Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

The Thespian: Ray Caspio 

Associate Artistic Director of Theater Ninjas

If you truss up Ray Caspio with the "golden lasso of truth," he'll tell you his heroes are Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman and other female TV superheroes. "It's about being fully who you are, even if your identity is hidden at times. That concept is very compelling to me."

Caspio is apparently well on his way to being who he is. As the associate artistic director of the travelling theater company Theater Ninjas, Caspio helps create and implement all the company's programming with artistic director Jeremy Paul. Caspio also uses his graphics and illustration skills to create promotional material for the TN shows.

But his first love may be performing. As he explains, "I really enjoy developing a relationship with an audience, taking the temperature of the room and adapting my performance so I can connect with them."

He started his acting career in 2008 in perhaps the most conventional play, The Mousetrap at the Huntington Playhouse. But he quickly moved on to more edgy productions, such as Open Mind Firmament at Cleveland Public Theatre and then his first show at Theater Ninjas, the challenging and at times hallucinatory Inoculations.

"After my first rehearsal with the Ninjas, I knew this was what I wanted. It was an open atmosphere where you could try things. This made every night fulfilling."

Many of his roles are unusual. He played Errato in The Excavation, an amusing and stunning exploration of the last days of Pompeii, and the eagle in the Big Box production of The Importance of Waiting for the Eagle at Cleveland Public Theatre. He's taken on many roles in Theater Ninja productions, including recently as mathematician and war hero Alan Turing in Code: Preludes.

A native greater-Clevelander (he was born in Parma), Caspio is currently working on a "cabaret-inspired interactive installation piece." It's titled Tingle-Tangle and will open in the fall with Caspio as the lead artist. "I'm interested in queer issues and queer characters, so this play will explore gender, sexuality and hate speech with people who live off the beaten path, and investigate what it means to be human."

In the future Caspio would like to do more solo shows, an interest once again inspired by a female performer. "I saw Liza Minnelli in her one-person show and it was a huge inspiration. She was like a tornado on stage and she was entirely present in the moment. She was also electrifying when I attended the taping of her appearance on The Actor's Studio with James Lipton. One of my dreams is to tour my own solo show, like Liza."

On the graphic-artist side of his life, Caspio recently had a gallery exhibit of his illustrations of iconic TV heroines (Elizabeth Montgomery, Marion Lorne, Lynda Carter, etc.) called "Oh, My Stars!" And he has a one-person web series on YouTube where he plays a somewhat aggressive and addled fellow called Uncle Toots.

As Wonder Woman once said, "Be creative, be adventurous, be original." Don't worry, Diana: Ray is listening.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Ray Caspio, Theater Ninjas

Latest in Cleveland People

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation