About Us

About Us 2017-11-17T01:10:10+00:00

Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 organization with an “art to the gut” sensibility. Founded in 2015 in San Diego, California, Backyard Renaissance believes that exceptional storytelling is rooted in a sense of joyful play, human connection and gutsy intensity.

Francis Gercke – Artistic Director

A graduate of The Actors Studio Drama School at the New School for Social Research, Fran Gercke is an award winning actor and director, as well as an instructor in San Diego at the college level and privately for the past 15 years.  In 2001, Gercke co-founded New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad and served as the artistic director until 2008. From July 2008 through August 2010, he worked with Cygnet Theatre as the associate artistic director. He is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and has worked professionally in San Diego with such companies as the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, Lambs Players Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, ion theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, New Village Arts Theatre, and Sledgehammer Theatre.

Jessica John – Executive Director

Jessica John is an award winning actor.  In 2001, Jessica co-founded Backyard Productions in San Diego and served as the executive artistic director until 2008. She is a company member of Cygnet Theatre and has worked professionally in San Diego with such companies as the North Coast Repertory Theatre, ion theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, New Village Arts Theatre, New Fortune Theatre Company,  Moxie Theatre, Oceanside Theatre Company, Diversionary Theatre and Renaissance Theatre.  She was named one of the “Top 50 People to Watch” by San Diego Magazine.

Anthony Methvin – Producting Director

Anthony is Producing Director for Backyard Renaissance, where he co-directed their production of Abundance, directed the Backyard Unleashed readings of Assistance and Bachelorette, which he will direct the San Diego premiere of for Backyard Renaissance in 2018, and both directed and adapted Showgirls and Mommie Dearest for their Live and Unleashed reading series. At Diversionary Theatre, where he is Artistic Associate, he directed readings of The Harvest and Wolves. He was Assistant Director on Buyer & Cellar and Sense & Sensibility (Old Globe), Dogfight (Cygnet), Baby with the Bathwater (Diversionary), and Spring Awakening (Palomar College). Local performances include Doug in Gutenberg! The Musical! and Lord John in The Elephant Man (Backyard Renaissance), Roger in A New Brain, Reed in Boys and Girls, and Kent in Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary). His play, Bleed Like Me, has been developed locally and at FSU, where he graduated with a BFA in Acting. You can follow him on Instagram @anthonymethvin.

Board of Directors

Jason Heil • Lauren Wilson • Jessica John Gercke • Francis Gercke