Backyard Theater Ensemble
1194 Cornerstone Court
Cheshire CT 06410-1860
Contact Information
Address 1194 Cornerstone Court
Cheshire, CT 06410-1860
Telephone (203) 6996476 x
Fax 203-5069653
E-mail info@backyardtheater.org
Web and Social Media
Part of the cast from the 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie"
Cast and crew from the 2016 production of "Extremities"
Cast from the 2017 production of "Catholic School Girls"
Mission
Backyard Theater Ensemble, Inc. is a collaboration of artists devoting their time, experience and resources to produce theater that inspires, challenges, and entertains both performers and audiences.  Guided by our collective artistic vision, volunteer artists each fulfill multiple roles on stage, behind the scenes, and in the community.  These roles capitalize on members' talents while also acknowledging weaknesses to empower growth.  We create theater that is a powerful instrument asking all ensemble and audience members to confront the realities of our world.
A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
Each spring and fall we produce a theatrical production for the New Haven community. If you are interested in volunteering on any facet of our production, from performing or stage managing, to building the set or marketing the production, there are always volunteer opportunities available!
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2013
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Board Chair Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Connecticut Wealth Management
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission Backyard Theater Ensemble, Inc. is a collaboration of artists devoting their time, experience and resources to produce theater that inspires, challenges, and entertains both performers and audiences.  Guided by our collective artistic vision, volunteer artists each fulfill multiple roles on stage, behind the scenes, and in the community.  These roles capitalize on members' talents while also acknowledging weaknesses to empower growth.  We create theater that is a powerful instrument asking all ensemble and audience members to confront the realities of our world.
Background This organization began when the Town of Cheshire has to cut the budget for the young adult community theater program. This program gave upper high school, college, and post-college young adults an opportunity to continue to participate in age-appropriate theater without becoming professionals. The limited number of high quality theater programs in our area means there is a lot of competition for roles and many talented people do not have an opportunity to get as involved as they would like to. Our company was started after the Cheshire program was eliminated as a means to give talented young adults an opportunity to continue to participate in high quality, non-professional theater that interests and challenges them. Today we are a growing company comprised of all volunteer, non-professional artists looking for new members. We continue to produce shows that are challenging and inspiring for all of our volunteers and patrons.
Impact Since the company's establishment in 2011 we continue to grow our organization and our audience.  The organization has consistently added new members over the past seven years. We have moved from the Thomaston Opera House to the Whitneyville Cultural Commons, developing a new audience base in the community we were raised in. In this new space and community, we are hoping to network with other professional organizations and community theaters and work with them on productions to have a meaningful positive impact on the community. As we embark on future productions we continue to look to grow the size of our company in order to allow us to choose from a larger pool of productions and give more local amateur theater lovers an opportunity to do what they love. 
Needs As a small organization comprised of entirely volunteers, our needs are many. We are always looking to add new members to the company to increase the number of volunteers we have. We continue to develop the theater space we work in so that it has the capacity to present professional-quality productions. We also hope to expand the reach of our company to more audience members because we believe that performing arts is special and valuable to the community, and all of our volunteers are passionate about the work. Almost all of these goals require more funding. We'd like to enlist more consistent donors or sponsors for our productions as well as apply for more grants. 
CEO Statement

Theater presents people with an opportunity to confront the realities and the struggles of the world we live in. In our society today, too often we dismiss topics that are hard to talk about, and we put our heads down to carry on with our lives. BTE presents shows with topics that need to be discussed or at least acknowledged in order for our society and the people in it to progress. Our previous shows have dealt with love, grief, PTSD in war veterans, physical & emotional abuse, alcoholism, feminism, and many other challenging topics that many people face throughout their lives. While some of these topics are difficult to deal with, they connect with many people, bringing a touching and immersive experience to our patrons. And while we always hope to connect with our audience, we as actors and directors also feel extremely passionate because we connect personally with the material, and that personal connection shows through our performances.

While our goal is to touch audiences, we also focus on providing valuable opportunities to our volunteers. Our company emphasizes having members fulfill multiple roles in the producing of a show. We believe that to truly immerse oneself in theater is to know all the aspects of putting on a production, on stage and behind the scenes in roles like costume design, set design, publicity, and directing. Our space is a supportive one, where all of our volunteers are willing to teach and support newcomers to these areas and help them grow and gain meaningful experiences from their time with us.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Theater
Secondary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Performing Arts
Tertiary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Theater
Areas Served
Hamden
New Haven
Cheshire
Woodbridge
North Haven
Oxford
Bethany
North Branford
Lower Naugatuck Valley
We serve the Greater New Haven area. Our theater is based in Hamden and our reach extends as far as our audiences and volunteers hail from.
Programs
Description
April 20-22, 2018
Performed at the Whitneyville Cultural Commons
Directed by Marydell Merrill
 
Cast: Chet Ostroski, Kailee Ostroski, Ryan Wantroba, Anthony Urillo
Production Team: Dina Addoriso, David Mac, Tina Parziale, Adam Peacock, Christopher Petrucci, Evan Seide
 
