Playwright Debut

My dad, Tom Ratto, taught music in Southern California for over 30 years. This means he put on Christmas plays and performances with and anywhere from 200 to 400 kids every year in December. This also means that I attended a K-8 Christmas performances every year of my life until I was 18 or so.

And they were spectacular.

He has since retired from teaching but I joked a while ago about how all of my hours as a rug-rat tailing him into classes, setting up before shows and prepping props for performances thoroughly trained me for my job out here in Korea. But last Friday that joke became a blaring reality.

I too have joined the family business. I put on two Christmas plays with 4 and 5-year-old Korean kids, song and dance movements 'n all.

How the Grinch Stole KDLP by Mark Ratto from Elysabeth on Vimeo.

{This is a video of my 5-year-old's. I actually wrote this play for them and it included "All of My Favorite Things" and "So Long Farewell" from the Sound of Music as well as "Santa Clause is coming to town." The camera ran out of memory card space so it is cut short, but I am very proud of these little tiny people. I mean, come on, they are performing in English!...Oh yeah, and I did not pick out the costumes. I repeat, I did not pick out the costumes.}

In many ways I am my dad. At everyone of those old Christmas plays or other events, parents and friends would often say we look alike. I always shrugged it off like most kids.

Now, on almost a daily basis, Tom Ratto bursts out of me. The the things I say, how I teach, my connection with the kids; everything sounds just like him back in the day. And now look at me, directing school plays. I know we look alike but this is getting wildly similar.

It makes you really think, "maybe this is exactly where I am supposed to be?"

For right now at least.

Get Lost my friends...


  1. Mark,

    Who then, picked out these outfits?

  2. Scary and wonderful when we become our parents :) I'm so proud of you Mark!

  3. Mark RATTO this is DAVIS TAKAMINE. Susie bought me and her tickets to visit you in Korea!!! in April! Let me know where you gona be around that time-I miss you muggasucka!

    Yo mark, i miss your rhymes-I miss the way you smell, all the time. My girl is the sickest and got us some tix-but when we get there we gon' have us our mark fix. Yes they call you the prince-ratto that is, and you know it gona go down like real bidness.

  4. O ya-email is dtakamine@sbcglobal.net

  5. A budding Andrew Lloyd Weber.....you and your kids are amazing!