Theater Group Portrays Holiday Comedy this Weekend

“Pete Dumbowski” (far right, played by Damien Pezzuti, of Rimersburg) shows up unexpected to the Shelby Family Thanksgiving dinner and creates a lot of headaches for friends and family in Armstrong Community Theater’s upcoming weekend performance of “Seasonal Allergies.”


by Jonathan Weaver

Armstrong Community Theater’s fifth production of the year hopes to relate to local families’ struggles during the holiday season.

With its seven-member cast, “Seasonal Allergies” will take audiences from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve during this weekend’s three performances.

Jeecy Oesterling, of Cowansville has had her sights on portraying “Alison Cusimano,” a pregnant lawyer who is invited to the Shelby Family household with her husband, “J.D.” for a “family and friends” Thanksgiving dinner, from the moment she first read the script. Oesterling described the show’s plot, revolving around Julia Shelby’s younger brother “Pete Dumbowski.”

“Pete’s not in a great place – his marriage had been crumbling for a while. (The play) is right at the tail end of it, right when he’s signing the divorce papers and it’s actually hitting him pretty hard, so all the other characters want to see him be happy again,” Jeecy said.

The actor who portrays “Dumbowski” (Damien Pezzuti, of Rimersburg) will actually be making his Armstrong Community Theater debut.

Pezzuti has has not been on-stage since high school.

“I Googled local theater places, came across (Armstrong Community Theater) and (Butler Little Theatre). This was a little closer for me, so when I saw (Armstrong) had auditions, I thought I’d come audition for a role,” Pezzuti said. “I’ve done film acting – small film – and I did a commercial, but this is my first time doing theater acting. I wanted to try it out.

“This is the first organized theater for me, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Fall play might also be the first of many for one child actor – Jeecy’s 11-year-old son, C.J.

C.J. – a sixth-grader at West Hills Intermediate – has only been seen before in children’s musicals each summer.

Director Paul Wright said C.J really adds to the performance

“A lot of the plays we pick don’t have children in them,” Wright said. “We thought at first it was probably going to be a bit of a challenge, but (C.J.) is very articulate, very easy to understand. He learns everything very quickly. Very smart kid.”

Tickets are available at the Quality Inn Royle in West Kittanning, the Worthington Community Library – coincidentally located beside the Worthington Civic Center and at the front door before each performance. Each ticket is $10.

The show begins at 7:30PM Friday and Saturday, and 2PM Sunday.