The setting is a stark motel room at the edge of the Mojave Desert. This room is occupied by May, a heartsick young woman in denial, and Eddie, her capricious cowboy lover. May and Eddie have a complex, love-hate relationship. Eddie is frequently away, whether for work or love affairs. May simultaneously misses him and never wants to see him again, but never can find the will to walk away. The desperate nature of their relationship is accentuated by the play's two other characters: a hapless young man who stops by to take May to the movies, getting more than he bargained for, and an old man, displaced from reality, who sits at the side of the stage commenting wryly on what he observes. Through the course of the play, we watch as they wrestle with their inner demons, their passionate love, and a curse from their fathers.
Population Served Adults / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Description November 17th- 19th, 2017

Performed at the Whitneyville Cultural Commons
Directed by Ryan Wantroba

Cast: Jenny Dressel, Kailee Ostroski, Tina Parziale, Amy Petrucci
Production Team: Chet Ostroski, Chris Petrucci, Evan Seide, Adam Peacock

Catholic School Girls is a unique storytelling experience exploring the trials, tribulations, and joys of growing up Catholic in the 1960s. A cast of four women portrays four young girls, and the nuns that teach them, in this satirical, memory play set at St. George's School in Yonkers, NY. The play opens with the girls on their first day of first grade and follows them through eighth grade and beyond as each of the girls battles with her demons, both internal and external. At times, hilarious, at times, heartfelt and moving-- whether you were raised Catholic, married a Catholic, or simply sat through a Catholic communion ceremony, there is something here for you.

Population Served Adults / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Description

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.

Population Served Adults / Females /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Description

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.

Population Served Adults / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Description
Laundry & Bourbon, A One Act by James McLure
This was BTE's second, and fourth production that has been revived again for participation in AACT's state and New England Regional festivals. BTE won the state awards for Outstanding Production, Best Director, and Best Use of Space.
Directed by Donato J. D'Albis
Cast: Kailee Donovan, Taylor Crofton, Tina Parziale 
The setting is the front porch of Roy and Elizabeth's home in Maynard, Texas, on a hot summer afternoon. Elizabeth and her friend Hattie are whiling away the time folding laundry, watching TV, sipping bourbon and Coke, and gossiping about the many open secrets which are so much a part of small-town life. They are joined by the self-righteous Amy Lee who, among other tidbits, can't resist blurting out that Roy has been seen around town with another woman. While the ensuing conversation is increasingly edged with bitter humor, from it emerges a sense of Elizabeth's inner strength and her quiet understanding of the turmoil which has beset her husband since his return from Vietnam. He is wild, and he is unfaithful, but he needs her, and she loves him. And she'll be waiting for him when he comes home—no matter what others may say or think.
 
Population Served Adults / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. The Awards won at the state-wide festival and the advancement to the regional festival has gotten the BTE name out into the community as well as given the, now award-winning, organization some prestige.
Program Comments
CEO Comments All of the shows this organization has presented have been challenging and touching for both actors and audiences. The laughter or the silence of an emotional moment fill our theater for every performance. The members of this company have grown with every production and can now paint their characters and scenes with more and more colors as true performing artists.
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Term Start Sept 2011
Email president@backyardtheater.org
Experience

Kailee Ostroski is one of the founding members of BTE. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Masters degree in Education. She has extensive experience and training in leadership, delegation, and communication and uses those skills as a leader of BTE. Kailee has been a theater lover all her life, attending her first show at the age of 7. She puts her experience with theater, love of the stage, and passion for leadership into her role as CEO of BTE.

Co-CEO
Mr. Chester Ostroski
Term Start Sept 2011
Email chet.ostroski@gmail.com
Experience Chet has been a theater lover all his life. He has fulfilled roles on stage and behind the scenes for 15 years. He takes his management and communication experience from a number of jobs and applies them to his work as a leader of BTE.
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Collaborations
Collaboration with our venue, the Whitneyville Cultural Commons, and the various other theater organizations that use that space.
Comments
CEO Comments As a small and young company, many of these policies are something we hope to add as we continue to grow our membership and audience base and gain the funding to support such expansion. In the meantime, our organization's communication is exceptional and all members have insights and a say in the company's decisions. As we grow and expand, we will continue to develop and formalize these processes.
Board Chair
Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Company Affiliation Connecticut Wealth Management
Term Dec 2016 to Dec 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Ms. Abygale Lund
Mr. Chester Ostroski IIIVice President
Ms. Tina Parziale
Mr. Christopher Petrucci Chief Financial Officer
Mrs. Amy Petrucci
Mr. Ryan Wantroba
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Chester Ostroski III
Company Affiliation Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Term Dec 2016 to Dec 2018
Email chet.ostroski@gmail.com
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $9,000.00
Projected Expenses $7,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Documents
Form 990s
990N2016
990N2015
9902014
9902013
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Non Profit Determination
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Extremities Poster2016View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets------
Current Assets------
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets------
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments Our financial status as a non-profit has helped us gain some donations in the past two years. We are hoping to build up those donations over the next few years while also seeking season and production sponsors. Our company will not grow to the size we want it to without further support from donors or grants. We believe our cause is noble and worthy of such support if we can get our message out to the public.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 1194 Cornerstone Court
Cheshire, CT 064101860
Primary Phone 203 6996476
Contact Email info@backyardtheater.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Board Chair Ms. Kailee Ostroski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Connecticut Wealth Management

 

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