Michael Cassara, CSA is a Casting Director, Educator and Producer based in New York City and dedicated to developing and fostering the growth of new musicals, plays, and film projects.
Since the formation of Michael Cassara Casting in 2003, Michael has worked with many of the nation’s top theatres including The Old Globe, Queens Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse, The White Plains Performing Arts Center, and more. Recent projects have included Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking! (off-Broadway and cast recording), Fat Camp (off-Broadway), Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project (dir. Chet Walker), Kingdom (The Old Globe, dir. Ron Daniels), Falling For Eve (book by Joe DiPietro, York Theatre Company), A Little Night Music (starring Penny Fuller and Mark Jacoby), Cheer Wars (winner, 2009 Richard Rodgers Award, dir. Dan Knechtges), The Molly Maguires (dir. Sheryl Kaller, mus. dir John McDaniel), Stephen Schwartz’s Captain Louie (National Tour), If This Hat Could Talk (National Tour, directed by Tony® Award-winner George Faison), The Gig (York Theatre Concert/Cast Recording on JAY Records, dir. Victoria Bussert), Barnstormer (by Douglas J. Cohen and Cheryl L. Davis, dir. Jerry Dixon), The Unauthorized Autobiography Of Samantha Brown (Makor, w/ Michael Arden and Celia Keenan-Bolger), Joy (off-Broadway and workshops), and countless readings and workshops. For New York’s renowned Peccadillo Theatre Company, Michael was the casting director for the critically-acclaimed revival of Lillian Hellman’s rarely-seen masterpiece, Another Part Of The Forest, The Man Who Came To Dinner (starring Jim Brochu and Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman), and the New York premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Ten Chimneys (starring Byron Jennings and Carolyn McCormick). Before opening his own casting office, Michael worked in casting with Johnson-Liff Casting Associates, Ltd., Cameron Mackintosh, Inc. and the Paper Mill Playhouse.
Since 2007, Michael has served as the resident casting director of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where he has cast over 50 individual projects since the festival’s inception in 2004. Some favorite NYMF casting credits include The Yellow Wood (dir. Tony® Award-winner BD Wong), All Fall Down (dir. Lonny Price), The Woman Upstairs (by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk), The Last Smoker In America (dir. Sheryl Kaller), Fat Camp (dir. Alex Timbers), Max Understood (dir. David Schweizer), and Twilight In Manchego (dir. Tony® Award-winner Billy Porter).
In 2013, Michael became the Casting Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), starting with their 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals – casting 78 performers for 9 industry presentations of new musicals.
Feature film credits include Grantham & Rose (dir. Tony® Award-nominee Kristin Hanggi, starring Jake T. Austin, Marla Gibbs and Tessa Thompson), Contest (dir. Anthony Giunta, starring Raviv Ullman, Kenton Duty, Katherine McNamara, and Mary Beth Peil), and Clear Blue Tuesday (directed by Elizabeth Lucas.) Additionally, he has cast a number of high-profile short films including Alienated (dir. Paul Borghese, starring Vincent Pastore) and The Hyperglot (dir. Michael Urie, featuring Tovah Feldshuh.)
As a director, Michael’s credits include The Songs Of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, selling out Manhattan’s Opia lounge starring Michael Arden, Alison Fraser, Mandy Gonzalez, Kate Shindle and many others. His directing work has recently been seen at the Goodspeed Opera House, the Perry-Mansfield Center for the Arts, the Paramount Theatre (VT) and in readings at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. As a producer, he recently co-produced the critically acclaimed premiere cast recording of Timothy Huang’s musical, The View From Here, starring Shonn Wiley. In August, 2006, Michael made his theatrical producing debut with the world premiere of Hermanas, a play by Monica Yudovich which received a completely sold-out FringeNYC run and transferred for an extended run at off-Broadway’s Theatre Row.
Upcoming casting projects include the Broadway musical Fat Camp and he is presently at work directing and conceiving a new project featuring the songs of Judd Woldin, composer of the Tony®-Award winning musical, Raisin.
Originally a performer, Michael is a native Clevelander and a BFA graduate of the musical theatre program at Otterbein College. He regularly teaches and lectures on musical theatre and the entertainment industry, in New York City and throughout the world. Member, Casting Society of America.