Backyard Theater Ensemble


Your World On Stage

Show History

Extremities by William Mastrosimone


 

May 27-June 5, 2016
Performed at the Thomaston Opera House Arts Center Theatre
Directed by Lucia Dressel 

Cast: Tina Parziale, Frank Beaudry, Abby Lund, Amy Kopchik
Producer: Kailee Donovan 
Production Team: Ryan Wantroba, Chris Petrucci, Dylan Reilly, Adam Peacock

Extremities is a searing play about rape, power, and gender in society. A young woman, Marjorie, is attacked in her home by a stalker and would-be rapist, Raul. She manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her fireplace. Her roommates, Terry and Patricia, come home to discover the attacker bound with cords, belts, and other household items. The roommates express different points of view about rape and justice. Terry, a rape victim herself as a teenager, believes that Raul will not be convicted since a rape did not actually occur and there is no proof. Patricia believes in the judicial system and insists on calling the police. The three friends turn on the attacker and each other at various points in the play.


_MG_3856.jpg   _MG_4091.jpg   Ext.jpg


 




The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


February 27-March 13, 2016
Performed at the Thomaston Opera House Main Stage
In conjunction with Landmark Community Theatre
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast: Chet Ostroski, Lucia Dressel, Nicole Thomas, Matthew Albert
Producers: Kailee Donovan & Jeffrey Dunn
Production Team: Chris Petrucci, Tina Parziale, Dylan Reilly, Adam Peacock, Abby Lund, Alex Dunn, Ten-2-One Painters, Barbara Piscopo

Amanda Wingfield is a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom is driven nearly to distraction by his mother's nagging and seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies. Laura also lives in her illusions. She is crippled, and this defect, intensified by her mother's anxiety to see her married, has driven her more and more into herself. The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to take dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is a nice ordinary fellow who is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura. In spite of her crude and obvious efforts to entrap the young man, he and Laura manage to get along very nicely, and momentarily Laura is lifted out of herself into a new world. But this world of illusion that Amanda and Laura have striven to create in order to make life bearable collapses about them.

See more photos from The Glass Menagerie!

Read the reviews:

Nancy Sasso Janis, OnStage

Jim Ruocco, Take 2 Blog 

J. Timothy Quirk, Nutmeg Chatter & Register Citizen 

Jessie Sawyer. Entertainment Connect

  Joanne Rochman, Waterbury Republican

 

image1.JPG     Glass Menagerie Poster 30x40.jpg     image2.JPG


 



Gidion's Knot by Johnna Adams


August 21-30, 2015

Performed at the Thomaston Opera House Arts Center Theater
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Assistant Director: Chet Ostroski
Cast: Kailee Donovan, Sybil Haggard Chamberlin
Production Team: Chris Petrucci, Adam Peacock, Dylan Reilly

    The setting is a familiar one, a 5th grade classroom. A parent shows up unexpectedly for a parent/teacher conference demanding to know why her son was suspended, which she believes led to his tragic suicide. The emotionally stressed classroom teacher is put on the defensive as she tries to articulate her reasoning for the suspension, and belief as to where exactly to lay the blame for the boy’s death. The two women struggle as they deal with their emotions. The accusations fly as they begin to try to unravel the knot that is Gidion. The play deals with a child’s violent fantasy. It questions free expression, whether it is limited by societal needs, or the desire to neatly label and solve problems that have no solutions, neat or otherwise. It is a visceral and provocative theater experience that is raw, honest, disturbing, and yes, funny at times. It is a tale that must be understood emotionally, not just intellectually. 

See more photos from Gidion's Knot.

Read the review by Nancy Sasso Janis from OnStage.

Read the review by J. Timothy Quirk from Nutmeg Chatter.

Read the review by Jim Ruocco.


