Cheshire Community Theater

Curtain Up, Light the Lights!

Dearly Departed

April 17, 18, 19,  2008


             Bud Turpin, Junior……………Wade Elmer                   Raynelle………………………………...Michelle Noel

             Raybud…………David L Bradley IV "Brad"                  Lucille………………………………….Alisha Pavacich

             Suzanne……………………….Kim Wantroba                   Nadine………………………...Jessica A. Lewis

             Marguerite ……………………Pam Simpson                   Royce…………………………………………Ed Pantano

             Delightful…………………………Kate Simpson                 Reverend Hooker, Norval, Clyde……  Ben Page

             Veda…………………………………Karen Burns                  Juanita…………………………………Fiona Dellostritto


             The Joy of Life Singers…………Composed of cast members except Junior and Raybud


David L. Bradley ,IV (Ray-Bud/Announcer) grew up in Anna-Jonesboro, Illinois, but now makes his home in Cheshire.  This is Brad’s sixteenth stage performance and his second role with CCT.  Audience members may remember him as Buckley Dunstan, the groom-to-be, in Father of the Bride, spring 2005.  Other stage credits include Danny Zuko in Grease and Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof.  An active-duty U.S. Coast Guard Officer for over 10 years, his current assignment is attending graduate school at the University of New Haven.   “I’d like to thank my wife, Carolyn, for allowing me to enjoy this hobby.   I’d also like to thank my two daughters, Allison and Katherine, for letting Daddy leave at night during the week so I could go ‘play’.  I love all of you so much!   Lastly, I’d like to thank all of my extended family, friends, mentors, and previous directors who have provided all of the opportunities, coaching, and advice.   Thank you!




Karen E. Burns (Veda/ Joy of Life Singer) has been an eager student in acting classes offered at the Seven Angels Theater in Waterbury and is excited to be making her Cheshire Community Theatre debut.  Previously, she appeared in productions with the Castle Craig Players in Meriden as Rheba in You Can't Take It With You and the Farmer in The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail.  A Cheshire resident, Karen sends kudos to her wonderful husband, Larry, for supporting her creative efforts.






While it is a particularly crazy time in her household right now with her and her husband both starting new jobs and two new cats, Fiona Dellostritto (Juanita), is excited to be playing the over-the-top "forever" Yam Queen in this production. Her previous roles for CCT include the Mother in The Father of the BrideRenee in The Odd Couple (Female Version), a choral member in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Mrs. Soames in Our Town.  Fiona sends her love to her family and friends and especially her wonderful boys, Ron, Neal and Mark.










Wade Elmer (Bud/Junior) has been involved in CCT since 2001, served on the board since 2005, and has appeared on stage or back stage in over 13 productions. Wade has also performed in plays by MasterMind Productions, The Turnpike Players, and Castle Craig Players.  Wade grew up in Virginia and is especially pleased to perform in this play so he can finally talk as God intended.




Jessica A. Lewis (Nadine) started her acting career at Crosby High School in Waterbury, the city she still calls home.  She continued her love of acting in college at Teikyo Post University in Waterbury, until she graduated with a B.A. in English in May 2004. She has enjoyed past roles in musicals (Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, Little Shop of Horrors and Grease) as well as non-musical productions (Our Town and Woody Allen's God). After a short hiatus from acting to pursue her career in writing, Jessica made her CCT debut in her first lead role as "Josie" in last spring’s production of Proposals. Her talents extend to behind the scenes in set design, costumes, and spotlight operation. "I give thanks to my parents for catching me ‘acting’ in the mirror when I was four years old and never letting me forget it! Thanks Karen and Bill for going to every one of my shows. Thanks Wednesday night crew for holding down the fort. To Joey, Joshy, and for all of you I haven't mentioned, thanks for all the support!"



Michelle Noel (Raynelle/Joy of Life Singer) of Cheshire is very pleased to be a part of this production, her first non-musical in many years, despite the fact that she has had to don a gray wig and “age” prematurely!  Her husband, Phil, much prefers the wardrobe and hair she wore in her CCT role as the prostitute, Nellie, in Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical last October.  Other favorite CCT roles include Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and the Stepmother in Cinderella. Michelle has also graced the stage in musicals with Seven Angels Theater, Southington Community Theater, Manchester Musical Players, Little Theater of Manchester, Podium Players of East Hampton and Connecticut Cabaret Theater.  She sends her love out to her husband and three children, who never miss a show, no matter how embarrassing her cavorting on stage in various states of dress/undress or how annoying her character voices may be for them!






Ben Page (Reverend/Norval/Clyde) returns to the CCT stage for the fourth time.  He played Poirot in last winter’s Agatha Christie murder mystery, Black Coffee, and also appeared in You Can’t Take It with You and Inherit the Wind.  In addition, Ben has performed as Dickensian geezers Scrooge and Fagin, and as a Pirate in Peter Pan at Candlewood.  He resides in Cheshire.  By day, he is a professor of Philosophy at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.







