For the past few seasons, Michael E. Russo could be most easily found at the legendary Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, performing in their annual New Voices Festival, a program for developing new writing talent led by actor/director/playwright John Augustine and Playhouse Education Director Hester Kamin. The festival offered Mike an opportunity to play all different kinds of characters: everything from an angry Hispanic husband to an absent minded professor to a flummoxed waiter. It’s just the latest chapter in a performing life that can best be described as rich and varied.
Mike attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, studying Voice with Charlie Sorrento. Following his graduation, he continued his education two ways. First, with classes, such as Scene Study with veteran character actor & teacher George DiCenzo, Improvisation classes with Jill Whelan, formerly of “The Love Boat”, and voice lessons with NYU professor Jerry Stone. He then made a practical application of what he’d learned by appearing on local stages, performing in productions of Shakespeare, Shaw, Tennessee Williams and musicals.
Mike then branched out into film, working primarily with local filmmakers. He appeared in Gary Irwin’s innovative short, “Mortality”, and in John Charles Hunt’s “Jersey Justice”, starring Blanche Baker (“Sixteen Candles”), Christopher Mann (“The Wire”) and Bo Svenson (“Inglorious Bastards”). He briefly appeared in Rachel McAdam’s comedy “Morning Glory”, which also starred Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. He was also seen on the television series “Forensic Files” in the episode entitled “Forever Hold Your Peace”. Not forgetting the musician side of his life, he composed the choral work, “Ash Wednesday (remember)”.
When not working, Mike enjoys swimming, bowling and touring historic sites. He also enjoys yoga, walks with his wife Gail and their pet dog, Enzo. An avid reader, he enjoys biographies and histories in general, and the works of Robert B. Parker and David McCullough in particular. When he really wants to relax, you can find him in the kitchen whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies or s’mores brownies. He is an active member in the music program of Family of God Lutheran Church, he writes letters for Amnesty International, and is a regular at blood drives around the region.