REVIEWS and OTHER PRESS

Acting Performances

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The Woodsman (2022 - Short Film)

 

"John R. Smith Jnr, who plays Bernie, is beyond fantastic, feeling like he’s lived these cold nights waiting for customers to rid him of the trees that he’s tended to for an entire year. He’s all carnie on the outside and frazzled neurotic on the inside, a man trapped by life to live in a trailer and keep selling these trees every year for some dark reason that we can never, ever know."

B&S About The Movies
 

"THE WOODSMAN directed by @krkuchta equal parts hilarious and tragic. Would love to see @johnrsmithjnr in a movie with @MrJeremyGardner . Doing what? ANYTHING."

Eric Pennycoff - Director of : The Leech and Sadistic Intentions 

"John R. Smith Jnr effectively conveys Davis's jolly facade, his inner gloom, his increasing desperation -- and in a way that's both funny and poignant. Smith's Davis is a memorable character who engages our sympathies."

Thomas M. Sipos - HollywoodInvestigator.com

Awards:

Best Male Performance (Comedy) - 2022 Bridgeport Film Fest

Best Comedic Actor - 2022 Tabloid Witch Awards

Best Psychological Thriller - Short Film - 2022 Southeast Regional Film Fest

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Exonerated  @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT

 

"this show is amazing...The heart-wrenching stories which were so movingly conveyed by this talented cast who all remained in character at all times should make all audience members think twice before pointing fingers at anyone"

Sean Fallon, Broadwayworld CT
 

2018 BROADWAYWORLD CT REGIONAL AWARD NOMINEE:

Best Ensemble Performance in a Play (Non-Equity)

Best Play (Non-Equity)

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot @ The Warehouse Blackbox-PAC of CT / Trumbull CT

 

"John R. Smith Jnr., <as> Judas Iscariot, his presence was felt throughout primarily as a result of his commanding stage presence" "John gave yet another strong performance whether catatonic or not."

Wayne J. Keeley,  Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com
 

"John R. Smith, Jnr. Is an impeccable Judas; intense at times, yet morose and broken, with shoulders slumped and long-hair shrouding a guilt-ridden face."

Stephanie C. Lyon, Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com

"Spectacular" "Outstanding" "Perfect"

Nancy Sasso Janis, onstageblog.com

2017 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region) Nominee:

Best Play

Best Ensemble in a Play

Best Featured Actor in a Play - John R Smith Jnr

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT


"masterfully directed ... a searing yet poignant production ... The casting was brilliant ... Smith was great in the role ... staggeringly well-done"

Wayne J. Keeley,  Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com

"A smashing success. ...  Smith as Harding was incredible ... Feduik-Smith allowed the actors to develop without becoming caricatures of mental patients. ... a must-see!"

Stephanie C. Lyon, Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com

"‘sets a new bar ... Feduik Smith masterfully paces the piece ... simply marvelous ... I could not recommend seeing this more. "

Steve Gifford, onstageblog.com

Nominated for two 2016 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT)

Outstanding Cast (Play) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (Play)

And three 2016 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region)

Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Play and Best Ensemble Performance in a Play

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Pillowman @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT


"... stupendous, enthralling, tragic and unforgettable. ... John R Smith Jr. delivered a gut wrenching performance as Katurian. ... Once again The Bijou Theatre has proven that they are the place for boundary pushing material and the payoff has been huge."

Steve Gifford, onstageblog.com

Nominated for Outstanding Actor (Play) 2016 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT)

And Best Actor in a Play 2016 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region)

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Hamlet @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT


“John R. Smith makes some wise choices with Claudius … intriguing and will certainly spark debate among its audience. Which is what Hamlet should do every time.”

Chris Peterson, onstageblog.com

“John R Smith Jr.’s Claudius was indeed the villain...the evil underlying him was carried across expertly,...Smith often was calm and reasoned…, but he would reveal his sinister side briefly and effectively.”

David Pendrys, BlogInCT.com

Nominated for two 2015 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT) :

Outstanding Cast (Play) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (Play)

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Psychic @ Clockwork Rep / Oakville CT

"a witty fun-filled, laugh-out-loud comedy with a dash of murder and a generous amount of mystery. ... John R. Smith Jr. as the lead Adam Webster is spot on in his characterization of a frustrated writer. His performance is as sincere as it is natural. "

Joanne Greco Rochman – Waterbury Republican-American

Shows Produced

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It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT (2017)

                                                                      @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT & Legacy Theatre / Branford CT (2018)

2017:

NOMINATED FOR 4 BROADWAYWORLD CT REGIONAL AWARDS:

Best Actor in a Play (Non-Equity): Ian C Smith

Best Actress in a Play (Non-Equity): Rachel Schulte

Best Ensemble Performance in a Play (Non-Equity)

Best Special Theatrical Event

 

2018:

Vagabond Theatre Company is home again as it returns to Bridgeport

Joe Meyers, CT Post

 "Like the city where they have produced plays — Bridgeport — the Vagabond Theatre Company is scrappy and hopeful, despite big challenges...VTC believes that not putting money into leasing a permanent home allows it to put on riskier plays in bare-bones productions. They don’t have to bother with nailing down scripts way in advance in order to generate subscription sales. Part of the fun of following the troupe is not knowing what they might come up with six months down the road."

