John Pollono

  (Redirected from Small Engine Repair (film))

John Pollono is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for writing the 2017 film Stronger and the plays Small Engine Repair and Lost Girls, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2013 and 2015, respectively. As an actor, he is known for his recurring roles in the TNT series Mob City and NBC's This Is Us.

John Pollono
BornJohn A. Pollono
(1972-05-23) May 23, 1972 (age 48)
New Hampshire[1]
OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter, actor
Alma materUniversity of New Hampshire
Years active2000–present
SpouseJennifer Pollono

Pollono is active in the Los Angeles theater scene; he is one of the playwrights-in-residence at Rogue Machine Theatre and a part of The Temblors playwriting collective.[2]

Early life and educationEdit

Pollono was born May 23, 1972 in New Hampshire into a working-class Italian-American family;[3] he has three sisters.[4] He was raised in Londonderry, New Hampshire and graduated from Londonderry High School.[3][5] Pollono has said that his childhood in New England has greatly influenced his work.[1][6]

Pollono attended the University of New Hampshire, from which he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in 1994.[7] During one college summer, he studied film directing at New York University.[3] After he moved to Los Angeles, he studied acting for a time at Howard Fine Studio.[1]


2000–2010: Early careerEdit

Pollono moved around the country and worked on writing screenplays part-time, before settling in Los Angeles in 2000.[3][1] He later became interested in acting and helped to found the Jabberwocky Theatre Company in 2004. In 2008, Jabberwocky became Rogue Machine Theatre.[1] Through Jabberwocky and Rogue Machine, Pollono was able to produce the plays he had written, his first full-length play being Lost and Found which was originally produced in 2006 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles.[4]

His next produced play was Razorback, which was staged in 2008 at Rogue Machine. One of his one-act plays, Illuminati, won Best Play at the 2010 Network One-Act Festival in New York City and his first iteration of his play Rules of Seconds was chosen to participate in the 2011 Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska.[4]

During this time, Pollono also guest starred in television series including How I Met Your Mother and Grey's Anatomy, and had other small acting credits on film and stage. He also worked professionally in entertainment PR.[3][8]

2011– 2017: Success on stage and screenEdit


In 2011, Rogue Theatre produced Pollono's black comedy play Small Engine Repair, which in large part was inspired by his upbringing outside of Manchester, New Hampshire.[9] Pollono starred as Frank, one of the play's three main characters. The play was first staged at Theatre/Theater in Los Angeles and was very successful, later transferring to the Beverly Hills Playhouse. A year-and-a-half later, the play was produced by MCC Theatre in New York City and premiered at the off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Theatre.[10] This marked Pollono's debut off-Broadway as a playwright and actor.

Simultaneously, Pollono's new play, Lost Girls premiered in Los Angeles at Theatre/Theater in Fall 2013.[11] Lost Girls was picked up by MCC Theatre for their 2015–2016 season and as produced off-Broadway in Fall 2015.[12] Like Small Engine Repair, Lost Girls played at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and was directed by Jo Bonney.

In 2017, Pollono joined with other Los Angeles-based playwrights to form the playwriting collective The Temblors. A reworking of his play Rules of Seconds was produced in 2017 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.[2][13]

Screenwriting and actingEdit

Pollono's first notable screen acting role was as Pat Dolan in the TNT series Mob City in 2013. Pollono's character appears in all six episodes of the show. Of note, Mob City stars Jon Bernthal, who Pollono had just acted opposite in Small Engine Repair at Theatre/Theater before production of the television show began. In 2014, Pollono guest starred in an episode of Intelligence. In 2016, Pollono began portraying Tyler, a co-worker of the character Randall in This Is Us.

In 2014, Pollono was tapped to write the screenplay for what would become the 2017 film Stronger, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman.[14] The screenplay, based on Bauman's memoir Stronger, was number two on the Black List in 2016 and the film was released in 2017 to critical acclaim.[2]

2018–Present: Upcoming ProjectsEdit

During the beginning of 2019, Pollono reprised his role in the film adaption of Small Engine Repair, his directorial debut.[15] The film's release date has yet to be announced.

