Jon Palmer Claridge

TTB Co-Founder & Immediate Past President


Jon Palmer Claridge is a pioneer of the “Arts Incubator” movement. He popularized the term nationally with his 1991 American Theatre column, “An Incubator for New Voices,” highlighting the Arlington, VA model he co-created. The incubator received the $100,000 Ford Foundation/Harvard University Innovations in American Government Award (1996) and D.C.’s Helen Hayes Award for Distinguished Community Service (2001). Dubbed the “Great Encourager” by Washington City Paper, Mr. Claridge also received the 1994 Horizon’s Theatre BRAVO! Award for his service to Washington theatre. From 1996-2003 he was VP of the League of Washington Theatres. In 2008, Jon chaired the host committee for the American Theatre Critics’ Association D.C conference and developed a regional 12-play “bus & truck” conference program that resulted in Arlington’s Signature Theatre being tapped by the critics for the 2009 Regional Theatre TONY Award. In a forty-year career, he performed, directed, designed or produced 2000+ events across the arts’ spectrum. A long-time Helen Hayes Awards’ nominator and judge, he served as their Senior Advisor for Theatre Affairs and created a professional development program for judges prior to relocating to Tampa Bay. Jon holds a B.F.A./Acting from Florida State and an M.F.A./Directing from the Catholic University of America. He is a founding member of Theatre Tampa Bay, serving as Board President while overseeing the TTB Awards judging panel process from 2012 to 2015.