John Randolph Pepper

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John R. Pepper
Rome, Italy
Alma materPrinceton University
(History of Art, 1976)
Occupationphotographer, theatre director
Years active1962–present
Parent(s)Curtis Bill Pepper
Beverly Pepper
FamilyJorie Graham (sister)

John R. Pepper (a.k.a. John Pepper and John Randolph Pepper, born 1958) is a photographer and theatre director.


Pepper was born in Rome, Italy in 1958 to Curtis Bill Pepper, a war correspondent and the head of the Rome bureau for Newsweek magazine, and the sculptor Beverly Pepper. He has one sister, poet Jorie Graham. He was raised in Rome, Italy. He studied History of Art at Princeton University (1976) where he was also one of the original painting members of the '185 Nassau Street Painting Program' and was awarded the Whitney Painting Fellowship in 1975. In 1981 Pepper was admitted as a 'Directing Fellow' to The American Film Institute, Los Angeles. Pepper has married twice and has two sons (Sheppard, 1990, and Jameson, 1993) from his first marriage.


Pepper began his career as an apprentice to Ugo Mulas who gave him his first formal training in the art of street photography. Pepper pursued his work in photography (analog) for three decades while simultaneously directing in the theatre and in film. His show 'Rome: 1969 – An Hommage to Italian Neo-Realist Cinema' (USA/France 2008)[1][2] lead him back to his native Italy where Lanterna Magica Edizioni published the book Sans Papier (Italy 2011)[3] with subsequent exhibitions in Rome,[4][5][6][7][8] Venice, Saint Petersburg (Russia),[9] Paris, Palermo (Sicily).[10]

In 2012 the Manège Museum in Saint Petersburg, (Russia) showed Pepper's new work[11] which the Istituto Superiore Per la Storia della Fotografia (Italy) published as a new book of photographs in 2014 called 'Evaporations'[12] that previews at the Officina delle Zattere in Venice (Italy).

In 2015, the Italian Institute of Culture and the Russia Federation Ministry of Culture sponsored a traveling exhibition that opened at the Rosphoto Photography Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia).[13]

In March 2015 Pepper had a retrospective exhibit at the Showcase Gallery in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).[14]

The Italian Institute of Culture and The United States Mission in Russia sponsored a travelling exhibition (2015/2016) of Evaporations throughout Siberia, Russia (Vladivostok, Irkutsk,[15] Novosibirsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Samara[16] and Moscow.[17][18][19]

From November 2016 to January 2017 Pepper's Evaporations / Испарения was shown in Rome, (Italy) at Fondazione Terzo Pilastro e Meditteraneo's, 'Museo Palazzo Cipolla'. The monumental exhibit consisted of 52 works ranging from 120 x160cm to 3m x 5m.[20][21][22]

In November 2017, Pepper inaugurated Inhabited Deserts at La Galerie du Palace in Paris.[23] This show is the first stop of a traveling exhibition (France, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Russia, Italy and USA) of new photographs where Pepper questions whether man's presence has inexorably altered the landscape or whether the land is in essence still close to what it was before mankind arrived.


  • Rome 1969 — Marianne Courteville Gallery (2007, New York City); Galerie Photo4 (2008, Paris); Galleria del Cortile (2009, Rome); Art of Foto Gallery (2016, Saint Petersburg, Russia).[24]
  • Sans Papier — Collegio Degli Armeni (2011, Venice); Galleria del Cortile (2011, Rome); Manege Museum (2012, Saint Petersburg); Galleria Moenia (2013, Todi, Italy).
  • Retrospective exhibition — Showcase Gallery (2015, Dubai, UAE).[25]
  • Evaporations — Palazzo Esposizioni (2014, Rimini); Rosphoto Museum (2014, Saint Petersburg);[26][27] Officina delle Zattere — Venice Architecture Biennale (2014, Venice); PhotoMed Photography Festival (2015, Sanary-sur-Mer); Russian State Art Museum (2015, Irkutsk);[28][29] Gallery of Modern Art ARKA (2015, Vladivostok);[30] Russian State Art Museum (2015, Novosibirsk);[31][32] Russian State Art Museum (2015, Omsk); Russian Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art (2015, Yekaterinburg);[33][34] Gallery of Classic Photography (2016, Moscow);[35][36] Museum of Modern Art (2016, Samara);[37][38][39] Fondazione Terzo Pilastro Museo — Palazzo Cipolla (2016 - 2017, Rome).[40][41]
  • Inhabited DesertsGalerie du Palace (2017, Paris)


Pepper began in film, working as assistant director for many directors including Joseph Losey ('Les Routes du Sud'), George Roy Hill ('A Little Romance' and 'The World According to Garp') and Dan Curtis ('Ghostbusters'). As a producer Pepper developed and brought to fruition the motion picture 'The Plague' (Albert Camus) directed by Luis Puenzo with William Hurt, Robert Duval, Raoul Julia, Sandrinne Bonnaire and Jean-Marc Barr. Music by Vangelis (Gaumont Distribution, France 1992).[42][43] He directed the film version, 'Papillion de Nuit' (Trinacra Productions, 2001[44][45][46][47][48] winner of the 'Prix Mediavision' (2002) at the Sarlat Film Festival.


