By Paula Katinas
Bay Ridge — Anthony Marino, an actor, writer and director best known for co-founding brooklynONE Theater, is beginning Act II of his educational career.
“It’s a wild ride and I’m very excited about it,” he said.
Marino, a teacher by profession, taught drama at P.S./I.S. 180 on 16th Avenue for five years, and has now moved to the Child School/Legacy High School, a private school on Roosevelt Island, as the school’s theater and drama director. He started his new job earlier this month.
Marino was hired by the school’s director, Dr. Sal Ferrera, former president of Xaverian High School. Marino and Ferrera go way back.
“He was my principal at P.S. 204. I graduated from there in 1996. And I also went to Xaverian when he was the president there,” Marino said.
Marino co-founded brooklynONE Theater, a Bay Ridge-based troupe that presents original plays, with the late Bay Ridge Eagle columnist Tom Kane. Marino is also well known as co-chair of the Arts and Culture Committee of the Bay Ridge Community Council. He holds that position along with Karen Tadross. The committee organized the highly successful “Teen Idol” talent competition last spring.
Marino’s connection to Kane might have played a role in his being hired for his new job. Marino took part in a tribute to Kane in June at Hopefest 2011, a gala held each year to raise funds for the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation. Loccisano, a 17-year-old Xaverian student, died of cancer in 2011. His mother, Camille Orrichio Loccisano, started the foundation, and Kane was a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors.
“I was at Hopefest 2011 and we did this tribute to Tom. Sal saw me perform and asked Camille if I would be interested in coming to the school,” Marino said. Orrichio Loccisano is a member of the faculty.
Marino said he was impressed with Ferrera’s educational vision and decided to join his team.
“He has a wonderful way of selling you an idea,” Marino said.
The Child School/Legacy High School educates students with learning disabilities from kindergarten through senior year of high school. Marino said he is enjoying the challenge.
“The idea is to give the kids a more concentrated learning environment. The kids are great,” he said.
The school is located on a campus that has four buildings on Roosevelt Island. The island is a stone’s throw away from Manhattan.
“It’s so close to Manhattan, you feel like you can reach out and touch the theater district,” Marino said.
Marino said he has two other things to be excited about: a professional partnership and an expansion of the school’s campus.
“We are developing a relationship with Signature Theater Company that will allow us to perform works there,” he said.
He is also looking forward to the construction of a new theater center on the school’s campus.
“The school is leasing a new building,” he said. “It’s going to be a theater-in-the-round. It’s really going to be a great performing arts space.”
Though he is still getting acclimated, Marino said he is already bursting with ideas. Among his plans is to mount a production of Seussical: the Musical in the spring, starring his students.
Marino, a Wagner College graduate, got his job at P.S./I.S. 180 fresh out of college.
“I love 180. It was a difficult decision to leave. But after talking with my family and friends, I knew it was the right decision. This is a great opportunity,” he said.
At his new job, “I have a great team of people working with me,” Marino said.
His goal “is to take the theater program to levels the kids haven’t seen before,” he said.