Cheshire Community Theater

Curtain Up, Light the Lights!

Mister Roberts



             April 16, 17, 18  2009

             Director: Marcus Hamilton


                                  Lieut. Roberts…………Bob McGowan                                      Ensign Pulver…………Mark Wantroba

                          Doc…………………………Bob Olson                                            Captain…………………Richard J. Abbate

                          Dowdy………………………Arnie Palmieri                                    Dolan………………………Paul Byrne

                          Insigna……………………Dean Waters                                       Mannion…………………Jerry Rankin

                          Lindstrom………………Michael Cassidy                                   Stefanowski……………Dan Petronella

                          WIley………………………Alan Behm                                          Gerhart…………………Marty Garcia

                          Payne……………………Steve Bates                                           Lt. Ann Girard………Vicki Todd

                          Mascot……………………Tasha Noel                                          Ensemble………………Philip Unger

                          Reber……………………Wade Elmer                                          CPO Johnson…………Christopher Jones


Richard J. Abbate (Captain Morton) is pleased to be able to bring to life the character of Captain Morton, “absolute monarch of the AK-601”.  Richard has appeared in CCT productions as Marko in Stalag 17, as Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner, as the King in Cinderella, as Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls and as Sir Claude Amory in Black Coffee.   In Twelfth Night with the Cheshire Shakespeare Society he played the Captain/Priest.  Most Thursday nights Richard can be found singing the tunes of Sinatra, Martin, Bennett and others at Jake’s in Wallingford, with pianist Joe Grieco.  He spent a number of years as a professional auto-racing driver, and yes, he raced with the late Paul Newman!  Richard is once again seeking the Republican Party nomination for the office of Secretary of the State.  (Perhaps the second time will be the charm!!)  He currently serves as an officer and a pilot with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, and leads a WWII reenactment unit.  He dedicates his performance to his late father, Cris Abbate, his late father-in-law, Al Van Sinderen, and his late step-father-in-law, Bill Orr, all of whom served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two.


Stephen Bates (Payne/Shore Patrolman) completes a trifecta with this CCT role, having previously appeared in The Admirable Crichton (Mr. Tompsett/Sailor) and Black Coffee (Dr. Graham/Constable Johnson).  He has studied acting at New England Academy of Theater in Hamden and holds degrees from Tunxis Community College and Keene State College.  His favorite actor of all time is Sir Michael Caine who, in the movie Blue Ice , uttered Stephen’s favorite line of all time, “Flogging will continue until the mood of the crew improves”.  Steve is 56, single and lives in Wallingford.  He enjoys movies, music, theater, building artillery and solving logic problems.





Alan D. Behm (Wiley) is pleased to be back on the stage with CCT after a long hiatus.  He has participated in numerous productions with the group on stage and back stage, including Cinderella, Stalag 17, City of Angels, The Admirable Crichton and Requiem for a Heavyweight.  Alan has also had the privilege of working on productions with Yale, Crescent Players, Pencil Box Players, SYT, Bethany Dramatics Club, CYT and Southington Community Theater.  He is a 1997 Cheshire High graduate.  “This show is dedicated to Grandpa, who served as the XO (eXecutive Officer) of Canton Island in the Pacific during WW II.”




Paul Byrne (Dolan) is proud to be portraying this character that embodies the spirit and enthusiasm of the hero, Mr. Roberts.  He is the "baby who is going to deliver it", the letter that will liberate our hero, Mr. Roberts, from the captain's oppressive control.  My first character in 1997 with CCT was Charles Cheswick, who is another cheerleader type for the hero, McMurphy, fighting the domineering control of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Cheswick delivers the closing line of the first act at the conclusion of an awe inspiring description by McMurphy of an inside the park home run. He jubilantly yells "Home Run!" before the curtain closes.  Both Dolan and Cheswick have a high regard for their heroes.  Paul says as always, "Hey,hey, Paula!" to his wife.





Michael Cassidy (Lindstrom) most recently appeared in Westport Community Theater’s production of The Best ManMister Roberts marks his fifth show with CCT.  Michael also appeared in The Tempest last season with Newtown’s Town Players, where he is a member of the board of directors.  Thanks to Greg and CCT for the reunion.







