John Dillon visits the School of Drama each year as an artist-in residence. In May of 2001, he and Johanna Melamed staged "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which was called "a no-holds-Bard delight" by the Winston-Salem Journal. At NCSA, Dillon has also staged “Once in a Lifetime,” “Little Dorrit,” “Dead Souls,” “Pericles” and co-directed an original production, “Gint.” He has been the associate director of Tokyo’s award-winning Institute of Dramatic Arts where his productions have twice won Japan’s highest theatre award.
Dillon also serves on the executive committee of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, as a panelist for the United States-Mexican Fund for Culture and as an on-site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He is the founding president of Theatre Puget Sound, a service organization for theatres and theatre workers in the Seattle area and has served as a panelist of the Seattle Arts Commission.
From 1977 to 1993, Dillon was the artistic director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and during this time, he launched a number of innovative exchanges with theatre companies in Mexico, Russia, Ireland, Chile, Japan and England. He has served as a board member of the Theatre Communications Group and as chairman and panelist for the NEA Theatre Companies Panel. He has staged productions at leading theatres in England, Russia and Japan and has directed new works by such noted playwrights as David Mamet, Romulus Linney, Larry Shue, Y York, Joanna Glass, David Rambo, Anthony Clarvoe and Amlin Gray.
He has worked at more than two dozen of the country’s leading regional theatres, including Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, D.C.’s Arena Stage, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Chapel Hill’s PlayMakers Rep, the Missouri Rep, Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre, the Berkeley Rep and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (where his staging of “Wit” last year won him a Backstage West Garland Award.) He is a former senior contributor to American Theatre magazine. He was a Danforth and Woodrow Wilson fellow and earned graduate degrees in theatre from Columbia and Northwestern universities.