John Hadden was born in Berlin in 1953 to CIA parents, during the June riots that year. He spent his childhood overseas, including four years in Israel, until the second day of the Six-Day War in 1967. His book Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me (Arcade, 2016) combines his own memories of those years with alternately hilarious and horrifying conversations with his father, who died in 2013.

John has worked as a theater-maker consistently here and abroad for 40 years. He was a founding member and associate artistic director of Shakespeare & Co, Lenox, MA, artistic director of the Hubbard Hall Theater Company, Cambridge, NY, associate artist with We Players, San Francisco, and artistic director/co-founder of Counterpoint Theater, Boston. During his long stint with S&Co, his roles included Romeo, Hamlet, Iago, Richard II, Leontes, the Merchant, the Bastard, and the Fool; other acting credits include The Seagull, USSR; Othello, Alliance; Scrooge, Portland Stage; Salieri and Lear at Hubbard Hall, Macbeth and Lear at We Players—and roles on film, radio and TV. Among his roughly fifty directing projects are Syncopation, Portland Stage; ChaChaCha, Cologne; Graveyard Shift, Berkshire Fringe; Hadrian VII, The Madwoman of Chaillot and The Night of the Iguana at Hubbard Hall.

His own plays—Stray Dogs, Hard Rain, King Fool, Women at War, and his one-acts—have won awards and have been seen at Ensemble Studio Theater, PS 122, LaMama ETC, Firehouse 13, Providence, Northampton Center for the Arts, Hubbard Hall, We Players, The Theater Project, Brunswick, ME, and Mixed Company, Great Barrington, MA, and he has been published in The Good Ear Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and American Letters & Commentary. He has taught at numerous universities and schools; in Vermont he is a juried teaching artist with the VT Arts Council, a member of Creative Ground, Actors Equity, and Authors Guild. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and a MFA from Goddard College.

His solo show, Travels with a Masked Man, is composed of excerpts from his book, and is now on tour.

More about the book and the show at

More about theater work and other projects at