Our dear friend Dominic Orlando passed away on November 17, 2021. In his memory, Playwrights' Center is partnering with Arizona Theatre Company to produce an online reading of DANNY CASOLARO DIED FOR YOU as part of the '21-22 Ruth Easton New Play Series.
The true story of the playwright's cousin, a reporter who disappeared while investigating corruption in The Reagan/Bush Justice Department. His body was found in a cheap motel, his arms slashed a dozen times--the authorities say suicide, but a host of conspiracy theorists—and The House Judiciary Committee—disagree. What was "the truth" Danny died trying to tell? And what does his strange journey reveal about the political world we live in now?
From playwright Melanie Marnich : "What I love and admire about Dom's work is its braiding of intellectual curiosity and energy...with emotional urgency and the search for truth. These things ran like an electrical current through his writing. I will miss my friend forever, but will always take comfort in the inspiration I get from his body of work."
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This performance will replace Ray Yamanouchi's THA CHINK-MART, originally scheduled for February 7 & 8, in the Ruth Easton New Play Series. In keeping with PWC's mission to meet playwrights' specific creative needs and wishes, THA CHINK-MART will continue to receive development support at Playwrights' Center without a public reading.
The Funders of the Ruth Easton New Play Series
Actress Ruth Easton (nee Edelstein) was born in North Branch, Minnesota and graduated from North Branch High School. She attended the University of Minnesota for one year and the following year attended Macalester College before finishing her collegiate career at Cumnock School in Los Angeles. She went on to New York where she studied acting with Oliver Morosco. Mr. Morosco opened a stock theater company in upstate New York where Ms. Easton starred in several plays. After performing with other stock theater companies she returned to New York City where she appeared in five Broadway plays over a period of seven years. They included Exceedingly Small, Privilege Car, Town Bay, Buckaroo and Charlie Chan. Exceedingly Small was directed by Ethel Barrymore and Easton played opposite Eric Dressler. New York critics praised her performance as “thoroughly touching” and “highly spirited and excellent.” She starred in radio dramas on the Rudy Vallee Hour and the Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour opposite such actors as Walter Huston, Judith Anderson and Lionel Barrymore. She also appeared with Clark Gable, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson during the course of her career. Ms. Easton’s legacy, her commitment to theater and the development of new works continues through the charitable gifts made by the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.