'It's A Wonderful Life' Big Hit At Stony Creek Museum in Branford

Jack Kramer, Branford Patch

"Three performances of "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" played to sold-out, enthusiastic crowds on Friday and Saturday at the Stony Creek Museum."

It’s A Wonderful Life at the Bijou

Keith Loria, Shelton Herald

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Exonerated  @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT

 

"this show is amazing...The heart-wrenching stories which were so movingly conveyed by this talented cast who all remained in character at all times should make all audience members think twice before pointing fingers at anyone...I highly recommend THE EXONERATED"

Sean Fallon, Broadwayworld CT
 

NOMINATED FOR SIX 2017 BROADWAYWORLD CT REGIONAL AWARDS:

Best Play (Non-Equity)

Best Director of a Play (Non-Equity): Richard Mancini

Best Actor in a Play (Non-Equity): Elijah Manning

Best Actress in a Play (Non-Equity): Monica O'Brien

Best Ensemble Performance in a Play (Non-Equity)

Best Sound Design (Non-Equity): Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead @ The Warehouse Blackbox-PAC of CT / Trumbull CT

"Brash, crazy, exciting and hilariously conceived ... one of the most innovative productions of the theatrical year ... a thrilling, non-stop roller-coaster ride" "Do not miss this production"

Jim Ruocco, From the Desk of Jim R, Take 2

"a young, talented, vibrant cast ... as solid as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata" "well-staged, well-directed and well produced hilarious satire."

Wayne Keeley (Pillow Talking /He Says)

 

"truly extraordinary ... Each character was so layered, so rich and ... incredibly nuanced" "alternatingly raunchy, funny, and dark, ... It is a poignant look at real-life situations and real people, albeit over-the-top ones. ... This one is surely a must-see" 

Stephanie Lyons-Keeley of (Pillow Talking She Says)

 

"Bitingly funny" "Cleverly constructed" & "Quite amazing"  

Nancy Sasso Janis, OnStageBlog.com

 

Nominated for Six 2017 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT) :

Outstanding Cast in a Play (WINNER)

Outstanding Play

Outstanding Direction of a Play - Michael Mele

​Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - Joe Zumbo

​Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - Ian C Smith

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Ryan Shea

Nominated for Nine 2017 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region):

Best Play

Best Ensemble in a Play

Best Director of a Play - Michael Mele

Best Actor in a Play - Ryan Shea

Best Featured Actor in a Play - Ian C Smith

Best Featured Actress in a Play - Vicki Pellitier

Best Featured Actress in a Play - Hannah Pearsal

Best Younger Actor (Under 25) - Ian C Smith

Best Younger Actress (Under 25) - April Lichtman

ONE OF THE BEST PLAYS  OF  2017 - Jim Ruocco - From the Desk of Jim R

ONE OF THE TEN BEST PLAYS OF  2017 - Nancy Sasso-Janis - Patch.com

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot @ The Warehouse Blackbox-PAC of CT / Trumbull CT


"Thought-provoking, intense, intellectually stimulating, engrossing ... The cast is superb" 

Wayne J. Keeley,  Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com
 

"The Vagabonds did a wonderful job of evoking the feel of a dim, dark Purgatory ... They impressively bring this rich text to life ... A flamboyant, emotionally-laden piece ... most assuredly a terrific success for this infant troupe."

Stephanie C. Lyon, Pillow Talking @ SomedayProds.com

"Spectacular" "Outstanding" "Perfect" "Vulgarity-laced"

Nancy Sasso Janis, onstageblog.com

Nominated for Two 2017 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT) :

Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Justine Wiesinger

Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role in a Play - Lynette Victoria

Nominated for Ten 2017 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region):

Best Play

Best Ensemble in a Play

Best Director of a Play - Mat Young

Best Actor in a Play - John T Liszweski

Best Actress in a Play - Lynnette Victoria 

Best Featured Actor in a Play - John R Smith Jnr

Best Featured Actor in a Play - Eric J Dino

Best Featured Actress in a Play - Maggie Pangrazio

Best Featured Actress in a Play - Justine Wiesinger

Best Lighting Design - Tanya L Feduik-Smith

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

The Scarlet Letter @ Vagabond Theatre Company / Fairfield CT


"With dark humor, sensuality, a bit of witchery, and on-point narration by Hester’s young and unruly, illegitimate daughter Pearl ... bringing the sheer evil and ugliness of this warped tale of Puritan society to the forefront ... Feduik-Smith did an outstanding job of bringing out the strength and fierce independence of The Scarlet Letter’s female characters, all who remain firm in their beliefs, despite the deep-rooted patriarchal conceptions and control of the era. ... The Vagabonds have shown from the outset that hurdles are things to be conquered and never sources of defeat. ... There also were multiple scheduling issues resulting in staging changes and even casting changes – but the Vagabonds have proven to be resilient, passionate, dedicated, and strong. I’m personally looking very forward to their next production and many more to come."

