If you've been lucky enough to see Two Headed Dog's grimy, Beckettian clown show (Clowntown City Limits) -- about a trio of unemployed and probably unemployable clowns, one a former rodeo specialist who merely grunts after being gored in the head by a bull, and a fourth, obnoxious kiddy show artisan whose occasional employment sends the other into paroxysms of rage -- then you've seen the work of John Ferraro, who directed it. Ferraro died last weekend after battling cancer. A benefit performance of Clowntown City Limits will be held in his honor on January 4, 2011 at 8 p.m at The Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. For information, please contact:
email@example.com. Ferraro's wife, Karen Emonts, provided the following obit:
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
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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.