of John’s advisees wrote and produced a song about him (titled “John Kaufmann”).
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