Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Actor Spotlight: John P. Keller

If there was an official face of our 25th Anniversary Season, it would probably be that of actor John P. Keller.  John can currently be seen on the Goldman Theater stage in Orlando Shakes’ spooky one-man production of Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker. He will also take on the title role in the two-part Dickens masterpiece, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nicklebyearly next year.

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John P. Keller in “Dracula” | Photo by Tony Firriolo.

Born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ, John looked to move away for college and settled on top liberal arts institution, College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, MA. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he worked for about four years, interning at different theater companies across the U.S. John returned home to pursue his MFA in Acting from Rutger’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, graduating just three and a half years ago.

In addition to performing, John has a passion for education and outreach. Together with other Rutgers Alumni, he helped found coLAB Arts, a non-profit arts organization that aims to cultivate a community of artists, audiences, and critics. coLAB’s partnership with New Brunswick Public Schools has allowed the team to create a long and short-term mentoring program. John also serves as a Board Member for two community arts-based groups, Tyler Clementi Center (TCC) at Rutgers University and Town Clock Community Development Corporation.

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John P. Keller in “Sense and Sensibility”. Photo by Tony Firriolo.

As a freelance actor, John has worked at Mile Square Theater, George Street Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and more. Orlando Shakes audiences first saw the actor as Edward in last season’s Sense and Sensibility and Roderigo in Othello. When he first arrived in Orlando, John was surprised by what he found. “Orlando Shakes exists in a world where people wouldn’t think a classical theater could thrive,” he said. “There’s a good energy here.” Immediately attracted to the role of Jonathan Harker (along with the many parts he plays in Dracula), Keller admits that he still prefers working with other actors over working alone. But John won’t be lonely for long. He’ll be joined by 26 other performers in Nicholas Nickleby, making these back-to-back productions his smallest and largest to date. About accepting his upcoming role, John said, “I had to say yes. It’s just one of those projects you want to be there for. “

You can catch John in Dracula through November 10. Nicholas Nickleby runs January 22 through March 9, 2014. For tickets and information, call (407) 447-1700 or visit www.orlandoshakes.org.

Shakespearely Yours,

Melissa Landy
Public Relations Coordinator

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