Wade Elmer (Shore Patrol Officer/Ensemble) has been involved in CCT since 2001, served on the board (2005-2008), and has appeared on stage or back stage in over 14 CCT productions. Wade has also performed in plays by MasterMind Productions, The Turnpike Players, and Castle Craig Players.  He devotes this performance to his tech theater sons, Ian and Conor.








Marty Garcia (Gerhart/Ensemble) is excited to be joining the Cheshire Community Theatre with this production of Mister Roberts.  Marty attended New Haven Public Schools and is a graduate of the Educational Center for the Arts, where he studied Theatre.  His credits include Long Wharf Theatre productions of The Front Page, Almost All in the Timing, King of Coons, and The Misanthrope.  Marty can currently be seen in commercials for WTNH and Comcast Searchlight.  He is also in several episodes of NBC's new series "Kings" and recent movies include "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2", "Everybody's Fine" and the upcoming movie, "Another Earth".  Marty thanks his wife, Jennifer for her love and support.





Christopher Jones (C.P.O. Johnson/M.P./PA and Radio Announcer) has been in many productions with CCT as well as with the former Stoney Creek Puppet House in Branford.  I would like to dedicate my performance to my wife, Sue, and thank her and our daughter, Kristina, for their many years of love and encouragement.  I would also like to express my gratitude to all my friends for their support all these many years.  “That’s about it in a nut shell.  If I mentioned all the shows I have done, and all the parts I have played, it might take up a whole page!”







Bob McGowan  (Lt. Doug Roberts) is making his fourth appearance at CCT, having previously appeared in You Can't Take it With You, Blithe Spirit, and Stalag 17.  His other community theatre credits include appearances in The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Proof, It's a Wonderful Life, Rumors, 12 Angry Men, Breakfast with Les & Bess, The Shadow Box and The Dining Room.  He also appeared in the infomercial Body by Jake.  He studied drama at the New England Academy of Theatre (NEAT).  In his other life, he is a married father of two and sells classroom furniture.  Thanks to cast, crew, wife and kids.  He dedicates his performance to the memory of his father.  "Thank you, Dad...thanks for everything."



Tasha Noel (Mascot) is very excited to be making her stage debut, following in the footsteps of her (human) Mom and brother and sister that have all been in past CCT productions.  She promises not to chew the curtain or piddle in the wings.  When she is not on stage, Tasha likes to root for the UCONN Huskies basketball teams, and not just because she thinks their mascot is a hottie!  She would like to thank Labs for Rescue and her family for saving her from a life of desperation and hunger on the streets of New Orleans after the hurricane. 



Bob Olson (Doc) graduated with a BA in Theatre from the Claremont College at the end of the Nixon years, and was actor, director and member of the college’s “Karma Pie” improvisational group (which boasts Robin Williams as an alumnus).  Having acted in theatre groups in Missoula, Walla Walla, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Portland; Bob returns to theatre in Cheshire after a hiatus during which he spent his time globetrotting in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.  As an older actor, he auditioned for the role of Doc, the most senior male role in the play.  He is excited to work with the energetic group of young actors at Cheshire Community Theatre.





Arnie Palmieri (Dowdy) lives in North Branford with his wife and family. After a 35 year career in the phone industry, he retired and has been busy ever since. He was bitten by the acting bug late in life.  Arnie has appeared in several productions with CCT including Guys and Dolls, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Proposals and Jitters.  In his spare time, Arnie enjoys singing with the North Branford Congregational Church Choir, building his model railroad and playing golf.  Arnie would like to dedicate his performance to his family, including his lovely granddaughters, Julia and Lucy!





Dan Petronella (Stefanowski) is delighted to be on stage for the first time with Cheshire Community Theater.  Dan’s acting career began many years ago in Montana where he played in a number of productions at the Billings Studio Theater.  His favorite role was Gibson McFarland, PhD, in Artichoke.  Since coming to Connecticut, Dan has played Mr. Goodfellow in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of Inherit the Wind.   He also has appeared in several productions of the Winsor Jesters, including Then There Were None (Dr. Armstrong) and Arsenic and Old Lace (Officer Klein).  Dan would like to thank his wonderful wife, Rose, for her support and understanding as he pursues his passion for acting.




