MARK PASSARRELLO’s first experience onstage was in sixth grade, portraying a signer of The Declaration of Independence in a Bicentennial pageant. The fact that he now knows this man was called Stephen Hopkins and came from Rhode Island is a testament to the edifying and enriching power of the theatre (see 1776.) Much later when his senior class read Hamlet aloud, he was told by a fellow student that his rendition of Polonius “really sounded like an old guy.” It was the first real inkling that a shy, reserved individual might find a comfortable place at center stage.
Having been continually reprimanded about his eccentric spelling and punctuation, and having bombed out of a middle school choir audition, he was amazed as anyone else, during his college stint, that he was a highly serviceable writer and singer. He balanced academics with staff assignments on his school’s paper, and capped a college acting career by being the only non-music major playing a principle role in the opera department’s production of The Mikado.
In the more than two decades he ahs been in Columbus, he has appeared in a variety of venues and theatre forms. Prior to the birth of his son and daughter he was an active arts journalist, chronicling the local cultural scene and reviewing plays, film, books and the occasional scenic railway ride. Outside the theatre, he enjoys reading and attempting to write mystery fiction, cooking and consuming food of all sorts, and exerting his green thumb. A long time member of the Columbus Bonsai Society, he is currently serve on their board as Education chair and has presented many classes, workshops and demonstrations about this ancient art form.