Robert Cacioppo, Florida Rep’s Founder, was honored by the Florida Professional Theatres Association with the Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre for his tenacity, vision, passion, and leadership for his work of creating professional theatre in the state of Florida. Other honors: Gulfshore Business Magazine as one of the Top 40 Influential Leaders; The News-Press’s 125 Influential Local Leaders in the past 125 years” and the recent “130 People of Influence” in Fort Myers; Angel of the Arts Award for Arts Organization Leader of the Year; Men and Women of the Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine, and that same publication has named Florida Rep Southwest Florida’s Best Performing Arts Group six times. Under his leadership, Florida Rep has received seven glowing reviews from The Wall Street Journal since 2009, most recently in January 2015 for Lewis Black’s romantic comedy, One Slight Hitch.
Robert was born and raised in New York City and began his professional career in 1978 with The Passion of Alice at New York City’s famous Greenwich Mews Theatre. He directed extensively in New York City before coming to Florida 28 years ago, and since that time has become a leader in Southwest Florida’s Theatre movement. He became Artistic Director of the Pirate Playhouse in 1990 turning that company, at the time, into the area’s only resident Actors’ Equity Association Company and directing over 60 productions.
Selected Florida Rep directing credits include over 85 productions since founding the company in 1998: Fascinatin’ Gershwin (which he also wrote, conceived, and directed. Performed in Florida Rep’s inaugural season and in January through March of 2015), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, Clybourne Park, Social Security, Miracle on South Division Street, Camping with Henry and Tom (which inaugurated the ArtStage Studio Theatre in 2012), Red, August: Osage County, 2010’s nationally-acclaimed production of You Can’t Take It with You, Boeing–Boeing, The Last Romance, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Rainmaker, Greetings!, Tuesdays with Morrie, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Soldier’s Tale (with Southwest Florida Symphony in 2003), Proof, Company, Over the Tavern, Over the River and Through the Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Breaking Legs, Inherit the Wind, and Noises Off (1998 inaugural production and in 2010). Selected New York credits include: Hamlet at the Judith Anderson Theatre on Theatre Row, Our Town and Hair at Queens Theatre in the Park, and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Town Hall. He is a proud member of SDC (Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers).
Robert’s favorite direction is home, where he happily lives in Fort Myers with his wife, actress/producer (and co-founder of Florida Rep), Carrie Lund. They are the proud parents of Matthew and Julia, who appear to be happy, healthy, and wise.