In February 2019, it was announced that Pollano was writing a screenplay based on the life of Hulk Hogan for Netflix. Directed by Todd Phillips and co-written by Scott Silver, the team that produced 2019's Joker, the film will star Chris Hemsworth.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Pollono is married to stage actress and founding member of Rogue Machine Theatre Jennifer Pollono;[17] they have two children together, including actress Sophie Pollono.

Pollono lives in Los Angeles.[18]



Selected works

  • Lost and Found, 2006, 2010 (rewrite)[4]
  • Razorback, 2008
  • Illuminati, 2010
  • Rules of Seconds, 2011, 2017 (rewrite)[4]
  • Small Engine Repair, 2011
  • Lost Girls, 2013


Acting creditsEdit


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Pieces of Eight Kimono Guy
2011 Fort McCoy Bud Gerkey
2013 Sex & Marriage Johnnie Short film; also writer
2017 Stronger Blackhawk Uncredited; also writer
2017 Fight Your Way Out Jim Gambello
TBA Small Engine Repair Frank Romanoski Also writer and director


Year Title Role Notes
2008 How I Met Your Mother Guy From Couple Episode: "I Heart NJ"
2012 Grey's Anatomy Charlie Episode: "All You Need Is Love"
2012 Major Crimes Derek Hansen Episode: "The Shame Game"
2013 Masters of Sex David Haas Episode: "All Together Now"
2013 Mob City Pat Dolan Supporting; 6 episodes
2014 Intelligence Eric Hanson Episode: "Cain and Gabriel"
2016–2017 This Is Us Tyler Recurring; 5 episodes


Selected credits

Year Title Role Venue Company Notes
2009 Half of Plenty Marty Theatre/Theater:

May 22 – June 22, 2009

Rogue Machine Theatre
2010 Lost and Found Tommy The Cherry Pit (FringeNYC):

August 16–27, 2010

Rogue Machine Theatre [19]
Lucille Lortel Theatre:

September 18–25, 2010

2011 Small Engine Repair Frank Theatre/Theater:

March 25 – June 5, 2011

Rogue Machine Theatre
Beverly Hills Playhouse:

August – September 8, 2011

2013 Small Engine Repair Frank Lucille Lortel Theatre:

October 30 – December 8, 2013

MCC Theatre


  • Pollono, John. Small Engine Repair. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8222-3142-4.[20]
  • Pollono, John. Lost Girls. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2016. ISBN 978-0-8222-3144-8.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e "John Pollono on How a Hard Night of Drinking with Hometown Pals Drove Him to Write Small Engine Repair". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  2. ^ a b c "The Temblors Website". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Better Lemons". Better Lemons. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  4. ^ a b c d e "John Pollono Writes a Small Engine that Could". At This Stage. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  5. ^ Razzaq, Zane. "Hollywood comes to Boston for Marathon Bombing survivor's film". Lexington Minuteman. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  6. ^ Szymkowicz, Adam (2011-04-30). "Adam Szymkowicz: I Interview Playwrights Part 346: John Pollono". Adam Szymkowicz. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  7. ^ "VIPA presents the New England premiere of 'Small Engine Repair'". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  8. ^ "Alumni US | University of New Hampshire, Greater Boston Area". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  9. ^ staff/john-del-signore (2013-12-03). "Actor & Playwright John Pollono Talks About His Hit Show Small Engine Repair". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2019-12-04. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  10. ^ "Small Engine Repair". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  11. ^ "Lost Girls". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  12. ^ "Lost Girls". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  13. ^ "Rules Of Seconds". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  14. ^ "Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor's Story Getting Movie Treatment From Lionsgate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  15. ^ Weekly, Production (2019-01-12). "Jon Bernthal @jonnybernthal joins the feature adaptation of @JohnPollono's play SMALL ENGINE REPAIR". @prodweek. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  16. ^ "Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic Directed by Todd Phillips (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  17. ^ "Pacific Resident Theater". Pacific Resident Theater. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  18. ^ Szymkowicz, Adam (2011-04-30). "Adam Szymkowicz: I Interview Playwrights Part 346: John Pollono". Adam Szymkowicz. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  19. ^ "Lost and Found at The Cherry Pit and others 2010". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  20. ^ Pollono, John (2015-05-15). Small Engine Repair. Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8222-3142-4.
  21. ^ Pollono, John (2016-05-16). Lost Girls. Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8222-3144-8.