The Hudson Highlands launched revolutions of independence, industry, and creativity. These endless rolling hills have long enchanted artists and hikers. My books tells their myriad tales.
CBS Sunday Morning
The O'Reilly Factor
BBC - Great American Railway Journeys
WAMC Radio - "Listen With The Lights On"
"Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley"
Hudson Valley Magazine
“Westchester’s Intrepid Storyteller”
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal
"Jonathan Kruk has a way with the spoken word,
the telling gesture, the sprinkling of humor and
the appropriate costume for a smorgasbord of stories.”
The New York Times
A Biographical Tale ...
Born an army brat in west Texas town of El Paso, and raised in upper Westchester, NY, Jonathan Kruk grew up on tall tales and day-dreams. He drove a '68 Volkswagen cross country, acted as a teen travel camp counselor, worked as a union laborer and watered Henry Kissinger's office plants. Telling tales to his kid brother, lead to an epiphany; children love live stories. Thus, in 1989 Jonathan turned his practice of the great oral tradition into a career.
Studying English, art, and educational theater, Mr. Kruk earned a B.A. from Holy Cross College and an M.A. from New York University. He performed Ritual Urban Theater with Gabrielle Roth and has entertained at over 1000 children’s birthday parties. When Freeport Schools, on Long Island, made him storyteller in residence, he left Dr. Kissinger to perform full time. Now, he enchants children every year at hundreds of schools, libraries, historic sites and festivals with finger fables, story theater, historic lore and more.
Best known for solo performances of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and "A Christmas Carol," his sixty shows sell out every autumn for Historic Hudson Valley. Kruk's eight recordings for children and adults, two with Rich Bala, garnered awards from Parents Choice and the National Association of Parents Publications. A BOCES approved artist /educator, he worked as a teaching artist for Early Stages, Inc. Hudson Valley Magazine selected Jonathan Kruk, as "Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley." His book “Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley” is now in a third printing with The History Press.
Jonathan keynoted for New York State reading teachers, environmental educators, the Greater Hudson Heritage Network and the Archdiocese of New York. He created with Rich Bala programs celebrating the Hudson River Quadricentennial, the American Revolution’s 225th anniversary and Putnam County’s 200th. Mr. Kruk's off-Broadway performance of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" earned an award in the United Solo Theater Festival. Jonathan gives tours in tales as the storyteller-in-residence for the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, NYC. He originated the role of "Storyteller for the premiere of the musical, The Peacemaker.
The History Press published Jonathan's second book “Legends and Lore of the Hudson Highlands,” in July of 2018. Currently, he's working with illustrators on his children's books: "The Culprit Faery," "To Get a Perfect Pet" and "Barkface & Rootnose." Kruk is rehearsing his next solo show "Rip Van Winkle." Plus, he's cogitating on a multi-media project; “Supernatural on the Hudson.”
Jonathan and his wife, filmmaker/actress, Andrea Sadler recently launched Fox and Crow Productions to produce the live film version of Jonathan's solo show "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," now available on DVD. They have plans to create a children's storytelling television show and to self publish his children's storybooks.
Jonathan and Andrea, live in a rustic cottage with their dog Wesley in the Hudson Highlands. Jonathan Kruk is a past president of the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the board of the Desmond-Fish Library, volunteers for the local Boy Scouts, Farmers Market, Philipstown Democrats, and other groups. On a rare day off from performing he, hikes, bikes, swims, practices yoga, gardens, collects bricks and still day-dreams.