Stephanie Lyons-Keeley, Pillow Talking @ Somedayprods.com

" true art performed by true artists. ... performed with such a high caliber of professionalism and artistry  ... The husband-and-wife producing team of Tanya Feduik-Smith and John R. Smith, Jr. did a fantastic job of bringing this play to life. ... Ms. Feduik-Smith's staging and blocking were exemplary ... she did not disappoint. Nor did the talented cast that she assembled ...As Jerzy Kosiński said, “The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” Vagabond more than succeeded in this aim ... I was honored and thrilled to be at the birth of this new company."

Wayne Keeley, Pillow Talking @ Somedayprods.com

"raw, simple and natural ... brilliantly acted and orchestrated under Feduik-Smith's steadied direction." -

James V. Ruocco, From the Desk of Jim R, Take 2

2017 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region) Nominee:

Best Younger Actress (under 25) - Betzabeth Castro

ONE OF THE BEST PLAYS  OF  2017

Jim Ruocco - From the Desk of Jim R

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Take Me Out @ The Bijou Theatre / Bridgeport CT


"a frank exploration of homophobia and racism...Ferociously funny and darkly dramatic, “Take Me Out” certainly meets those qualifications, and audiences seem to agree."

Edwin Gronberg, Milford Mirror

"skillfully directed by Richard Mancini...They all hit it out of the park...thought-provoking and relevant. It shows both the bright and dark sides of social acceptance."

Stephanie Lyons-Keeley, Pillow Talking @ Someday Productions

"It is rare indeed for artistic directors, theatres, and producers to bring such a daring play to community theatre. When it does happen, as in this case, you should have someone Take You Out to see it!"

Wayne Keeley, Pillow Talking @ Someday Productions

Nominated for Three 2016 Onstage Critics’ Awards (NY/CT) :
Outstanding Actor in a Play: Ainsley Andrade/Darren Lemming
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play: Mike L'altrella/Shane Mungitt
Outstanding Sound Design: Tanya Fediuk-Smith

Nominated for Eight 2016 Broadwayworld.com Awards (CT Region):
Best Play
Best Actor in a Play: Ainsley Andrade/Darren Lemming
Best Featured Actor in a Play: Mike L'altrella/Shane Mungitt
Best Costume Design: Tanya Feduik-Smith
Best Director of a Play: Richard Mancini
Best Ensemble Performance in a Play
Best Set Design: John Smith & Tanya Feduik-Smith
Best Sound Design: Tanya Feduik-Smith

Other Press

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Vagabond Theatre Company is home again as it returns to Bridgeport

Joe Meyers - CT Post

Tanya and I had a chat with Joe about VTC, teh 2018 run of IAWL, and the struggles and benefits of being troupe in search of a home

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It’s A Wonderful Life at the Bijou

Keith Loria - Shelton Herald

Tanya and spoke with Keith about 2018's IAWL, our history with the play, returning to the Bijou again and taking our first production on the road to Branford 

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'It's A Wonderful Life' Big Hit At Stony Creek Museum in Branford

Jack Kramer - Branford Patch

Quick write up on our Sold Out weekend run of 2018's IAWL presented in association with Legacy Theatre in Branford.

FEBRUARY 2018 - ARTIST OF THE MONTH FEATURE - VAGABOND THEATRE COMPANY

We were honored to be named BAT's Artist of the Month for Feb 2018. We did  a quick Q&A with BAT about VTC, our two-show return to The Bijou , our production of The Exonerated, and The Exonerated Fund

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Vagabond Theatre’s Artistic Director John R. Smith Jnr. Discusses Art, Theatre & Resiliency- By John R Smith, Jnr

I am incredibly honored to have been asked to contribute a guest blog to Someday Production's Pillow Talking review blog. It's all about the bumpy road we traveled to create Vagabond, and why there was no other option but to do so.

Give it a read (if you like)

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

I Have Seen The Future of Men - By Ed Martin

An honest and thoughtful look at how the rehearsal process of Take Me Out struck chords with the cast, crew, and producers, and how that sheds light on the underlying themes of Jack Meyers' book The Future of Men .

 

A truly beautiful read. 

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Vagabond Theatre Company Established by Former Bijou Artistic Team

A brief announcement of the launch of the Theatre Company I started with my wife after we were told the management team lost their lease on our old theatre.

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Trumbull Man Looks To Tackle Role Of Ukrainian Mobster In Hat City Film

A nice piece on the upcoming film project for Hat City Pictures, Contrived directed by Angel Rosa, where I will be playing the lead Anatoly Danilenko, for the segment titled The Tutor 

The Psychic at Clockwork Rep Oakville CT Starring John R Smith Jnr and Tanya Feduik-Smith

Vagabond Theatre Seeks Support To Stage Its Inaugural Season In Fairfield

A story on our fundraising efforts for the first season of VTC