Bridgeport man helps local kids become TV, film, and music stars of tomorrow
A Bridgeport man who helped develop television shows like "Dallas" and "WKRP In Cincinnati" is now focused on helping local kids who'd like to become the TV, film and music stars of tomorrow.
"When I was 17, I had one burning desire -- that was to work at CBS," Laurence Caso says.
One may not know his name, but chances are viewers have seen it thousands of times in the credits of some of the most iconic programs in television history.
"I was the executive producer of 1,800 episodes of 'As The World Turns,' I produced for Jim Henson Television, Food Network, History Channel, public television, Mary Tyler Moore's variety series," Caso says.
The Emmy-winning veteran television producer has shared the stage with some of the true greats of the entertainment industry, like Whoopi Golberg to name just a few.
Caso says he feels most at home tucked away from the world in the comfort of his garden which he personally cultivates. But a man who spent decades cultivating talent for television and who's still doing so as a free agent, is now cultivating young talent in Bridgeport as executive director of the Klein Memorial Auditorium.
The auditorium is a place where Caso has spent the past eight years building on his decades of success in the field of entertainment.
"We created Klein Theater Arts because in public schools in Bridgeport, arts education had all but been eliminated, so there was a tremendous need to fill," Caso explained. "And study after study has shown that arts education improves academic performance."
Caso says the auditorium also provides opportunities for Klein Theater Arts students to volunteer. And the great thing, Caso says about the Klein Theater Arts program that he helped to create, is that it puts the spotlight on students in Bridgeport while teaching them the arts -- totally free of charge.
"I just want to expose them to everything. Let them make their choices and find their way, but at least here, they have a safe, nurturing environment where they can experiment and find their way," he says.
The proud pioneer in the world of television reminds young people that some of the biggest entertainers of yesterday and today -- like Robert Mitchum and Michael Jai White -- are from Connecticut's biggest city.
"It's great for our young people to see there's a future out there. You can do it too, because they see how these people made their careers happen and the opportunities they had starting in Bridgeport," Caso adds.