Stage Raw: John Ferraro (1946-2010)
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John A. Ferraro, an actor and director and teacher, passed away on December 7, 2010. Born in Paterson, New Jersey on April 5, 1946, Mr. Ferraro received his BFA from New York University School of the Arts. As a founding member of Andre Gregory's famed Manhattan Project, beginning in 1968, he was a featured performer in many of the company's seminal productions that visited major theater festivals worldwide, including an acclaimed avant garde version of Alice in Wonderland, Wallace Shawn's Our Late Night and Chekhov's The Seagull. Later, he played major roles at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, and began a directing career that included both theater and television. Mr. Ferraro served as associate director for his longtime mentor, director Wilford Leach, on the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance and directed the U.S. national and Australian tours of the work. Some of Mr. Ferraro's other outstanding productions include Some Men Need Help with Philip Bosco and Treat Williams and Wallace Shawn's The Hotel Play, which famously featured a cast of 70 actors at New York's La Mama E.T.C. Mr. Ferraro's television credits include the HBO production of Reno: In Rage and Rehab, several programs for The Comedy Channel including The Higgins Boys and Gruber, and a multi-year stint as producer of The Apollo Comedy Hour, as well as quality children's programs such as Shining Time Station and Sesame Street, for which he received an Emmy nomination. While continuing to develop and direct theater projects, Mr. Ferraro taught acting and directing at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts since 2003.
He is survived by his loving wife Karen Emonts of Los Angeles, his son Gregory Ferraro and former wife Clare Ferraro of New York City, and his niece Jamie Ferraro of Boston.