Ray Caspio

"a shapeshifter of an actor" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Filtering by Category: cabaret

I Tapped My Husband's Back & What Makes a Man (Comme Ils Disent)

"I Tapped My Husband's Back" and Charles Aznavour's "What Makes a Man (Comme Ils Disent)" closed Act 1 of the 2014 run of TingleTangle. Here is video of this segment, one of my favorites to perform in the production. These pieces talk about societal, familial, and ingrained prejudices, as well as Love in various forms.

I'll never forget performing and exploring these pieces—their words—the day marriage equality became a thing, which happened to be the closing performance of TingleTangle's second run! To say they took on an entirely new meaning would be an understatement.

(You'll also hear a bit of Mischa Spoliansky's "Maskulinum-Femininum" at the beginning of the video.)

from TingleTangle
produced by Theater Ninjas (2014-2015)
conceived & performed by Ray Caspio
original compositions, arrangements & accompanied by agleam/Eric M. C. Gonzalez
directed by Jeremy Paul
lighting design by Ben Gantose
costumes by Kevenn T. Smith
stage managed by Kaitlin Kelly
assistant stage managed by Christina Dennis
at Guide to Kulchur

Theater Ninjas’ original production, TingleTangle, was an evening of personal storytelling, songs and conversations about sexuality, marriage equality, the many angles of oppression and the power of compassion. It reveled in the nuances of identity and how we all use performance to communicate our truest selves to the world. Monologues I wrote and performed, drawing on my experiences as a married gay man in Ohio, formed TingleTangle’s core. TingleTangle sold out and extended its run in Fall 2014, and returned in June 2015, poignantly closing the day marriage equality was fully legalized nationwide.

"Maskulinum-Femininum" music and lyrics by Mischa Spoliansky
"I Tapped My Husband's Back" written by Ray Caspio
"What Makes a Man (Comme Ils Disent)" music and lyrics by Charles Aznavour, arranged and accompanied by agleam/Eric M. C. Gonzalez

Creative Workforce Fellowship

"Forty Cuyahoga County artists working in the disciplines of craft, dance, design, literature, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts will each receive $15,000 in 2016 through the Creative Workforce Fellowship...which are made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the County's public funder for arts and culture." - Link to full press release at Community Partnership for Arts and Culture's website

I am elated to be one of those forty artists and it's a great honor to be among such stellar company, which includes several past collaborators. My Fellowship is in the Theatre: Improvisational/Spoken Word/Storytelling discipline. Authentic, honest, fearless, barrier-free, from-the-heart storytelling creates a space where empathy is cultivated and allows for profound transformative experiences in both the artist and audience. This Fellowship will allow me to travel and further study techniques vital to my foundation as a performer, creator, and educator in Cuyahoga County. It will provide me the formal training in improvisation and comedy writing I've craved for years. And I'll have the time and brain space to focus on creating and developing my own projects, which includes bringing a certain Uncle Toots to his next level in a live performance piece!

Much more exciting stuff to come.

The past few years, especially 2015, brought great focus, belief, and acceptance in myself, my work, and what only I'm able to do. This Fellowship is the product of that. To everyone who has been a part of who I am, both as a person and an artist (same thing)...thank you. I'm looking forward to what the Creative Workforce Fellowship adds to my story.

To close this out, here is a work sample from my Fellowship application, written and performed by me, from a Fall 2014 performance of TingleTangle: a show conceived by yours truly and created with some crazy-talented Theater Ninjas who gave their souls to the production during its experimental Prelude performances in 2013 and 2014 (directed by me, original compositions and arrangements by Sean Ellis Hussey), and its full runs in Fall 2014 and June 2015 (directed by Jeremy Paul, original compositions and arrangements by Eric M. C. Gonzalez: both CWF recipients), which poignantly closed the night marriage equality was made legal across the United States. 

 

TingleTangle Returns!

Theater Ninjas’ Celebrated TingleTangle
Returns this June During Pride Month


Cleveland, Ohio, June 1, 2015 — TingleTangle is back! Theater Ninjas' production of this original, hilarious and poignant look at gender, sexuality and marriage equality sold out and extended its run last fall, and will be brought back for a limited engagement this June! This mobile show features a mix of new material and old favorites.

TingleTangle is an evening of personal storytelling, gender-bending songs and no-punches-pulled conversations about marriage equality, sexuality, gender, oppression, hate speech and compassion's transgressive power. This cabaret-inspired performance responds to a conflicted, changing world, with love, empathy, humor and the desire to understand…not to mention some out-and-out desire! This provocative evening revels in the nuances of identity and how we all use performance to communicate our truest selves to the world.

The show returns this June, coinciding with the expected decision from the United States Supreme Court on marriage equality and in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. This limited engagement runs one weekend only in the Waterloo Arts District at Maria Neil Art Project, June 25 and 26 at 8pm, and June 27 at 2pm and 5pm during the Waterloo Arts Fest!

“TingleTangle was an incredible success during its first run and I’m thrilled to be bringing it back at such an important time in the nation’s history,” said the show’s conceiver and star, Ray Caspio. “The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on Marriage Equality, no matter what it is, will have an effect on my life and marriage, as well as those of all other LGBTQ citizens of this country. We’re going to have a lot to talk—and laugh—about.”

