Born in Austin, Texas, raised in Boone, North Carolina, and educated at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and at Cornell University, John Crutchfield is a writer, performer and teacher who currently divides his time between Asheville, North Carolina and Berlin, Germany. He is the recipient of a Morehead Foundation Scholarship, a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and numerous grants and fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council. His poems, essays, translations and reviews have appeared in a variety of literary and cultural journals, including Shenandoah, Seneca Review, Southern Review, Southern Poetry Review, Appalachian Journal, Zone 3 and oldtime-central.com. His full-length plays The Songs of Robert, Ruth, Twelve Treatises on Memory, Everything and God, Ivory, The Labyrinth, Solstice, Landscape With Missing Person, Come Thick Night, The Strange and Tragical Adventures of Pinocchio, The Jacob Higginbotham Show, Malverse, TRNZ, and My Crazy My Love have been produced regionally, as have various shorter works and adaptations, including Portrait and Interstice/Larkspur, a pair of one-acts dealing with the theme of addiction, and Caliban’s Dream, Black Snow Flying Upwards, or: My Embarrassment, at A Brief History of Metaphysics, three movement-based solo performances which premiered at the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively. His one-man version of The Songs of Robert was featured in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival, where it won a Judges' Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.
An avid collaborator, John has created and performed multidisciplinary work with X Factor Dance, Sans Pointe Dance, G. Alex and the Movement, Legacy Butoh, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Anemone Dance Theatre. He has also appeared onstage as “Malvolio” in Twelfth Night (Appalachian State University), “Caliban” in The Tempest (Lenoir-Rhyne Players), "Banquo" and "Doctor" in Macbeth (NCStage), "Prosecutor" in David Mamet's Romance (Zealot), "Fraser" in Mac Wellman's Description Beggared, or: The Allegory of Whiteness (Warren Wilson College), "Peck" in Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive (Warren Wilson College), "Jekyll/Hyde" in Steve Samuels's When Jekyll Met Hyde (The Magnetic Theatre), and "Babe" in Julian Vorus's Rock Saber (The Magnetic Theatre). He also directs and designs for the stage.
John has been Artist-In-Residence at the North Carolina Governor’s School East, the Djerassi Artists Foundation, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Association d’Art de La Napoule (France) and the Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany), as well as for shorter stints at various American schools, colleges, and universities. He is Artistic Director of MAUS Theater of Berlin, a flexible collaborative devoted to creating new interdisciplinary performance, and Associate Artistic Director at The Sublime Theater & Press in Asheville, North Carolina, where he has lived and worked off and on since 2006.
In addition to his work in theatre and literature, John is also a practicing musician, with experience on percussion, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and claw-hammer banjo. He has been an active participant in the vibrant Old-Time music scene in Asheville, where he frequently performs in open jam sessions, as well as with the Old-Time string bands Chicken Train (with John Engle), The New Southern Ramblers (with John Herrmann), and The Crutchfield Project (with Alan Dillman). Since establishing a second home in Berlin, Germany in 2013, he has also performed regularly with The Bear City Ramblers, an Old-Time ensemble he co-founded with guitarist Ben Smith and fiddler Doug Chayka.
From 2013 to 2017, John taught theatre and creative writing at the Institut für Englische Philologie, Freie Universität Berlin, where he also conducted research on performative approaches to foreign language teaching and learning. At present, John teaches German at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and works freelance as a literary translator and editor. For current and upcoming projects, see the homepage of this website.