Born in Santiago, Chile, Mario came to the United States as a child and worked for a number of years in politics before becoming a playwright and screenwriter.
His comedy Tail! Spin!, starring Rachel Dratch and directed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, played an acclaimed 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 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 play Commander won the Carol Weinberg Award for Best Play and was named Best Production at the 2015 Baltimore Playwrights Festival. 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. Brooklyn’s BRIC awarded Mario a 2015 BRIClab artist’s residency to develop Commander.
NPR commissioned Mario’s radio play, Santa for President, broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered Christmas Day, 2015 and featured on the acclaimed storytelling podcast The Truth.
Mario has also worked in broadcasting. 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 co-created and co-hosted WNYC’s RelationShow, was a contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and WNYC’s Soundcheck, and served as Washington Correspondent for Public Radio International’s Fair Game.
Mario began his career at age 17 as an aide to U.S. Congresswoman Constance A. Morella.
He holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree from LSE.