Year Title Notes
1962 Eva actor
1978 French Fried Vacation actor
1978 Roads to the South second assistant director
1978 Struggle for Survival screenwriter, producer
1979 A Little Romance second assistant director
1981 Reborn producer
1982 The World According to Garp second assistant director
1982 A View from the Woods screenwriter, producer
1983 The Winds of War (The Winds Rise) second assistant director
1984 GhostBusters second assistant director
1986 Molly O actor
1987 Specters actor
1989 Fireballs actor
1990 On Course screenwriter, producer
1991 Danny and the Deep Blue Sea producer, film director
1992 The Plague[49] producer, filmmaker
1994 Personne ne m'aime actor
1994 Lie Down with Lions producer
1996 Little Italy producer
2002 Papillons de nuit screenwriter, producer, film director
2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Cop Killer) film director
2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (Immune to Murder) film director
2005 Sopra e sotto il ponte producer
2007 12 Noon producer, film director


Pepper's work in New York theatre include: 'Cubistique' (Tom Cone),[50] 'The Cruelties of Mrs. Schnayd' (David Suesdhorf),[51] 'Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You' (Christopher Durang);[52] he was the youngest director at the Spoleto Festival (Charelston) when he presented 'Inner Voices' by Eduardo De Filippo.[53]

Pepper directed plays in Paris, France, in Europe and Russia. His productions include 'Retraite de Moscow' ('Retreat from Moscow') by William Nicholson at Theatre Montparnasse (Paris 2008);[54][55][56][57][58] 'Underneath the Lintel' by Glen Berger, Lederman Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden (2005);[59] 'Pour En Découdre' by Marc-Michel Georges;[60][61] 'Danny et la Grande Bleu' ('Danny and the Deep Blue Sea') by John Patrick Shanley at Avignon Theatre Festival (2000)[62] then Paris' Theatre Déjazet with actor Léa Drucker nominated for a Molière Award (2001).[63]

Pepper was the first foreign director to be invited to the Drama Theatre on Vasilievsky (aka Teatre Satir) in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His Russian language, production of My Dear Mathilde by Israel Horovitz is now permanently in the repertoire (2012).[64] In 2016 Pepper opened a new production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea in Italy (Danny e il Profondo Blu) at Teatro Garibaldi in Palermo with Leonardo Sbragia e Laura Anzani[65] then in Milan[66] before going to Naples, Salerno, Rome and touring Italy. Also in 2016 he opened a production of Sam Shepard's True West at Saint Petersburg Russian State Institute of Performing Arts.[67] In 2018 Pepper directed the Italian premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Four Dogs and a Bone with an adaptation by Enrico Vanzina. It debuted at the Teatro Vittorio Alfieri in Naso, Sicily and then moved to a successful run in Rome at the OFF/OFF Theatre.[68]

Theatrical performances[edit]

  • 1983: Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (By Christopher Durang: Central Casting (New York)
  • 1983: Cubistique (By Tom Cone, Théâtre Matrix (New York)) [69]
  • 1983: Differente People, Differente Rooms (By Wendy Kesselman) [70]
  • 1986: The Cruelties of Mrs. Schnayd (By David Suehsdorf: New York Theatre Studio/T.O.M.I.) [71]
  • 1986: Inner Voices(By Eduardo de Filippo: American Premiere: Spoleto Festival (USA) [72]
  • 1999: The Weir (By Conor McPherson, Royal Court, The Players Club, N.Y.)
  • 2000: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Original production April 2000 : Théâtre le Proscenium: Paris) [73]
  • 2000: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Reprise, June 2000: Théâtre Golovine: Avignon Festival) [74]
  • 2000: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Reprise February 2001: Théâtre Dejazet: Paris)[75]
  • 2002: Pour En Découdre (By Marc Michel Georges, Original production September 2002: Ciné 13 Théâtre – Paris) [76][77]
  • 2002: Pour En Découdre (By Glenn Berger, Original production, Teatre Le Lucernaire, Paris, France)
  • 2002: Four Dogs and a Bone (By John Patrick Shanley, Original production July 2003 – Théâtre Golovine – Avignon Festival)
  • 2002: The Actor's Nightmare (By Christopher Durang: Central Casting New York)
  • 2002: A Schtick Is Born (By Sherry Nehmer and Daniel Harris, The Silver Lining – New York)
  • 2002: Fifth of July (By Landorf Wilson, The Hangar Théâtre (New York))
  • 2002: Tea and Sympaphy (By W. Somerset Maugham, Production Italienne)
  • 2002: The Workingman (By Tom Walmsley), Théâtre Matrix New York)
  • 2005: Underneath the Lintel (By Glenn Berger, Original production, TeatreStudio Leederman, Stockholm)[78]
  • 2007: The Retreat from Moscow(By William Nicholson, Original production, January 2007, Théâtre Montparnasse, Paris) [79]
  • 2012: My Dear Mathilde (By Israel Horovitz, Original production, Théâtre Satir on Vasilevski Island, Saint Petersburg, Russia)[80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87]
  • 2016: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (By John Patrick Shanley, Original production, February 2016: Théâtre Garibaldi, Palermo, Italia)[88]
  • 2016: True West (By Sam Shepard, Original production, May 2016, Théâtre Academy Drammatique Nationale de Russie, Saint Petersburg, Russia)[89][90][91]
  • 2016: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (By John Patrick Shanley, Reprise: March 2016, Teatro Il Delfino, Milan, Italy)[92]
  • 2017: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (By John Patrick Shanley, Reprise: April 2017, Teatro Sala Uno, Rome, Italy)
  • 2017: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (By John Patrick Shanley, Reprise: April 2017, Teatro Asoli, Naples, Italy)
  • 2018: 4 Dogs and a Bone (By John Patrick Shanley, Reprise: February 2018, Teatro Alfieri, Naso, Italy)
  • 2018: 4 Dogs and a Bone (By John Patrick Shanley, Reprise: March 2018, Teatro Off / Off, Rome, Italy)[93][94]


