'Tink!' Lifts Greensburg Teacher to NYC Festival; Anthony Marino's Story Began Nearly Two Decades Ago in a Rented Greensburg Studio with 12 Kids Who Loved to Dance, Sing and Act. [Derived Headline]

By Erdley, Debra | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 14, 2016 | Go to article overview

'Tink!' Lifts Greensburg Teacher to NYC Festival; Anthony Marino's Story Began Nearly Two Decades Ago in a Rented Greensburg Studio with 12 Kids Who Loved to Dance, Sing and Act. [Derived Headline]


Erdley, Debra, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Anthony Marino's story began nearly two decades ago in a rented Greensburg studio with 12 kids who loved to dance, sing and act.

His dream was to teach, to help those kids feel the same excitement he felt each time he stepped onto a stage.

In the back of his mind, he thought a few of them might rise to greatness, to ply their craft on the biggest stage of all -- in New York.

But 18 years after Marino and his sister, Chris Orosz, started their Stage Right! performing arts school with a shoestring budget and a loose notion of what it could become, it's Marino, 47, who finds himself on that big stage.

The Greensburg resident is poised to realize his own fairy tale ending when "Tink!" an original musical he penned for Stage Right! opens in New York City, one of nine musicals from around the world chosen for what is widely recognized as a springboard to Broadway -- the New York Musical Festival.

The festival, which began 12 years ago, has launched three Broadway plays, including the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Next to Normal." Twenty-six other shows have landed off-Broadway.

A prequel to Scottish writer J.M. Barrie's beloved "Peter Pan," "Tink!" tells the story of Tinker Bell and her journey to becoming Peter Pan's fairy and best friend.

When notified of his selection, Marino said, "I was absolutely floored. It was a huge validation that we've created something people see value in, not just other people, but people who are really learned."

"People all over the world are writing, and to be selected to be part of something like that is just very exciting. It's significant to be chosen," said Zeva Barzell, associate professor of theater and head of musical theater studies at Point Park University.

To save money, Marino often wrote the material used in his school's productions.

Last spring, following a performance in Butler, he and several students were eating lunch and mulling their next project when his 14-year-old son, also named Anthony, looked up and said, "It's really a shame nobody has done a musical about Tinker Bell."

The seed was planted, and Marino, along with composer/arranger Lena Gabrielle and lyricist Greg Kerestan, decided the story of "Tink! …

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