Born in Santiago, Chile, Mario came to the U.S. at age 6. He worked for a number of years in politics before dedicating himself to writing.
His hit comedy Tail! Spin!, starring “Saturday Night Live” vet Rachel Dratch and directed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, played an acclaimed, extended run Off Broadway in 2014 and 2015. A New York Times “Critics’ Pick,” Tail!Spin! was nominated for Best Unique Theatrical Experience by the Off-Broadway Alliance and drew plaudits from The New Yorker, The Hollywood Reporter and many other outlets. Its 2012 New York Fringe Festival premiere was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding New York Theater: Off-Off Broadway.
Mario’s next play, Commander, won the Carol Weinberg Award for Best Play and was named Best Production at the 2015 Baltimore Playwrights Festival (Chelsea Dove directed at Vagabond Players Theatre). Featured in the John F. Kennedy Center’s 2015 Page to Stage Festival, Commander was Runner Up for Arizona Theatre Company’s National Latino Playwriting Award and a Semi Finalist for the O’Neill Center’s National Playwrights Conference. BRIC awarded Mario a 2015 BRIClab artist’s residency to continue developing Commander.
National Public Radio commissioned Mario to write a radio play, Santa for President, that was broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered Christmas Day, 2015 and was featured on the acclaimed storytelling podcast The Truth. Rachel Dratch and Mo Rocca starred.
Mario also writes for television and film. He was a staff writer for two seasons on Animal Planet’s Whoa! Sunday with Mo Rocca, a script consultant on the acclaimed PBS documentary Electoral Dysfunction, and a co-creator and host of the NBC4/WRC-TV pilot PowerHouse. He has written for numerous TV pilots and proofs of concept as well as advertising campaigns for major networks, TV shows and movies.
Mario has also written for news and entertainment outlets that include The Hollywood Reporter, Us Weekly, The Huffington Post, The Denver Post, The Washington City Paper, and Travel Weekly.
Mario is also a seasoned broadcaster. For two years, he co-hosted Entertainment Weekly’s live, three-hour, daily “News & Notes” program on the magazine’s SiriusXM channel, EW Radio. He also co-anchored EW Radio’s coverage of major arts events, including the Tony Awards, the Academy Awards and breaking news specials. A frequent contributor to WNYC Public Radio’s Soundcheck, Mario co-created and co-hosted WNYC’s RelationShow with Faith Salie and was a contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. His first role in radio was as Washington Correspondent for Public Radio International’s Fair Game.
Mario began his career as an aide to Congresswoman Connie Morella of Maryland and worked in numerous political campaigns at the local and national levels.
He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University and holds a Master’s degree with distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He lives in Brooklyn.