TingleTangle received unanimous raves and appeared on numerous “Best of Theater 2014” lists, including Cleveland Scene Magazine and WCPN 90.3’s Sound of Applause.

Theater Ninjas is the Food Truck of Cleveland Theater. We’re a nomadic company who seeks out new and exciting spaces to perform. Working in non-traditional venues gives us an opportunity to reimagine how and why we tell stories, and helps us to create deep, fascinating worlds for the audience to explore. We’re always experimenting; always rethinking what theater can be: as entertainment, as art and as out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

More information about the out-of-the-ordinary experiences in Theater Ninjas’ ninth year can be found at http://www.theaterninjas.com.



TingleTangle
conceived by Ray Caspio
directed by Jeremy Paul

original composition & arrangements by Eric M. C. Gonzalez
starring Ray Caspio, Ryan Lucas & Amy Schwabauer


stage manager Franny Gallagher
original costume design Kevenn T. Smith

June 25-27, 2015
Thursday & Friday @ 8pm
Saturday (partial performances from the full production during Waterloo Arts Fest) @ 2pm & 5pm
@ Maria Neil Art Project
15813 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, OH 44110
Behind Star Pop

Tickets: $10-$15
@ https://theaterninjas.tixato.com/buy
General Admission: $15
Ages 18-25/Over 65: $10
Saturday: Free (partial performances from the full production during Waterloo Arts Fest)
Group discounts available for 10 or more


theaterninjas.com or (440) 941-1482

This Show Is So Gay

Last week, I was interviewed by Ken Schneck for the full hour of his This Show is So Gay podcast! We talk Oh, My Stars!, TingleTangle, performing, classic pop culture, game shows...it's really fun!

Link to the interview: http://thisshowissogay.com/node/740

Theater Ninjas' TingleTangle @ Guide to Kulchur

Ray Caspio & Eric M. C. Gonzalez in TingleTangle. Photo courtesy of Theater Ninjas. Photographer Frank Lanza.
June 1, 2002, I sat next to my grandma in the balcony at the Beacon Theatre in New York City and witnessed Liza Minnelli perform her "comeback" concert, Liza's Back. Liza was a performer who was fully alive, conversing with her audience, and living in the present moment: flaws and all. I set a goal for myself that night.

Today, TingleTangle: the show I conceived and am performing in.
Sexuality, gender, marriage equality.
Sexy, hysterical, thought-provoking.
Queer.

Press:
Cleveland Centennial (David Hansen)
Land of Cleve
The Sound of Applause: NPR/WCPN 90.3 Ideastream interview with Dee Perry

Theater Ninjas' TingleTangle is an evening of personal storytelling, gender-bending songs and no-punches pulled conversations about sexuality, gender, oppression, hate speech and compassion's transgressive power. An avant garde Muppet Show mixed with Weimar sex and danger. This cabaret-inspired performance responds to a conflicted, changing world, with love, empathy, humor and the desire to understand…not to mention some out-and-out desire!

TingleTangle revels in the nuances of identity and how we all use performance to communicate our truest selves to the world. Forming TingleTangle’s core are monologues and songs by me, drawing on my experiences as a married gay man dealing with prejudice, identity, and acceptance. I am honored to work with a talented, generous ensemble of actors who perform original comedy sketches and interactive stories, with composition and live accompaniment by Eric M. C. Gonzalez.


Tickets: https://theaterninjas.tixato.com/buy/tingletangle

Limited seating, limited run! There is nothing else like this happening in Cleveland theater.

Illustration by Ray Caspio
conceived by Ray Caspio
directed by Jeremy Paul
original composition & arrangements by Eric M. C. Gonzalez
featuring Ray Caspio, Katie Beck, Valerie C. Kilmer, Ryan Lucas, Dan Rand & Amy Schwabauer
stage manager Kaitlin Kelly
assistant stage manager & dramaturge Christina Dennis
costume design Kevenn T. Smith
lighting design Benjamin Gantose

Theater Ninjas is the Food Truck of Cleveland Theater. We’re a nomadic company who seeks out new and exciting spaces to perform. Working in non-traditional venues gives us an opportunity to reimagine how and why we tell stories, and helps us to create deep, fascinating worlds for the audience to explore. We’re always experimenting; always rethinking what theater can be: as entertainment, as art and as out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Tingle-Tangled in [sic]


This weekend only, I'll be performing Tingle-Tangle immediately following Theater Ninjas' production of [sic] at 78th Street Studios! I'm excited about these performances for many reasons, one of which happens to be the beautiful compositions by Sean Ellis.

Tickets are $10-$20 and available through Square or the Ninjas box office at (440) 941-1482.

Click here for a wonderful interview I did with CellarDoorCLE's insightful Nikki Delamotte
all about Tingle-Tangle and equality.

Quoting Nikki, "Theater or non-theater fan, Tingle-Tangle is a really great piece for anyone who cares about the importance of equality and equal rights. (Hopefully, that includes you.)"

Tingle-Tangle from Theater Ninjas on Vimeo.

 

background photos by Frank J. Lanza Photography, courtesy of Theater Ninjas
Contents of this site copyright 2007-present, Ray Caspio & their respective owners.
Content on this site may only be used after obtaining written permission from the site owner.

Ray Caspio received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.