- M.F.A. in Theatrical Design from the University of Minnesota
- Pursued an M.S. (ABT) in Rehabilitation Counseling at Minnesota State University, Mankato
- B.A. in Psychology and Phys. Ed. from Hope College
Since leaving the field of Psychology and Counseling in the mid-eighties for a career in Theatre, John has designed or built over 200 shows and projects. Although his first love is theatre, he has designed for opera, dance, themed entertainment, trade shows, commercials, retail spaces and feature films. He especially enjoys design for original work.
He has designed scenery for numerous productions at Creede Repertory Theatre in Colorado, which was named by USA Today as one of the 10 best summer regional theatres in the country. He has also designed for the Cape Repertory Theatre on Cape Cod, MA, as well as many theatres in the Midwest. John was Chair of Design, Technology and Management for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region V, which encompasses seven Upper Midwestern States. He has served on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts, Chapman University, College of the Canyons, Northwestern College, and Dordt College; and is currently the scenic design professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota.
- Scenic Designer for the premiere musical Reefer Madness in Los Angeles for which he won the LAWeekly Award for Best Production Design of 1999;
- Scenic and Lighting Designer for Ping Chong for the original adaptation project Persuasion based on the book, The Chocolate Wars at the University of Minnesota;
- Scenic and Costume Designer for award winning playwright Jeff Barker and Broadway composer Ron Melrose for And God Said;
- Scenic Designer for T.M. Camp’s new adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey; Technical Director for Lee Blessing’s premiere production of Two Rooms at the Cricket Theatre;
- Assistant Art Director for the feature films Fargo and Grumpier Old Men;
- Set Designer for the feature films Jingle All the Way, The Cure and Feeling Minnesota;
- Art Director for the “Oceans” Exhibit at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, OH which garnered the Best Guest Experience Award of 1999 from the Themed Entertainment Association and was featured in Time magazine;
- Art Director for the Edwards Technology trade show booth which won the Best of Show Award at IAAPA 2001;
- Art Director for Cirque de la Mer at Seaworld, an acrobatic show performed in the San Diego Bay Arena; and
- Art Director or Set Designer for numerous national release commercials such as Nescafe, KIA, Dove and Budweiser.