GK Poster.jpg     10422120_917430114982580_5733776668272487484_n.jpg     11898845_917429751649283_7497603109040422060_n.jpg

 


Belleville by Amy Herzog

April 2-12, 2015
Performed at the Thomaston Opera House Arts Center Black Box Theater 

Directed by Marydell Merrill

Cast: Kailee Donovan, Chet Ostroski, Ashley McBride, DaJavon Davis
Producer: Abygale Lund
Technical Director: Liza McMahon
Production Team: Taylor Crofton, Tina Parziale, Chris Petrucci, Christina Domschine, Adam Peacock

Young Americans Zack and Abby have the perfect ex-pat life in Paris: a funky bohemian apartment in up-and-coming Belleville; a stable marriage; and Zack’s noble mission to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he’s supposed to be at work, the questions and answers that follow shake the foundation of their seemingly beautiful life. "A portrait of a marriage sliding ineluctably into crisis, Ms. Herzog’s delicately constructed drama simmers along coolly until, almost unnoticeably, the small secrets and larger lies that have become woven into the fabric of a young couple’s life begin to tear them apart." -Charles Isherwood, NY Times 

See more photos from Belleville

Read this review by Nancy Sasso Janis from OnStage

_MG_2301.jpg     _MG_2134.jpg     Belleville.png

 
 

Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley

November 6-16, 2014
Performed at Thomaston Opera House Arts Center, Thomaston, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast: Kailee Donovan, Tina Parziale, Dawn DeMeo, Sybil Chamberlin, Sean Gilleylen, Chet Ostroski
Producer: Abygale Lund
Crew: Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly, Chris Petrucci, Taylor Crofton, Christina Domschine

The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles, grave and yet, somehow, hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. In the end the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future—but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

Read this Review from J. Timothy Quirk on Nutmeg Chatter.

See more photos from Crimes of the Heart

_MG_0177.jpg   Crimes Poster.jpg    _MG_0957.jpg

 


  

Dead Man's Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl

April 24-May 4, 2014
Performed at Thomaston Opera House Arts Center, Thomaston, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Assistant Director: Kailee Donovan
Cast: Tina Parziale, Tai Spargo, Taylor Crofton, Jennifer Dowker, Chet Ostroski, Sean Gilleylen
Producer: Abygale Lund
Crew: Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly, Chris Petrucci, Kailee Donovan, Abygale Lund, Christina Domschine, Joe Rinaldi


An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by Sarah Ruhl. A work about how we memorialize the dead and how that remembering changes us. It is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world. "In her new oddball comedy, Ruhl is forever vital in her lyrical and biting takes on how we behave." - The Washington Post (FOR MATURE AUDIENCES)

See more photos from Dead Man's Cell Phone

Dead Mans.jpg   _MG_7965.jpg   _MG_8263.jpg


Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball

November 8-17, 2013
Performed at Thomaston Opera House Arts Center, Thomaston, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast: Christina Domschine, Kailee Donovan, Abygale Lund, Tina Parziale, Tai Spargo, Chet Ostroski
Crew: Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly, Chris Petrucci, Sean Gilleylen, Joe Rinaldi, Taylor Crofton

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress takes place during an over-the-top wedding reception at an estate in Nashville, Tennessee. The five identically clad bridesmaids seek refuge in the bedroom of the bride's younger sister to discuss life, love, and men. Each woman has her own reason for avoiding the proceeding happening at the reception. They are Meredith, the bride's sarcastic sister, whose tough external demeanor hides pain and insecurity within; Frances, the shy, innocent and deeply religious cousin who is out of her comfort zone; Mindy, the funny and wise-cracking sister of the groom; Georgeanne, whose failing marriage triggers outrageous behavior and Trisha, the jaded beauty queen whose cynicism about the men in her life is called into question when she meets Tripp, the charming bad-boy usher with more than meets the eye. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent, and touching celebration of the women's spirit.

See more photos from Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

  five_women_1.jpg   five_women_3.jpg   five-women_2.jpg  

 

 


1959 Pink Thunderbird by James McLure

March 1-10, 2013
Performed at Thomaston Opera House Arts Center, Thomaston, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast of Laundry and Bourbon: Kailee Donovan, Taylor Crofton, Jennifer Dowker
Cast of Lone Star: Chet Ostroski, Kelly Marchand, Sean Gilleylen
Crew: Christina Domschine, Abygale Lund, Chris Petrucci, Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly

Backyard Theater Ensemble revived this production for a new audience in a new theater space.

