In April the Backyard Theater Ensemble will perform an extraordinary production of Amy Herzog’s BELLEVILLE. Co-founders of the BTE, Kailee Donovan and Chet Ostroski, portray a young married couple named Abby and Zack, two ex-patriots in Paris who seemingly live a fun Bohemian lifestyle but whose foundation may not be as solid as the appearances first suggest.
Belleville is a challenging drama and the BTE found a perfect vehicle to showcase the dramatic work of the ensemble. Donovan found the script particularly compelling. “Belleville was a show that struck me the first time I read it,” says Donovan. “I loved how the character of Abby would be a challenge for me as an actress and I loved her imperfections. She is so real-the type of real that we don’t want to admit we are. She’s harsh, she can be terribly mean, but all of that comes from a deep rooted insecurity. She lashes out at Zack to detract from lashing out at herself. It’s really terrifying to admit that that is such a human act and to tap into that in myself to make her more real.”
Donovan’s feelings on the play resonate deeply with her co-star, Chet Ostroski. “It (Belleville) has a dark side to it,” says Ostroski. “Just reading the play you were gripped by the words on the page, wondering what was going to happen, what’s about to happen. As an actor it’s hard to ignore an opportunity to explore those moments of raw human emotion that were you truly living them in your own life, are deeply terrifying. Both Zack and Abby are deeply flawed and it’s been tremendous fun exploring those flaws”.
There are four new members who joined the Backyard Theater Ensemble for this production: Marydell Merill is the director of the show and Liza McMahon is stage manager while two new members, DaJavon Davis and Ashley McBride, act in the show. In addition the entire Ensemble comes together to make the show a success. The show is produced by Abygale Lund, the light design was by Chris Petrucci with Dylan Maxwell Reilly as consultant, and the sound tech is Adam Peacock. Taylor Crofton and Tina Parziale, both of whom acted in Laundry in Bourbon, worked on costumes and set/props respectively. Graphic Designer was Joe Rinaldi and Christina Domschine joins Parziale, Crofton and Lund on the crew.
Get ready for a FULL review of the production and more discussion with the stars behind the show in next week’s edition of NUTMEG CHATTER and look for Nutmeg Chatter’s first (ever) advertisement in the playbill!
Belleville runs April 2-4 and 9-11 at 8 PM and April 12 at 2 PM at the Thomaston Opera House studio 1. Tickets are only $20 and $17 for Students and Seniors