  • Sans Papier. Roberta Semeraro. Italy: Lanterna Magica. ISBN 978-88-97115-16-8.
  • Evaporations/Испарения. Elizabeth Ferrer. Italy: Istituto Superiore Per la Storia della Fotografia. ISBN 978-88-87928-19-8.
  • Inhabited Deserts. Kirill Petrin.
  • The Melodies and Passion of the Mediterranean by Marina Jigarkhanyan, Manège Museum catalogue, 2011.
  • Cities and People by Marina Jigarkhanyan, Manège Museum catalogue, 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mallet, Caroline (October 2008). "Néo Réalisme Italien". Réponsephoto (n.199).
  2. ^ Benoit, Laurent; Molly Mine (October 2008). "John R. Pepper". Actualités.
  3. ^ Semeraro, Roberta (2011). Sans Papier. Italy: Lanterna Magica Edizioni. ISBN 978-88-97115-16-8.
  4. ^ Cerasa, Giuseppe (March 24, 2011). "Giochi fra adoloscenti nelle foto di John Pepper". la Repubblica (in Italian).
  5. ^ "John Pepper in Bianco e Nero". Corriere della Sera. March 23, 2011.
  6. ^ Gantz, Menachem (March 2011). "In the Courtyard". Yedioth Ahronot, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  7. ^ Ladune, Benoit (October 2011). "Street Blues". Photographic Magazine, France.
  8. ^ "Alla Ricerca di...". Cinemagazine. March 2011.
  9. ^ Jigarkhanyan, Marina (2011). The Melodies and Passion of the Mediterranean. Russia: Manége Museum.
  10. ^ Trovato, Simonetta (September 3, 2011). "Pepper, Piccoli Mondi Fuori dal Mondo". Giornale di Sicilia.
  11. ^ Jigarkhanyan, Marina (2012). Cities and People. Russia: Manége Museum.
  12. ^ Elizabeth Ferrer, "Evaporations", Istituto Superiore Per la Storia della Fotografia (Italy), ISBN 978-88-87928-19-8
  13. ^ Irina Bilik, The Saint Petersburg Photographer, Russia, 2014
  14. ^ "Pick of the week", Time Out, Dubai, March 4, 2015
  15. ^ "Nevzorov Vladimir, Ifo-Foto magazine, #1/2016".
  16. ^ "Otzovik Magazine, April 8, 2016; Novaya Gazeta Povolzh'ya, April 8th, 2016".
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  20. ^ "John Pepper: il fotografo di strada come artista dell'assoluto". ASCA (news agency). December 21, 2016.
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  41. ^ ""Evaporations": Pepper in mostra a palazzo Cipolla". November 21, 2016.
  42. ^ Van Gelder, Laurence (October 20, 1989). "Buddy Movies". New York Times.
  43. ^ Parent, Denis (March 1992). "La Peste de Luis Puenzo". Studio Magazine: 108.
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  58. ^ Thomas, Bernard (February 14, 2007). "La Berenzina". Le Canard Enchaîné.
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  63. ^ Jener, Jean Luc (April 19–25, 2000). "A Ne Pas Manquer". Le Figaro (Scope).
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  68. ^ ""Quattro cani per un osso" di John Patrick Shanley, uno spettacolo di John R. Pepper". March 10, 2018.
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  70. ^ "Differente People/ Differente Rooms (New York Post, Mimi Leahey)" (PDF). June 2, 1983.
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  85. ^ "На сцене Театра сатиры сегодня премьера – "Моя дорогая Матильда" Пеппера". April 30, 2013.
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  89. ^ "Уроки актерской свободы". June 1, 2016.
  90. ^ "В петербургском театре "На Моховой" представили премьеру спектакля по пьесе Сэма Шепарда". May 18, 2016.
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  93. ^ "QUATTRO CANI PER UN OSSO di J.P. Shanley, regia di J.R. Pepper". March 11, 2018.
  94. ^ Daniele Poto (March 11, 2018). "Fibrillante "Quattro cani per un osso" al Teatro Off Off di Roma".

External links[edit]