avatar for Jonathan Deull

Jonathan Deull

Clark Transfer
Executive Vice President
For more than 45 years, Jonathan Deull has been a show business maid-of-all-work, serving as a producer, designer, stage manager, technical supervisor, rigger, and educator with theatrical and musical productions, circuses, and special events around the United States and internationally. Clients and projects have included Cirque du Soleil, The Big Apple Circus, The Kennedy Center, The White House, the Smithsonian Institution, and touring Broadway shows. He was a founder and Board of Directors member of Zip Zap Circus USA and the RitzKidz social circus programs, and is a committed advocate for the use of circus training and performance as a powerful tool for individual and community transformation. He currently serves as Acrobatic Rigging Designer for Omnium Circus, an innovative nonprofit circus organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion.

Since 1997 he has been deeply engaged in the study and practice of rigging and risk management for live entertainment, with a particular emphasis on aerial performer rigging for circus, aerial dance, and theatre. His work includes design and execution of rigging systems and productions in the USA and internationally. He is an ETCP Certified Rigger (Theatre), and an ETCP Recognized Trainer. He serves as a voting member of the ESTA Rigging Working Group that formulates rigging standards for the entertainment industry, and is one of the Task Group members for the revision of the ANSI E1.43 standard for Performer Flying Systems. As a Safety Consultant and Safety Committee Member for the American Circus Educators Association, he helps lead the effort to develop safety and risk management guidelines and protocols for circus performance training programs and facilities.

For more than a decade he has created and led professional-level workshops and training programs for performing arts riggers, as well as rigging familiarity training for performers, directors, choreographers, and technical personnel. He has taught for universities, production organizations, circus schools, IATSE locals, and other venues around the USA and abroad. He co-led the Jay Glerum Rigging Master Class on two occasions, and in 2018 undertook an extended engagement in Hangzhou, China as rigging trainer for Cirque du Soleil. He has presented at workshops on rigging and other subjects at LDI, USITT, AYCO, and other industry gatherings, and he authored the chapter on rigging for Aerial Dance, by Jayne Bernasconi and Nancy Smith.

Jonathan’s involvement with circus and aerial performance began in South Africa through his involvement with the pioneering social circus organization, The Zip Zap School of Circus Arts for Social Change. He co-founded its North American affiliate, Zip Zap Circus USA, and served for more the past 14 years on its Board of Directors. He remains deeply involved in efforts to use training and performance in the circus arts as a tool for individual and community transformation. This commitment is shared with his family. His daughter, Sara Deull, is a professional circus performer and educator based in Montreal, Canada, and they are frequent collaborators on a range of social circus and other initiatives. Together they own and operate LISTO Flying Trapeze, offering traditional flying trapeze performance and training for shows, festivals, and special events in the USA and Canada.

He is a proud 40-year member of IATSE Local 329, and serves as Executive Vice President of Clark Transfer, the Pennsylvania-based theatrical transportation and logistics company started by his grandfather, Whitey Molitch. Trained as a theatrical director and designer with a degree from Wesleyan University (1979), he also has a law degree from The George Washington University (1984), is a licensed member (retired) of the New York Bar, and an FAA-licensed commercial airplane pilot. Lately, he is learning to play the cello. He lives with his wife, Sheryl Sturges, in Cornwall, New York, and is grandfather to Jack. Sheryl and Jonathan are veteran members of the Long Reach Long Riders motorcycle horde, supporting the show-business charities Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Behind the Scenes.