Weekend Showcase: Bunce Backyard Productions’ “Shrek”
The Bogles back yard in Dayton is home to Bunce Backyard Productions’ latest theatrical performance, “Shrek.” Organizers say bring a lawn chair or a blanket and show up early to catch a free show.
Shrek rocketed to fame on the big screen, and now it’s come to Dayton. From the moment you step into the
back yard outdoor theater in Dayton, you’re suddenly in a more-relaxed world. In the shade of a thick canopy of maples and oaks, the stage sits in a natural amphitheater. Guests set out lawn chairs and blankets on a gentle slope to watch the show. Lori Bunce says putting on the show is an honor.
“We were once, and again, very poor and we couldn’t afford to go to the theater with our kids,” says Bunce. “We just wanted to offer something to families or maybe people who are out of a job to come to see good theater and not have to pay.”
That’s why for over a decade, the Bunce Backyard Summer show has gone on.
This year’s performance of Shrek the Musical is lots of fun. All ages will enjoy the humor. If you come, bug spray, camp chairs, and blankets are a must. Diana Symens has been in every Bunce Backyard Summer production – this year, she’s Pinocchio.
“The cast has always been family,” she says. “That’s one of the things that keeps drawing me back. I keep making new friends. I keep getting deeper, more meaningful friendships from the people I know here.”
The Backyard has even recruited from its audience. Todd Handeland brought his son to a show about five years ago and decided to audition. This year, he’s the Captain of the Guards.
While the show is free, it does cost about $20,000 every year to put it on, so the production does accept donations.