Inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, October 20, 2003.
John Riley began his theater experience with 6 lines as the butler in Sweet Bird of Youth at the old Dayton Playhouse on East Third Street in 1986. Since then, he has acted, directed, and designed sets for several local theaters. He has been Scenic Designer for The Dayton Playhouse, Managing Director for Kettering Theatre Under The Stars, and served on the Board of Directors of both The Dayton Playhouse and The Dayton Theatre Guild. He is the founder of FutureFest, an annual festival of new plays now in its 16th season, and First Stage Productions which produced 5 seasons of original plays at the Dayton Theatre Guild.
A member of Actors Equity, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Screen Actors Guild, he fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2002 by riding a motorcycle to Hollywood and acting in films. Film credits include Disney's A Mom for Christmas, North Shore Entertainment's Madison, and TV's America's Most Wanted plus several independent and student films. Theater credits include After Play and Trip to Bountiful at The Human Race, Buried Child at the Red Herring Theatre Company in Columbus, the outdoor drama Young Abe Lincoln in Lincoln City, Indiana, and summer stock at Timberlake Theatre in Mount Carroll, Illinois. Local theater credits include Gardner Church in Painting Churches, for which he received an award for Excellence in Acting from OCTA, and Weller Martin in The Gin Game for which he was awarded Best Actor in a Leading Role at Playhouse South. He has also received numerous Blackburn Awards from the Dayton Playhouse. Other favorite roles were Nat in I'm Not Rappaport, Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond, Willy Clark in The Sunshine Boys and Pat in Dry Thunder.
Currently John and his wife Marty are building a home in southeastern Ohio which will include a sound stage and editing room with a goal of working with filmmakers and producing films.