Benny is both an entrepreneur and a professional actor with a vision of bringing live theater to every child's backyard! His professional experience includes Boy Scrooge in the Playhouse in the Park production of A Christmas Carol, as well as The Children's Theater of Cincinnati's (TCT) Mainstage productions of The Wizard of Oz (Ensemble/ Lollipop Guild) and Mary Poppins, Jr (Michael Banks). In addition, Benny has performed in various other stage venues including The Music Man (Xavier University), Frankenstein (Falcon Theater), and Shrek The Musical (Cincinnati Music Theater). He keeps his talent sharp in TCT STAR NKU Intensive summer program, as well as participating in many stage
performances from annual talent shows (Comedy, Song & Dance) to full productions (from Elementary, Jr. High and now High School performances - both plays and musicals).
Benny is excited to share with everyone the fun and joy that theater can bring - to both young and young at heart!
The Backyard Broadway Company
CELIA JOY D'ASCENZO
Celia Joy is a small but mighty 6th grader with a passion for musical theatre. In addition to being an avid singer, dancer, actress, pianist, and tumbler, Celia is a creative storyteller. Most recently Celia appeared in The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s (TCTC) production of The Velveteen Rabbit as the Robot. In 2020, she also appeared in TCTC’s production of Annie Jr. in the role of Molly. Other musical theatre credits include: Awaited, Cinderella Kids (Fairy Godmother), Seussical (Young Kangaroo), and High School Musical Jr. (Cheerleader.) Celia loves her homeschool community at HELP and Classical Conversations. Her favorite month of the year is July when she trains at TCTC’s Star Camp. At home, she loves spending time with her three sisters singing, dancing, and creating their own shows.
Marlo is a homeschooler who has been performing for most of her life. Some of her favorite
productions include Peter Pan Jr. (Twin 2), Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. (Flounder), Annie
Jr. (Kate), Elf the Musical Jr., The Wizard of Oz, Casper the Friendly Musical, The Jungle Book
Kids, Santa Claus the Musical, Charlie Brown Christmas, and Aladdin Jr. with the Children’s
Theater of Cincinnati. She has performed regionally in High School Musical Jr. (Gabriella),
Guys and Dolls Jr. (Sarah Brown), Seussical Jr. (Gertrude McFuzz), Sleeping Beauty Kids
(Aurora), Into the Woods Jr. (Little Red), and Crossroads’ Awaited (Soloist). Marlo has also
participated in the Children’s Theater of Cincinnati’s Star Intensive for eight years. Marlo also enjoys playing piano, tap dancing, spending time with friends and family, and teaching.
Mia is so excited to bring this wonderful story to life! Mia has been performing practically all her life. Some of her favorite credits include Peter Pan Jr. (Twin 1), Disney's the Little Mermaid Jr. (Flounder), Disney's Aladdin Jr. (Iago), and Annie Jr. (Molly) with The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati. As well as, Disney's High School Musical Jr. (Taylor), Seussical Jr. (Mayzie), Disney's Sleeping Beauty KIDS (Merryweather) and Awaited. She has also enjoyed attending STAR camp with The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati every summer for the past seven years. Besides performing, in her free time, Mia loves to read, water ski, teach, bake, and spend time with her family & friends.
Alyssa is so excited to have this opportunity to share her love of theatre with others! Some of her previous credits include Milford High School's production of “The Addams Family” (Wednesday), the Fitton Playhouse's production of “The Secret Garden” (Mary Lennox), Acting Up's "Mary Poppins" (Jane Banks), and The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's production of “Annie Jr.” (Tessie). She has also participated in The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's STAR Intensive program for the past 7 years. Additionally, she has choreographed and been the dance captain for various productions for her school, community theatre, and summer camps!
Avery will be a freshman at Ursuline Academy in the fall and has always had a love for the arts. Some of her favorite credits include James and The Giant Peach Jr.(Spiker), High School Musical Jr. (Sharpay), Treasure Island (Auntie Nan), Mary Poppins Jr. (Jane Banks), The Lion King Jr. (Young Simba), Alice In Wonderland Jr. (Alice), and Annie Kids (Annie). Avery looks forward to attending her fourth year of NKU STAR Intensive Camp this summer where she has an opportunity to train and perform with some of the best young actors in Cincinnati. In addition to theater, Avery enjoys script writing, choreographing, and spending time with her friends and family!
Kavan is an 9th grader and started out as a dancer but quickly added acting and singing to his list of passions. His favorite performances include The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s mainstage productions of Jungle Book Kids (Mowgli) and The Velveteen Rabbit (The Boy), as well as area and school productions of Willy Wonka Jr. (Charlie), James & the Giant Peach (James), Aladdin Jr. (Aladdin), Descendants (Ben), Shrek Jr. (Pinocchio), and High School Musical Jr. When not on stage, Kavan can be seen playing with his Cincinnati United Premiere (CUP) team or practicing with his Bollywood dance team. This summer will be Kavan’s third year at Star NKU, where he loves to learn how to take his talents to the next level.
Keya is a 7th grader who caught the acting bug early on and continues to craft her skills with creativity and innovation. Her favorite past regional and school productions include Shrek Jr. (Young Fiona, Little Pig), Beauty & the Beast Jr. (Belle), Descendants (Jane), Aladdin Jr., Annie Jr., 101 Dalmatians, and Jungle Book Kids. Keya enjoys creating original productions with friends and family and recently produced an online play based upon J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Keya loves to play the piano and is a dancer of many styles including tap, hip hop and Bollywood. She is a proud Star NKU student and looks forward to bringing more smiles to those around her with Backyard Broadway Live!