Monday, May 10, 2010

Matt Casarino – A 21st Century Renaissance Man

Actor, musician, beer connoisseur, bon vivant; all describe Matt Casarino. When I first met him while working on Kiss me, Kate at the Wilmington Drama League, I noticed his incredible energy.

From the audience, watching him on stage in The Music Man, that energy was almost palpable as he livened up the fictional town and the actual stage with his buoyancy.

But Matt is also a very serious and hard-working guy. He has been writing plays since 1997. His play Midnight Train to George was first runner up at this year’s Delaware Theatre Association’s 68th One Act Play Festival held on March 27, 2010 at the Everett Theatre in Middletown.

When I saw the play this past weekend at the adjudication of original works for the Eastern States Theatre Association at the Chapel Street Players, I was struck by how well the play’s dialogue was crafted. It’s the story of two women passengers on a bus…simple enough. Raye, a waitress in a diner, is bubbly and tells Kim she feels sure she has met her before. Kim denies it, but Raye persists to the point of annoyance. The words, their delivery and the flow of the dialogue seems so natural, I felt as if I were on the bus, too. I have heard so many similar conversations. As the play progresses, the tight writing makes everything move to a climax and then resolution – and all in less that thirty minutes.

Many of Matt’s plays have been published, including one in the Smith & Kraus Best 10 Minute Play series. He has had works performed all over the country – including stops in Delaware. Midnight Train to George was produced at both the Rehoboth Theatre of Arts and at City Theater Company in its 2009 series Casarino Royale in which it highlighted five of Matt’s works.
Matt’s day job is at the Wilmington Drama League, where he pretty much does everything when he is not being a musician or a playwright or keeping up his knowledge of distinguished brews.


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