‘Pirates’ Lands National Accolades

Director John Blondell

Director John Blondell

Westmont’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” won three national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recognized outstanding work from eight regional festivals held Jan. 7-March 1 across the United States.

“Pirates” earned Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Scenography for a Musical for Danila Korogodsky, and Distinguished Director of a Musical for John Blondell, Westmont theater arts professor.

Blondell has been invited to receive his award and participate in the 46th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., April 14-19.PiratesMaidens

Blondell says the cast and crew are all delighted and honored to receive national recognition by the Kennedy Center. “I was blessed with a world-class team of co-creators and a multi-talented, effervescent group of performers and technicians,” he says. “The experience of making the show was unparalleled, and I am so pleased that the work of these fabulous young artists has met with such general acclaim. This is great news for our students, our departments and the college, and I am completely tickled at this surprising turn of events.”

“Pirates” was chosen to be performed at one of eight regional festivals Feb. 14 in the Los Angeles Theatre Center. It returned for two final shows in Westmont’s Porter Theatre Feb. 22-23.

In addition, Blondell directed “Bread,” written by California Institute of the Arts student Michael Yichao, which is a National Finalist of the KCACTF Ten-Minute Play Award.


  1. Chandra Mallampalli says:

    Wow! What an honor! I’m proud of Jon and our theater team.
    Chandra Mallampalli

  2. Karen Sloan says:

    Bravo John! Brava Danila! And many congratulations to the team of Pirates. An honor indeed!!

  3. Randy VanderMey says:

    Congratulations, John, and all who worked to hard and so imaginatively to bring this about! You are a great credit to this community.

  4. Beth Whitcomb says:

    As someone who works behind the scenes in this department, I can say with confidence that the actors, contributors, design teams, musicians, and most of all the director, all deserve this. John handles his work with such grace and an excitement that is truly infectious. I am very happy for all of you!

  5. Jesse Alvarez says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for all of my friends and classmates that I’ve had over the past few years who were a part of this. A shout out and congrats from me to Ben Offringa, Ryan Korb, Andrew Combs, Lauren White, Mak Manson, Paige Tautz, Madeline Selby, and Connor Bush! You guys were amazing and I felt privileged to have been able to come out and support Westmont in LA this past Feb. 14.