See more photos from 1959 Pink Thunderbird-Revived!

timeline_thunderbird_2.jpg   thunderbird_2.jpg   thunderbird_poster_2.jpg

 


The Shadow Box by Michael Cristopher

October 12-21, 2012
Performed at Thomaston Opera House Arts Center, Thomaston, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast: Sean Gilleylen, Taylor Crofton, Nora Graseck, Kailee Donovan, Chet Ostroski, Joe Rinaldi, Christina Domschine, Jennifer Dowker, Chris Petrucci
Crew: Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly, Abygale Lund

The Shadow Box is a poignant play which deals with the lives of three separate groups of people living at a hospice in the woods of northern California. The Tony and Pulitzer prize winning play by Michael Cristofer is influenced by Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross' seminal work On Death and Dying which deals with the 5 stages of grief a terminal patient goes through upon learning of their condition. We watch as the families and patients exhibit and deal with anger, denial, depression, bargaining and finally acceptance.

While the play deals which this serious subject, it has lighter moments and humor as they are an inherent part of life and how we deal with the human condition and spirit. The play is finally an affirmation of life and living, reminding all of us how precious each moment and breath we take is. This is summed up in the line of one of the characters who says, "They tell you are dying and you say okay. But if I am dying that must mean that I'm still alive."

See more photos from The Shadow Box

  shadowbox_2.jpg   shadowbox_poster.jpg   timeline_shadowbox.jpg

 


1959 Pink Thunderbird by James McLure
Two Plays in One: Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star
 

May 25-26, 2012
Performed at Post University Eagle's Nest, Waterbury, CT
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis

Cast of Laundry and Bourbon: Kailee Donovan, Taylor Crofton, Jennifer Dowker
Cast of Lone Star: Chet Ostroski, Kelly Marchand, Sean Gilleylen
Producer: Kailee Donovan & Chet Ostroski
Crew: Christina Domschine, Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly

Loss! Loss of friends, of trust, of youth, love, and innocence, these are the themes that run through these two one-act plays. The time is 1970 and the place Maynard, Texas. The war raged on in Vietnam and as a nation we struggled with change and loss. Those who left to fight grew up in a time of peace knowing war only from the movies. We charged into battle unprepared for what we would face. Laundry and Bourbon examines the struggles of the women who stayed while Lone Star looks at what happened to those who left and then returned. Both plays are laugh out loud funny. Perhaps the author felt that the best cure for that which ails us is laughter or that we laugh because it hurts too much to cry. Whatever the reason we are shown that we are never as alone as we think we are.

Read more about this production and the founding of BTE.

See more photos from 1959 Pink Thunderbird

timeline_thunderbirf.jpg   thunderbird_3.jpg   thunderbird_poster.jpg

 


Loose Ends by Michael Weller


September 2-3, 2011
Performed at The Square Foot Theater, Hamden, CT
Directed by The Cast with assistance from Donato J. D'Albis

Cast: Chet Ostroski, Kailee Donovan, Taylor Crofton, Chris Damon, Toby Henst, Amanda Averack, Kelly Marchand, Sean Gilleylen, Jenny Dowker
Producer: Kailee Donovan & Chet Ostroski
Crew: Christina Domschine, Adam Peacock, Dylan Maxwell Reilly

Michael Weller's Loose Ends explores the life and love of two '20 somethings' across the decade of the 1970's. We see the lives of Paul and Susan as they go from trying to find themselves to finding each other. The play, which is shown in eight scenes, deals with the many things, said and unsaid, in their relationship with each other and their dealings with their friends. They are unable to tie up all of the loose ends of their lives and they struggle to connect emotionally. They seem never to be able to express their true desires, wants and needs. Each one loves the other yet their lives spiral in and out of control as they succeed in their business lives but not where it matters most, with each other. They are merely photographs of their lives. Snapshots of their relationship to be observed, critiqued, and then filed away. Where love is never enough and what we gain never equals what we lose.

See more photos from Loose Ends

 

Loose Ends.jpg   loose_2.jpg   timeline_loose_ends.jpg