John Tartaglia is an Emmy Award, Tony Award, and Drama Desk Award nominated actor, puppeteer, and producer known to millions of fans around the world as "Johnny" from Disney's hit television series Johnny and the Sprites, which he created and produced. He has been working professionally as a puppeteer since he was just 16 years old when he joined Sesame Street (the youngest puppeteer in the show’s history.) John became a force in the theater world since making his memorable Broadway debut in the roles of Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q, and is now directing in New York, and producing several projects through his company Gables Grove Productions, Inc. John was born and rasied in Maple Shade, NJ and comes from a long line of performers (his mother is an actress; step-mother is a director; father a pianist; grandfather was a clown; and grandmother was a singer). He resides in New York City.
Producer and Creator
John's production company, Gables Grove Productions -- a multimedia family entertainment company, co-founded with Michael Shawn Lewis - - creates and produces international family entertainment for a variety of theatrical and televised venues. They are working with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, and Dramatic Forces, on productions including Towel Animal Theater; Bumpcrumpet and the Great Cookie Quest; Little Minute; Disney’s Muppet Variety Hour; and Disney’s Muppet Whatnot Game Show. Learn more about Gables Grove Productions by clicking here.
John created, produced, wrote, and voiced five of the lead characters in the Off-Broadway sensation John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean which went on from New York City to tour nationally and internationally including in over 40 U.S. cities, Guatemala, and Singapore. He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for the show and is currently working as Executive Producer to adapt the magical world of ImaginOcean into a television series with the Jim Henson Company, utilizing their revolutionary Digital Puppetry Studios system.
On television, John co-created, executive produced, and starred in Disney Channel’s musical series Johnny and the Sprites which can now be seen around the world.
Television Actor and Puppeteer
In addition to his starring Emmy Award nominated role as “Johnny” in Johnny and the Sprites, John has appeared in numerous childrens and grown-up television series.
John made his television debut bringing puppets to life when he was 16 on Sesame Street where he worked for ten years, and continues to go back to make special guest appearances (recently as the star of the High School Musical parody called Pre-School Musical). He also starred in Sesame Workshop's English as a foreign language project entitled Sesame English, which airs worldwide, and has appeared in countless Sesame Street’s video/dvd releases.
His additional television puppeter credits include the children’s shows Bear in the Big Blue House, JoJo's Circus. Blues Room, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, and Animal Jam.
For grown-ups John has guest starred on the series Ugly Betty, and was featured singing on The Today Show (2012) as part of a special series with Kathie Lee Gifford. He has voiced numerous national television commercials including for Kmart, Huggies, Nestle, Snuggle, Kool Aid, Goldfish Crackers, and more.
John has been a guest host on Sirius/XM satellite radio’s Broadway Channel, and is currently in development to host a weekly theater program for the company.
One of the most sought-after puppeteers in the industry, John designed a specialized Master Class in puppetry available in New York and Los Angeles, to help nurture both professional and new performers and to help keep the art form thriving.
Theater Actor and Director
John received a Tony Award Nomination, a Theatre World Award, a Backstage Award, and a Broadway.com Award for his role as Princeton/Rod in the Brodway show Avenue Q. His additional Broadway credits include the role of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and the role of Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical.
His extensive off-Broadway credits include Carnival at City Center's Encores!; Children of Eden and Pippin at the Manhattan Center for a World AIDS Day benefit concert; and dozens of performances from the Manhattan Theater Club and Storm Theater to Merkin Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall. Additionally, Tartaglia has hosted the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts.
In 2011 he starred in a production of The Temperamentals at the Blank Theatre Company in Hollywood, CA.
In 2012 he conceived, directed and hosted Jim Henson's Musical World featuring the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. The spectacular unprecedented production was an all-star music and puppet tribute to Jim Henson’s legacy.
John is currently serving as resident director for Avenue Q playing Off-Broadway at at New World Stages.
He will be directing the upcoming Broadway musical, Because of Winn Dixie, written by Nell Benjamin with music by Duncan Shiek.
In addition to stage and television, John recently made his feature film debut starring in Hotel Arthritis, which will be seen at several film festivals later this year.
John is passionate about arts education and is on the advisory board of New York Children's Theater Festival.
He has also worked in the Caribbean (most recently in 2012) to teach arts and theater to children in low income neighborhoods.
An ambassador for Givenik.com, John is also very active with Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids, and is a devoted animal activist who has worked on various campaigns with The Humane Society of the United States and Born Free USA.