Cassel has been dancing since he learned how to walk. As a child in Jamaica the headmistress would have him make up and perform dances in her living room. In Canada, Cassel would produce shows in his garage for the neighbourhood kids and parents. He was part of the inaugural class of Cawthra Park Secondary School’s Performing Arts Programin Mississauga then graduated into Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Program in Oakville. While at Sheridan he experienced his first professional opportunity as a lead dancer in Canada’s Wonderland’s The Best of Broadway.
Cassel left Sheridan College after being invited to join Maurice Hines’ Balletap U.S.A Company in New York City.Returning to Canada he went on to dance with Judith Marcuse’s Repertory Dance Company of Canada, Les Balletsjazz de Montreal and The National Tap Dance Company of Canada before moving into musical theatre. Many musical productions followed highlighted by his critically acclaimed featured role as ‘Mr. Bojangles’ in the U.S. National Tour of Fosse directed and choreographed by Ann Reinking.
Though he had choreographed for Young People’s Theatre, The Limelight Dinner Theatre, The Shaw Festival as well as numerous television commercials, it was his Dora Award nominated performance as ‘Belize’ in the Canadian Stage Production of Angels in America: Parts I and II, that sparkedhis passion for acting. Once that connection was made, choreography became so much more.
Cassel currently teaches drama to children through Bottletree Productions’ “Stage Right” classes and recently choreographed his first show with/for children: The Lion King Jr. Also through Bottletree, he is co-creating, along with writer, Charles Robertson and producer, Anne-Marie Mortenson, a one-person show about the life of a little-known African-Canadian hero named Josiah Henson. Look for that production of Josiah Henson: From Slave to Saviour in the Spring of 2019.