Above: Erin Cardillo; Portrait by Brad Everett Young
Back at Greenwich High School, Erin Cardillo (class of ’95) persuaded her drama teachers to let her stage a one act farce she wrote herself. “I think I called it, Where There’s a Will There’s a Way,” Erin says, laughing. Turns out it was a prophetic first act.
Besides earning her credit as a founder of The Magic Circle, the annual GHS student playwrights’ festival, Erin’s script foreshadowed the trajectory of her career. She went on to land parts ranging from a breakout role on the soap opera Passions to the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life on Deck.
Most recently the Hollywood-based actress wrapped the first season of the CW network’s Significant Mother, a sitcom she wrote and produced with creative partner Richard Keith. Fresh after winning first prize at the annual New York Television Festival for a different teleplay, Erin and Richard were asked to develop Significant Mother.
Erin also guest starred in the romantic comedy, which explores the complications that ensue when an overachieving twentysomething discovers his newly divorced mom has fallen for his best friend. “It was fun, after creating all those characters, to jump on the other side of the camera,” says Erin, who appeared in a two-episode role as the cougar mom’s opinionated lesbian boss.
Also satisfying? Finding a home for Significant Mother in prime time—a feat Erin explains once seemed quite improbable. “Writing was something I did to stay creative during those off times every actor has while they’re waiting for that next part,” Erin says. “But it’s taken off in ways I sort of hadn’t expected.”
At press time, the multi-tasking actress was waiting to hear if Significant Mother would get a second season, while developing other comedies for the CW as a part of a long-term deal.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ERIN
Erin was once rushed by throngs of twelve-year-old Suite Life on Deck fans while touring historic sites in Washington, D.C. “My husband (actor Joe Towne) said, ‘You’re like the Beatles.’ There’s nothing quite like diehard Disney Channel fans on a school field trip.”
TRUE TO HER SCHOOL
She still checks in with GHS drama teachers Richard Kohn and Patty Cirigliano–Kohn and plans on attending her upcoming twentieth GHS reunion.
FAVORITE GREENWICH SPOT
“So many of the restaurants and bars have changed, but the one place that’s a constant for me is Tod’s Point. I usually head there with my mom for a walk whenever I’m home.”
Playing Cobweb the fairy, in a GHS production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream affirmed her life-long dramatic aspirations. “It was a smaller part in an ensemble cast, but I remember feeling part of a community and loving it.”
“I studied Shakespeare in London, so it’s always been a dream of mine to play a role like Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It would be great to have a big dame role, like Cleopatra. I’d also love being the lead on a sitcom.”