Patrick Cassidy Brings His Artistic Talent to Studio Tenn

Article by Maria Dinoia

Photography by Danielle Del Valle

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Patrick Cassidy, son of Oscar-winner Shirley Jones and Tony award-winner Jack Cassidy has found a new home here in Franklin. The California native and half-brother to pop star David Cassidy, brother to Shaun and Ryan Cassidy was named the new artistic director of Franklin’s professional regional theater company, Studio Tenn last November.

Patrick, 58, says, “Entertaining was definitely in my blood, in the DNA.” But for a while he tried to resist his calling. “I was 100% jock in high school. I was the only athlete in my family and that became my platform to excel. I wasn’t interested in performing at that point. Sports was my outlet.”

However, his sports career was cut short by a collarbone injury. While he spent time healing, he was bit by the theater bug in a high school production of The Music Man.  “I believe that changed the whole trajectory of my career.”

Broadway, TV and film soon beckoned and for the next 30 years, he succeeded as an acclaimed performer and director. But Hollywood can be a brutal business for someone over a certain age. “Show business is the only business I know where you can be the best actor and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna get the part. There’s a whole variety of other things you have no control over.”

So when the acting roles started to dry up, Patrick had to figure out what else he was suited for. “I’ll take all of the experience, everything I’ve learned in the theater, on camera, in my career and I want to give that back and teach.”

He started his own little acting academy and followed a path that eventually led him to becoming resident director at the Wynn in Las Vegas. “It gave me exposure to a different side of this business.” Patrick threw his hat in the ring for a position of artistic director at his hometown theater in Thousand Oaks, CA and got the position at Five Star Theatrical. “I’m very grateful to Five Star because I felt like I was getting paid to be in school. It was such a learning experience. I learned more about how theater runs.”

Fast forward to today, Patrick is settling in to his new role and new home. “It was a huge endeavor for me and my wife. But things kept falling in to place, so it felt easy. I discovered the charm of Franklin. And the people – the people are so intoxicating and so wonderful. I feel like Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’”

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