Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Spotlight On...Casey Dressler
Hometown: The Florida Keys (Key Largo & Islamorada)
Education: New World School of the arts in Miami and The Acting School of South Florida.
Favorite Credits: Frankie in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de lune by Terrance McNally, Sarah in A Map of Virtue by Erin Courtney and Jennifer Jones in The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. I just closed an extended run of Parallel Lives by Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney here in South Florida and it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had on stage.
Why theater?: Because it’s magic! And the people are just the best! Shout out to my Thinking Cap Theatre family!
Tell us about The Wedding Warrior: The Wedding Warrior is a One Woman romantic comedy based on my experiences working as a wedding coordinator at a resort in my hometown of Islamorada. I play close to 20 characters in the show, all of which are based on real people whose paths I crossed during my brief stint in the bridal biz.
What inspired you to write The Wedding Warrior?: I initially wanted to write The Wedding Warrior as a vehicle to empower myself as an artist. It was never my intention for the story to become so personal. I had this idea that by 30 I’d definitely be married. This was something I wanted above all else. I started writing the show a few years ago shortly after my 30th birthday. I guess it was my quarter life crisis in a way. There was a sadness and a pressure I was feeling about not being married and much of that has informed my show. I grew up in a small island town and have stayed pretty close to home. I came to the conclusion that this was one of the reasons why I was putting so much emphasis on wanting my life to be wrapped up with a pretty perfect marriage bow. I decided I needed to travel and step outside the comforts of home where my roots were so deeply planted. So instead of planning a wedding, I planned a show abroad. I set a goal, gave myself a deadline and premiered The Wedding Warrior at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014. It’s been a beautiful journey so far and one that I hope will continue to have wings.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: "I don't like it when people come up to me after my plays and say, 'I really dug your message, man.' Or, 'I really dug your play, man, I cried.' You know. I like it when people come up to me the next day, or a week later, and they say, 'I saw your play. What happened?' – Jeff (Bill Murray, Tootsie). I love watching and performing thought provoking theatre that can be interpreted differently from person to person. As a writer and solo performer however, I am not as cool as Bill Murray in Tootsie. What speaks to me the most is being able to bring a story full circle in a way that is uplifting and leaves audiences feeling satisfied. I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending. Maybe because I want so badly to believe they do exist. If someone comes up to me after a show to say I made them laugh or cry or gave them some kind of hope, then my goal was accomplished. As for inspiration? My family, my friends, my hometown, the wonderful weirdos I meet in my travels and of course that crazy thing called LOVE.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Robert Smith of The Cure. His music has been the soundtrack to my life.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: There was a beautiful show that premiered in South Florida last year called Daniel’s Husband, written by local Playwright Michael Mckeever. It moved me to tears and I did not stop thinking about it for weeks. I definitely took to social media and anyone who would listen to gush over it.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: “Bridget Joneses Diary” which I believe was in fact made into a movie and starred the lovely Renee Zellweger. Honestly though? I’d love to adapt the Wedding Warrior into a screen play. As for the star, I’d be real Sylvester Stallone with ROCKY about it and insist they cast me.
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Miss Saigon, Original London Cast. I still listen to that CD in my car, sing and sob to it. I am not well versed in musical theatre to be honest, but I saw a touring production of it as a teenager and I’m pretty sure it changed my life.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I watch the Golden Girls every night before bed.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Doing something else that gave me great purpose, but as of now I’ve yet to figure out what that would be. If I had another option I may have already fallen back on it.
What’s up next?: The New York International Fringe Festival (SAT Aug. 13th @ 3:45, SUN Aug 14th @ 6:15, WED Aug 17th @ 9:15, SUN Aug 21st @ 4:30, FRI Aug 26th @ 7:15). AND…The Chicago Fringe Festival Aug. 31st-Sept 11th. Exact performance dates TBA.
For more on The Wedding Warrior, visit www.TheWeddingWarriorPlay.com and www.facebook.com/TheWeddingWarriorPlay