Backyard Theater Ensemble


Your World On Stage

Who's Who

Backyard Theater Ensemble's Members


Kailee Donovan

President

Kailee has been a theater lover all her life so founding Backyard Theater Ensemble is a dream come true. Kailee participated in numerous theatrical productions in high school and put her love of theater on hold to pursue competitive ballroom dance at UConn. While she is still an avid ballroom dancer, she was thrilled to return to the stage in 2010. Since then she is lucky to have worked with so many talented people and played challenging and inspirational roles with BTE, some of her favorites being Susan in Loose Ends, Trisha in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, and Corryn in Gidion's Knot. But the most important part of her life is her loving friends and family who have always been supportive of all of her passions.


Chet Ostroski

Vice President

Chet Ostroski's long history of lead, supporting, and ensemble roles in community and college-level theatrical productions throughout the CT area has thus far culminated in his role as co-founder of Backyard Theater Ensemble. His diverse dance experience ranges from Broadway-style numbers to jazz and contemporary workshops and performances. He has served as a Director's Assistant of numerous Cheshire High School musical productions and is currently a member of the musical group The Footnotes and AspenDream Productions, LLC. His over 14 years of martial arts experience - under several prominent instructors - is well served by his membership in Knights Denarius, a stage combat and re-enactment group. Chet holds a bachelor's degree in History and a minor in Theater Performance from WCSU, and a master's degree in Education from the University of New Haven. He works as a Customer Operations Representative for Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Christopher Petrucci

Treasurer

Christopher Petrucci graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting. He works at Premier Financial Services as an Accountant and DiMatteo Group as a Tax Accountant. Having always admired Theater, Chris is thrilled that he is able to assist Backyard Theater Ensemble with his artistic talent and business knowledge. He made his debut as a cop in Footloose in 2010 and his first performance with BTE was in 2012 as the Interviewer in Shadow Box.



Abygale Lund

Fundraising Coordinator

Abby Lund has been with Backyard Theater Ensemble since 2012 and loved every minute of portraying Georgeanne in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress and Patricia in Extremities.  She has also worked behind the scenes on every other show since The Shadow Box.  She loves helping BTE secure funding for each production in order to help bring amazing theater to the local community.   Abby is originally from Chester, CT. She has a Bachelors in Music from UCONN and a Masters in Intercultural Human Rights Law from St. Thomas University.  She is the Development Officer & Operations Coordinator at the US Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association.


Tina Parziale

Artistic Director

Tina's true love is the written word. Acting offers the unique opportunity to delve into a piece of literature and breathe life into its words. She got her first taste of theatre magic at the Warner Theatre when she was eleven and has gone on to direct a number of shows with the Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education. She is also a member of AspenDream Productions, LLC.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut, she pursued a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Southern California. She currently teaches creative writing and theatre arts at Classical Magnet School in Hartford, CT, where she is blessed to have the opportunity to work with the next generation of actors, creators, and thinkers. Tina is excited to be a member of Backyard Theater Ensemble and to add all she can to the thought-provoking energy of the group.


Amy Kopchik

Secretary

Having always appreciated and admired the synergy needed to produce quality theater and film, Amy is delighted to be a member of the dedicated and professional Backyard Theater Ensemble. She has acted in small roles in the past, but her love for theater was reignited when she made her debut as Terry in Extremities with BTE in 2016. Amy graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She works in the Portfolio Department for a financial institution. Her spare time is spent reading, watching movies, playing with too much cruelty-free makeup, and snuggling with her two cats.


Ryan Wantroba

Script Research and Development

Ryan has been a theater lover since first appearing on stage as Benjamin Franklin in fifth grade. In the years since he has worked as both an actor and pit musician with many community theaters in Connecticut, including Cheshire Community Theater, Hole in the Wall Theater, UConn Dramatic PAWS, Thomaston Opera House, and Backyard Theater Ensemble. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from the University of Connecticut. An inveterate reader, he is pleased to have the opportunity to share his passion for the expression of ideas with the members and audience of BTE.


We have a number of other members who help us put these productions together. To learn more about them or join us, contact info@backyardtheater.org.