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John R Smith Jnr as Katurian and Mat Young as Michal in The Pillowman
John R Smith Jnr as Katurian and Mat Young as Michal in The Pillowman
John R Smith Jnr as Harding and Geoffrey Gilbert as McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
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John is a classically trained, dynamic, character actor. He has been working in CT Theatre off and on for over 25 years as an Actor, Producer, Director and Acting Coach. He co-founded Vagabond Theatre Company with his wife Tanya Feduik-Smith and they serve as its Co-Artistic Directors. Prior to that he served as an Artistic Consultant at The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport and Co-Producer and Dramaturg of The Bijou Actors Guild.


They produced VTC's Inaugural 2016/17 Season (The Scarlet Letter, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Dog Sees God) with John also taking on the title role in Judas. He also directed their 2017 Holiday Homecoming Special: It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, which marked their two-show return to The Bijou, and played Gary Gauger in The Exonerated, which he also co-produced with his wife.

In his teens he lived in MD and attended student workshops at The Folger Library in DC and Improv Workshops with Jason Kravits and Robbie Chafitz. He also studied theatre at Slippery Rock University and Montgomery College.


After marrying Tanya and moving to CT, they became involved with the efforts to reopen Stratford’s Shakespeare Theatre while taking Shakespearean technique workshops with Louis Burke. Through their involvement, they were invited to attend Playing Shakespeare USA, a weekend intensive workshop, with RSC Co-Founder, the late John Barton.

During the fund raising efforts for Shakespeare Theatre, director Louis Burke organized a reading series of new, un-produced plays at Sacred Heart University. John participated in three shows playing:

Kringa and other aliens in Monsters - with James Earl Jones
The Town Crier and Hawker in Whitechapel - with Julie Harris
Henry Houston in Voodoo Mambo - with Millicent Martin

He has also performed in New Haven including the title role in Hamlet and Jeff Symons in Murder in Green Meadows for Algonkuin Theatre Company, and Angus in Macbeth for Godlight Productions at Long Wharf’s Stage II. He has also appeared in productions at other theaters around CT including: Wilton Playshop, Clockwork Rep in Oakville, Westport Community Theatre, Town Players of New Canaan, and The Stratford Festival Theatre.

While at The Bijou, his roles included Claudius in Repertory Productions of Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Katurian in The Pillowman and Dale Harding in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, also producing Take Me Out with his wife, Tanya.

​He has been nominated for multiple OnStage Critics' and Awards for his performances around CT. As a producing team, John and Tanya's shows for VTC, The Bijou and other theaters have garnered over 70 nominations for OnStage Critics' and Awards, including 20 nominations in BroadwayWorld's 2020 - Best of the Decade.

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