Flagler mourns loss of Theatre Arts instructor

By Eli Nuzzi | gargoyle@flagler.edu

As the grand nephew of the famous playwright Sean O’Casey (of Dublin, Ireland), Sean Patrick O’Casey (born Dec. 14, 1944 and died Feb. 11, 2009) made a name for himself within the St. Augustine community and especially at Flagler College. As part of the Theatre Arts Department for the past 10 years, O’Casey was a teacher, costumer and a dear friend to all.

Well qualified for his work here, completing his undergraduate years at Kent State and receiving his MFA in Design at Ole Miss, O’Casey was in instructor in make-up and costume design. He even directed a great amount of productions for the department, such as: The Importance of Being Earnest, The Crucible, and the most recent Our American Cousin.

Andrea McCook of the Flagler College Theatre Arts Department said that O’Casey was a well-known person in the community.

“Being involved in a wide range of entrepreneurial activities, his main enterprise was as ‘The Mad Hatter,’ selling and renting costumes and crazy hats. He also had an art gallery and florist business, as well as opening a tea room and small diner, respectively,” McCook said.

O’Casey’s latest outreach to the community was called “Spirits of St. Augustine.” Actors would dress up as ghosts of previous citizens of St. Augustine and tell the stories of their lives.

“He was a fun, loving, eccentric and colorful individual. He will be missed by his students and colleagues,” Phyllis Gibbs, Theatre Arts Department chair said.

“Many students, current and alums, are mourning his passing, calling or stopping by to share their sorrow,” McCook said.

“Sean was the type of the teacher that would spend an hour working with one student, just to make sure they understood how to do the assignment,” Flagler student Carl Liberatore said.

“He opened up his home to any of his students, so that he could give them the help that they needed. Sean went so far as to give all of his students his home and cell phone numbers and told us, ‘I don’t care if it is 4:00 AM, call and I will help you figure it out.’ His presence in the auditorium will be missed,” Liberatore said.

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