Jon Spelman’s Resume



Self-Employed Performer, Actor, Storyteller, Writer, and Teacher  Jon Spelman has developed more than thirty-two hours of narrative performance material, which he performs throughout the U.S. and Europe to a wide variety of audiences and venues. He regularly performs at colleges, schools, libraries, museums, and arts centers. He was the first American selected to perform at the International Festival of Solo Performers in Tel Aviv, Israel

  • His work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Maryland Arts Council, the Arts Councils of Florida and The District of Columbia Arts Council, and the city of Baltimore.
  • He has six times been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival.
  • He represented American professional performers at The Colloquium on the Revival of Storytelling held in Paris, France.
  • Organizations that have commissioned his work include Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Smithsonian Institution, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington Storytellers Theatre, Theatre J, Round House Theatre, and the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland.
Florida Studio Theatre Artistic Director A professional actors’ and writers’ ensemble devoted to the creation of new work. Founder and Artistic Director. Directed seventeen productions. Acted in seven. Wrote six.
The Asolo State Theatre, Sarasota, Fl. Associate Artistic Director and Florida State University, Assistant Professor of Theatre A professional resident, repertory theatre. Director (nine productions). Actor (seven productions), and writer for the theatre’s multiple stages. Director, state-wide touring productions. Director of the Master of Fine Arts program. Taught Acting, Directing, Solo Theatre Performance. Simultaneously on the faculty of the Florida State University School of Theatre.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Assistant Professor of Speech and Theatre Taught Acting, Directing, Introduction to Theatre, Theatre History, Creative Writing..


Purdue University Master of Arts in Theatre. Thesis Production—Direction of Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under The Elms”.
Williams College
BA with Honors in History and Theatre. Thesis: The History of Theatre at Williams College.


  • Jon Spelman has been an Artist in Residence at the Blue Mountain Center in upstate New York, at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, and at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida.
  • Called “World-class” (Los Angeles Times) and “a stunning wordsmith and a riveting performer” (Washington Post).
  • The Bluemont Concert Series has called Spelman the “The Dean of American Storytelling.”
  • He has performed on National Public Radio, on NBC Television, at the Smithsonian Institution (for eleven weeks), the Round House Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Lincoln Center, Ford’s Theatre, Theatre J, The Theatre Project, Asolo State Theatre, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Off-off Broadway, and with a variety of symphony orchestras and choirs.
  • “Tall Tales, White Lies, Local Color, and Monumental Views: Stories From Washington, DC” commissioned by the Kennedy Center.
  • “Elementary School” commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution, a collection of stories by and about children.
  • “On The Bedpost Overnight”, commissioned by Woolly Mammoth Theatre.
  • “I Still Believe: The Lives of Children in the Holocaust and Other Extremities” commissioned by the Washington Storytellers Theatre.
  • “Off the Map” and a new version of “Frankenstein” commissioned by Round House Theatre (Maryland), both directed by Nick Olcott.
  • “Digging into Shakespeare” commissioned by Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland; directed by Jennifer Nelson.
  • “Tales of The Lincoln” commissioned by Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC., directed by Jennifer Nelson.
  • “Facing The Bull” commissioned by Theatre J, directed by Jerry Whiddon.

  • Three Emmy Awards (presented by the Washington Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for “Three Stories Tall” (NBC4)
  • Achievement in Children’s Television Award
  • Children’s Radio Award
  • Admitted to The Circle of Excellence of the National Storytelling Network.
  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award

In addition to performing, Spelman also regularly offers master classes and school and community residencies, which include informal performances, community performances, and workshops for teachers & students. He offers Professional Development For Teachers classes and workshops through the Kennedy Center’s National Partners in Education Program and Comprehensive Education Through the Arts Programs. He also works with communities and organizations in developing and telling their own stories.

PERSONAL: Mr. Spelman is married to the choreographer Liz Lerman, and they are the parents of photographer Anna Clare Spelman, currently based in Chapel Hill NC. The family home is in the historic Pierson Place neighborhood of Phoenix AZ. Jon is an avid hiker and backpacker.       410-732-0153      213 S. Durham St. Baltimore, MD 21231