Honors and Awards: 

  • Dreyfus Scholarship (established by Charles Strouse through ASCAP) 
  • Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference (A Tailor’s Tale -1999) 
  • Jonathan Larson Award 
  • Gilman Gonzalez Commendation Award 
  • Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference (Myth -2008)  
  • The Georgia Holof Lyricist Award (Myth) 
  • 1st Annual ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Music and Lyrics
  • NYMF Award (Best Music – Academy)  
  • NYMF Honorable Mention (Best Musical, Best Lyrics – Academy)  
  • DIMF Production Award (Academy)  
  • DIMF Award Best Musical (Academy)

After three productions at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, John’s musical, Through the Looking Glass is now available for licensing.  A contemporary retelling of the Lewis Carroll classic, Looking Glass tells the story of modern-day Alice who is bullied by classmates and takes a trip through her mirror to figure out how to cope.  The original cast album is now available on iTunes.  Two summers ago, his new musical, The Bootlegger and the Rabbi’s Daughter was presented in readings at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and at the Dorset Theatre in Vermont and was part of the Future Songbook Series at NYPL at Lincoln Center. 

In 2012, John’s musical Academy (for which he wrote book, music and lyrics) had its regional world premiere at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre where it was named one of the top ten best shows of 2010 by South Florida Theatre Review.  Before this, Academy won the award for Best Musical at the Daegu International Musical Festival (DIMF).  Before that, it completed its sold-out run at NYMF, where it was twice extended.  Academy received the NYMF Awards for Excellence in Music and Honorable Mention for Excellence in lyrics, Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Direction (John Carrafa).  In 2009, John was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award for music and lyrics for his work on Academy.  Before NYMF, Academy was developed at workshop at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre funded by a MacArthur grant.  John is also the recipient of an award from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation and a Commendation Award from the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Foundation.  In 2008 his new musical Myth was developed at the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, where John received The Georgia Holof Lyricist Award for his work.  John is one of a handful of artists to be chosen to attend the O’Neill twice, having been there in 1998 with his musical A Tailor’s Tale.  With collaborator Tajlei Levis, he wrote Glimpses of the Moon (published by Samuel French) which played in the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.  It had its regional premiere at MetroStage in Alexandria  and was also produced at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre.  The original cast recording  is available on iTunes.  Also with Ms. Levis, he wrote the music for A Time to Be Born, based on the novel by Dawn Powell, which played at the Lucille Lortel theatre as part of the New York Fringe Festival.  John wrote the score and co-wrote the book to Diva Diaries which ran for three months at the Lakeshore Theatre in Chicago.  Before that, it played at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  Other works include:  The Riverhaven Book Club (the Lyric Theatre, Florida), 1001 Nights (workshop at the George Street Theatre) and Arturo’s Window.  John has also composed the incidental music to plays and the scores to three ballets including one choreographed by former New York City Ballet dancer and choreographer Miriam Mahdaviani.  He received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and NYU and was a member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop.