Witchland 2021-10-01T19:02:49+00:00

The Inaugural


has been postponed due to CoVID-19!

Backyard Bingo Date TBD

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Season 6 Subscriptions Coming Soon
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Tired of being stuck inside and dealing with the same old junk?

Backyard Unleashed will throw open the gate in 2022 for our

4th Annual Live Lip Sync FaceOff and another Camp B Movie Classic

Past Events


The Dazzle

by Richard Greenberg

June 6, 2020 — June 7, 2020

Online Streaming Event

Tenth Avenue Arts Center
930 Tenth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101


Actors Francis Gercke, Jessica John, and Tom Zohar

Director Rosina Reynolds

Production Manager Anna Younce

Lighting Designer Joel Britt

Set Designer Tony Cucuzzella

Costume Designer Jeanne Reith

Sound Designer Matt Lescault-Wood

Captured live on stage by Stand Up 8 Productions

Winner of the 2002 Outer Critics’ Circle Award, The Dazzle is an almost true story based on the lives of the Collyer brothers — Langley and his older brother Homer — and their quirky, quixotic adventures in Harlem in the Roaring Twenties.   Langley is an exceptional concert pianist and an avid collector of all things great and small.  Homer manages the household and his eccentric brother’s life but privately dreams of wilder times.  Enter Milly — a wealthy, eccentric, enigmatic socialite — who is hellbent to be Langley’s most prized possession and the answer to Homer’s prayers for a life free of responsibility and obligation.

The Dazzle – An On-Line Artistic Collaboration  June 6 & June 7: All rehearsals and production meetings will be conducted via ZOOM and all design element load-in and load-out will be done in solo shifts so that each individual artist is provided a safe theatre space in which to create.  A socially distanced performance reading will be filmed through a multi-camera set-up with actors placed a minimum of 9 feet apart.  

Performance dates:  Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7


by Adam Wachter

June 26, 2020 — June 28, 2020

Recorded at Diversionary Theater’s Blackbox
4545  Park Blvd., #101
San Diego, CA 92116

A Streaming encore performance of the 2017 San Diego Critics Circle Award recipient for Best New Musical:

Actors Bryan Banville, Kay Marian McNellen, and Tom Zohar

Direction by Francis Gercke and Anthony Methvin

Music Direction by Steven Withers

Stage Manager – Taylor Todd

Set Design by Kristen Flores

Lighting Design by Curtis Mueller

Choreography by Katie Whalley Banville

Costume Design by Jessica John

Property Design by Bonnie Durben

Captured live on stage by Stand Up 8 Productions

Streaming On-Line: Friday June 26th through Sunday 28th, 2020
With gratitude to writer/composer/lyrist Adam Wachter and dedicated to Music Director Steven Withers who passed away recently and unexpectedly.

Backyard Renaissance offers theatre-lovers a chance to rediscover its 2017 San Diego Critics Circle Best New Musical production of Tarrytown.  The World Premiere Musical originally presented in Backyard Renaissance’s second season, delighted audiences both for its modern musical interpretation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as well as its inspired performances within Diversionary’s tiny Black Box Theatre. Starring Tom Zohar, Bryan Banville and Kay McNellen, Tarrytown reimagines Ichabod Crane as a modern day gay music teacher running away from his past. Settling into an idyllic neighborhood in Tarrytown, Ichabod not only gets a fresh start with a new school, but secures a BFF in an optimistic but sheltered dreamer who is secretary there.  When Ichabod meets his new friend’s husband the unlikely trio tests friendships, loyalties and jealousies in ways none of them expected.

In June 2020, Adam Wachter completed the professional cast recording of Tarrytown and dedicated all proceeds on purchase of the recording to The Actors Fund to support their work helping the creative community during the COVID-19 pandemic.   A link will be available to purchase this recording when viewing Backyard Renaissance’s 2017 production of the musical.

American Buffalo

by David Mamet

November 14, 2019 — December 7, 2019

Tenth Avenue Arts Center
930 Tenth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

A funny, gritty glimpse int the dark underbelly of coin collecting and pawn shop politics that asks the question:  What would you do for a nickel?  This exploration of greed, strained loyalties, and busted American dreams is an early celebrated work by the writer of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Untouchables, The Verdict, and Wag the Dog.


by Noah Haidle

San Diego Premiere

August 23 — September 16, 2018

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre
2910 La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

Once upon a time there was a family…

A play in which a girl named Beauty snacks on paint and rocks, while fetal twins perfect vaudevillian routines in utero, and a long neglected family apple tree finds its purpose.

Haidle’s modern fairy tale is a story unlike anything ever witnessed and as oddly recognizable as the very people who raised you.

More Info


by Omri Schein


A San Diego Premiere Workshop Production with Richard Baird, Francis Gercke, Jessica John, Phil Johnson, Brian Mackey, David McBean, and Shana Wride

Tuesday September 4, 2018 @8pm

Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre
2910 La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

Savoyard  (nSa·voy·ard \ sə-ˈvȯi-ˌärd \)

a devotee of the comic operas of W. S. Gilbert and A. S. Sullivan

Murders  (nmur·ders  \ ˈmər-dərs \)

the crimes of unlawfully killing people especially with malice aforethought

It’s time for fans of Gilbert & Sullivan to face the bloody music!

Tiberius Spriggs, Gilbert and Sullivan historian and aficionado, throws the most delightful tea parties.  Muffins! Salmon sandwiches!

And murder.

Which one of his motley guests is ruthlessly bumping off random British subjects in the style of England’s most notorious creators of comic operas? And will the punishment fit the crime?

Put on your savoyard caps and find out!


by Omri Schein


A world premiere workshop musical with Allison Spratt Pearce, Nancy Snow Carr, Bryan Banville, Sandy Campbell and directed by Kim Strassburger.

Tenth Avenue Arts Center
930 Tenth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Can the only superhero ever to come from New Jersey save Christmas? Who knows? And who cares?!

The Zoo Story

by Edward Albee

July 12 — July 29, 2018

It’s a jungle out there.

All Jerry wanted was to talk.  He didn’t talk to many people.  Except to say like:  gimme a beer, or where’s the john, or keep your hands to yourself, buddy.  But every once in a while he liked to talk to somebody, really talk, like get to know somebody, know all about him.

All Peter wanted was a quiet, peaceful place to read his Sunday paper.  Far, far away from his wife, his two daughters, the two cats, and the parakeet.

Then something happened.

You’ll probably read about it in the paper.  Or see it on tv….


by Leslye Headland

Directed by Anthony Methvin

March 15 – April 1, 2018

All Performances at the Black Box Theatre** at Diversionary Theatre

4545 Park Boulevard in San Diego, CA 92116

**(located on the 2nd floor toward the rear of the building; wheelchair accessible)

“Backyard Renaissance provides ‘art to the gut’ with ‘gutsy intensity.’ It has all this in more in this terrific production….”

Jenni Prisk, Scene

“….this is a dark comedy in which the wanton decadence is best left to speak for itself, and to be guiltily enjoyed.”

David Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune

WARNING: Do not mix with alcohol, girlfriends, narcotics, or… oh never mind.

Headland’s black comedy, focused on gluttony – part of her Seven Deadly Sins cycle – is a darkly funny, fast-paced, furiously foul-mouthed, and unexpectedly intimate look at hurt, betrayal, and friendship.

More Info

Tarrytown music book & lyrics by Adam Wachter

November 30th – December 17th, 2017

A modern musical inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

World Premiere

More Info

Backyard Renaissance Unleashed presents…


Monday, December 4th, 2017 –  7pm @  The Lafayette Hotel Ballroom

Watch your favorite performers sing their faces off.

More Info

Backyard Renaissance Unleashed presents…


Monday, September 18th, 2017 –  7pm @  The Lafayette Hotel Ballroom

See MOMMIE DEAREST like you’ve never seen it before while supporting one of San Diego’s newest theatre companies!

More Info

Abundance by Beth Henley

March 16th – April 2nd, 2017

Starring: Francis Gercke, Jessica John, Brian Mackey, Jacque Wilke and David Raines.

At the latter half of the 19th Century, two mail-order brides (Macon and Bess) have traveled West, to say “I do” to men they’ve never seen.  Macon, an adventurer, dreams of leaving her new, steady, one-eyed husband, while Bess is content to dodge her husband’s bullets and demeaning words. But a severe winter and starvation set life into motion and change is coming…

More Info

Gutenberg! The Musical! by Anthony King & Scott Brown

August 4 – September 4, 2016

Bud and Doug think they may have just written the greatest musical of all time– a big, splashy song-and-dance spectacular about the inventor of the printing press, Johann Gutenberg. (Yes. Really.)

You are cordially invited to a backer’s audition where Bud and Doug will play all 30 roles, sing every song, and hopefully find a big-time producer to make their Broadway dreams come true!

Both a loving tribute to and a biting satire of the Great American Musical, this hilarious two-man spoof was developed at Upright Citizens Brigade before becoming an Off-Broadway hit.

This musical isn’t just good. It’s Gutenberg! The Musical!

More Info

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance

April 8 – 24, 2016

The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, victim of rare skin and bone diseases, he has become the star freak attraction in traveling side shows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London’s prestigious Whitechapel hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati only to be denied his ultimate dream, to become a man like any other.

More Info

Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth

Previews: August 20 & 21
August 22 – September 6, 2015

Backyard Renaissance’s inaugural production kicks off in August.  The first play for the company will be Tony Award Winning Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song, an eerie, touching and very funny look at mid-life crises. The show will be directed by Lisa Berger and will feature Francis Gercke, Mike Sears and Jessica John.

More Info