Ed Pantano (Royce) makes his CCT debut with this production.  Past theater experiences include playing John Thoreau in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail with Castle Craig Players in Meriden and staged readings of Awake and Sing and You Can’t Take It with You.  Ed is a resident of Hamden.  “It’s been great working with the cast.  Thanks to my wife and wonderful children.”






Alisha Pavacich (Lucille) was raised in Cheshire and now lives in Plantsville with her 3 furry and fabulous Chihuahuas - Marley, Ziggy and Lola (her “children”).  She is “super-excited” to be back performing with CCT again after a 10 year hiatus.  Her last CCT production was Moon Over Buffalo.  She more recently appeared in Wild Mushrooms as the sassy psychic, Aunt Rose (Little Theater of Manchester) and 6 RMS RIV VU as the lead, Anne Miller (Theater Newington).  Alisha attended Marymount Manhattan College in NYC and earned a Bachelors degree in Theater Arts and Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.  While at SCSU, she was a member of the Crescent Players and head of the costume department.  Alisha and her mom, Rochelle, are the proud owners of Bella Fuchsia boutiques in Cheshire and West Hartford, where they do their best to make the world a more stylish and glamorous place, one customer at a time.  Alisha is also currently working as a stylist for an upcoming TV show.  “Special thank you to my super supportive family and my amazing friends…couldn’t do it without them!”




Kate Simpson (Delightful/Joy of Life Singer) appears in her fourth play with CCT and is thrilled to be working with the group once again. Past stage roles include Hope Falls’ Finest Citizen (BatBoy), Donna Marie/Miss Jones (Blood Brothers), Miss Fisher (The Admirable Crichton), and Madam Dubarry (Dracula: The Musical), among others. Her movie/TV roles include a Student in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a College Student in College Road Trip, Preppy High School Student in Gossip Girl, and Photo Double in Pink Panther Two. Kate is a Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) member, and made it to the second round of American Idol, Season 5.






Pam Simpson (Marguerite/Joy of Life Singer) returns to Cheshire Community Theatre after appearing in Blood Brothers as a member of the Ensemble. Past shows include Midsummer Night's Dream, The Magic Toyshop, Not Now, Darling!, Sweet Charity and Man of LaMancha. She was an apprentice at the Goodspeed Opera House and gained hands-on experience with props, scenery, and stage managing.  Pam is an Occupational Therapist working with adults and children and enjoys cooking, travel and pitching in at her husband's jewelry design showroom.  She is proud to share the stage with her daughter, Kate.







Kim Wantroba (Suzanne/Joy of Life Singer), a Cheshire resident, has now been involved with Cheshire Community Theater in various capacities for ten seasons.  She finally gets to live out her dream of being married to a man who owns a parking lot cleaning machine!  Other favorite roles include:  Mrs Webb in Our Town, a woman married to a chicken farmer, Vinnie in Life With Father, a woman married to a rich business man, and Joan in The Guys, a woman married but also with a career of her own.  In real life, Kim plays a woman married to the village idiot and mother to two mostly wonderful boys.  I love you Mark, Ryan & Kevin!







Paul F. Byrne (Director) began his stage career as propsmaster for NEAT's productions of Bad Habits and Little Egypt. It was after this experience that  he turned to acting with CCT. His first role was in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was just the preparation he needed to deal with all the insanity and craziness of community theater!  Roles followed in CCT productions of The Boys Next Door, Cobb, Guys and Dolls, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Admirable Crichton and Blood Brothers. Paul was also backstage for Moon Over Buffalo, Barefoot in the Park, City of Angels and The Dining Room. He served as stage manager for CCT’s presentation of Neil Simon's Proposals last spring. He would like to say "Hey, Hey Paula!"







John Kenney (Assistant Director) takes on his first active role with CCT, having been a member of the audience for several past productions.  His directing resume lists several productions for Castle Craig Players in Meriden, where John resides, as well as 43 years of high school productions.  He is a retired English, speech and drama teacher and former owner of The Book Vault in Wallingford. John is a member of the Meriden Arts Council, the Meriden Poetry Society and the Friends of the Library Bookstore in Meriden.  His hobbies include reading, writing poetry, spending time with his family and church.







Paula Byrne (Stage Manager) last appeared on stage as Mrs. Perkins in CCT’s The Admirable Crichton. She mostly helps out behind the scenes for CCT. This retired teacher has been an usher, served refreshments and assisted with costume changes in Cobb. She is now acting as stage manager for the first time. She sends a "Hey, hey, Paul!" to her husband and says, "Break a leg, Mr. Director!"