Theatre and the arts captivated John as a kid when he participated in his mother’s free “pop-up” art centers in White Plains, NY. There he would spend afternoons and weekends working with clay, paint and the countless found materials his mother and her colleagues could scrounge up.
Mime, clowning and theatre would then become a passion that led to his working in experimental theatre in college where he discovered the power of how theatre, collaboration and community could be harnessed for change. After finishing his studies at Circle in the Square’s Professional Theatre Program he had the good fortune of meeting his wife, Pamela Shafer, at a summer stock theatre. What they both thought would be a summer fling, turned into a life time journey of creating theatre and a family together. Together in New York City they would work on many theatre projects leading to John becoming the Artistic Director of the non-profit theatre company, The Phoenix Ensemble. Their work with Phoenix would lead them to earn an award from The United Nations Society of Writers for their international theatre exchange with the former Soviet Union’s theatre arts school, GITIS. They would also create the two-person musical about ‘20’s silent film star Louise Brook, “Lulu”, that performed in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.
John’s work would lead him to television and film serving as an executive at Hallmark Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Inc. and Participant Media. Some of his most successful projects are the Emmy award winning adaptation Ira Glass’s This American Life and Showtime’s successful line up of documentary films Very Young Girls, Shame, Rikers High and Same Sex America; they all earned numerous awards and nominations and premiered at such film festivals as Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, IDFA, Full Frame and many more. He’s also developed an extensive slate of critically acclaimed Family Films for Showtime that garnered multiple Daytime Emmys, the Peabody, the Humanitas as well as awards from a variety of film festivals. Most notable among these films are: Bang Bang You’re Dead, Salma Hayek’s directorial début, The Maldonado Miracle, Rod Serling’s A Storm In Summer directed by Robert Wise; John Knowles’ A Separate Peacedirected by Peter Yates and produced by Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Productions.