Jerry Rankin (Mannion) is very pleased to be back on the CCT stage.  His last appearance with the group was as Lt. Brannigan in Guys & Dolls.  Jerry also has appeared as Mr. Crebbs in Inherit The Wind at the Ivoryton Theater and as Judge Taylor in To Kill a Mockingbird with the Nutmeg Players .  He also played Dr. Watson in several Murder Mysteries on the Connecticut River this past summer.  Jerry's from Middletown and is presently on the Democratic Town Committee.  He works as a court reporter by day in Hartford Superior Court.  Jerry's appeared in several student films at Wesleyan University.  He has completed two half marathons in Hartford and is looking forward to completing his third this year. He wishes to thank his wife, Kathy, for putting up with his crazy schedule; and sincerely thanks all the men and women serving in the Armed Forces of our great country.






Philip Unger (Ensemble) is thrilled to be in his first theatrical production.   Originally from Hamden, Philip moved to Cheshire in 1994.  He is a proud graduate of Franklin Pierce College, Class of 1987.  His favorite role so far has been as Dad to his 11-year-old son, Daniel.  Philip enjoys skiing during the winter and road cycling in the summer.  He is a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Cheshire. 






Vicki Todd (Lt. Ann Girard) played Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple at the Castle Craig Theatre and acted in two of The A-Train plays in the New Theatre in Meriden in fall 2006.  She was Hennie in Awake and Sing, a 2008 staged play reading at Castle Craig.  In 2009, she played Melissa in Love Letters at Castle Craig. Vicki has taken acting and commercial lessons at The Actor’s Gym in Hamden.  She’s also an active member of the Book Vault Play Readers Group in Meriden.  Vicki enjoys other artsy-fartsy endeavors such as painting, traveling and visiting museums.  She is truly enjoying her role as Nurse Ann Girard in Mister Roberts and wishes to thank everyone involved for making it a fabulous experience!




Dean Waters (Insignia) makes his CCT debut in this production.  Dean hails from Milford, CT and is a science teacher in Bridgeport.  Dean has appeared as a professional actor in feature films, commercials and Industrials and has appeared as a background actor in many television shows shot in New York City.  He has just become a member of The Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).  In addition, he is the drummer for local pop and rock group, Harmony Inc, and also the Clandestine Band.  Mister Waters is married, has two children, and would like to thank his wife, Deisi, for her support and encouragement.





Mark Wantroba (Ensign Pulver) has been called the most hapless, lazy, disorganized and, in general, the most lecherous person in the world.  His response to that is, “What’s your point?”  In truth, Mark spends most of his time being unlucky, indolent, messy and lascivious.  His remaining time is spent on his many hobbies including chainsaw juggling, tightrope walking, finger painting, and re-enacting famous battles of the Peloponnesian War.  Kim, Ryan and Weasel, “You guys rock!”








Marcus Hamilton (Director) has been working in film, video and theater ever since high school.  And it was in high school when he realized he wanted to do this show.  Various theater venues include Connecticut Heritage Productions, Castle Craig Players and Oddfellows Playhouse.  Some professional credits include work with CBS, The Discovery Channel and The Shoah Foundation.  A published children's author, he wrote and directed Tales Of A Moon Glow in 2004, which is a play about a boy who cannot sleep because of a monster in his closet.  He dedicates this show to his father.





Greg Rubino (Stage Manager) has only spoken one memorable line onstage in the last 12 years.  He prefers to work behind the scenes.  He has produced, stage managed and assistant directed numerous productions with CCT.  The most unforgettable include Guys and Dolls, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and A View from the Bridge.  “When I realized that I’d be working with a whole platoon of the guys I worked with in Stalag 17, I jumped at the chance to stage manage  for Mister Roberts”.  A graduate of Quinnipiac College, he spends his days managing the Health Information Data Analysis unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital.