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Providence Lyceum

The past seeps like blood into the present


Immediate release 10/19/2015Contact: Providence Lyceum   401-339-0131 Photos and trailer available upon request or from web site
It’s a story that could have been dragged from today’s daily news: an estate taken by eminent domain to release a dam, a family torn by tragedy. Providence Lyceum’s House of Shadows Gothic romance film is the tale of the Silverfields who live in a mansion by the sea. The just under an hour long film will air on Rhode Island PBS on October 28th at 10pm EST.
The family is readying to leave before the planned flood hits, when Aunt Lacey believes a sinister force has been unleashed: Distraught young heiress Annabel Lee Silverfield’s behavior turns strange. Buffy Silverfield must turn to the past to save her daughter. To 1893, when legend has it famous poet Nathaniel Silverfield murdered his fiancé and then killed himself. Has the terrible tragedy of the past seeped into the present?
House of Shadows features Beverly Hayes as Patience Silverfield. The acclaimed actress is known for soap operas and appeared on the original Dark Shadows TV series.
Filmed on location at beautiful historic mansions in Rhode Island, House of Shadows features Governor Henry Lippett House Museum, and Malbone Estate, Governor Sprague Mansion, as well as at Museum of Work and Culture, and at Roger Williams Park.
Filmmakers Michael and Karen Iacobbo are locals who love Rhode Island and brought products and services from the area into their film such as: Alex and Ani bracelets, wardrobe from Trinity Square and Philip Sawyer Designs, and paintings from Betsey MacDonald.
Welsh-born Joe Michael Phillips stars in House of Shadows as poet Nathaniel Silverfield, his bride-to-be Victoria Noble is actress Jami Tennille from Massachusetts. Also starring Connecticut actors Olivia Sage Pentell as Annabel Lee Silverfield, Suzanne McCormick as Buffy Silverfield – and Rhode Islander Kevin Cahill as Gerard Hathorne. Other Rhode Island actors: Lawrence O’Leary, Linda Colvin, and mother and son Rhode actors Peggy Passarelli and Josh Passerelli.
Josh Csehak is the Director of Photography, and original music for the film is by Roger and Ellen Bruno.
Producer/Assistant Director/Writer Karen Iacobbo was inspired by Victorian Gothic novels, the history of the Scituate Reservoir, Puccini’s opera Tosca, and the Dark Shadows TV series. Of director and co-writer Michael Iacobbo’s contribution to the script, Karen says, “I make the cake and he creates the frosting.” When not filmmaking, Karen teaches writing at three local colleges, and Michael, a former Associated Press reporter, runs a small business.
House of Shadows is the Iacobbo’s second film. Their next film, ‘Device’, a scifi thriller, is now in post-production.


Video: Mom, Son Brave the ‘House of Shadows’


Providence Lyceum’s Latest Film: Fall 2012


Providence Lyceum LLC  

Dream   Communicate   Manifest

For immediate release                                     March 22, 2012


Karen Iacobbo



Sometimes life pays close attention to our beliefs.”


Providence Lyceum is pleased and proud to announce that their short, narrative film ‘The Unproductive’ has been accepted into the 4th Annual 5-Day SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival, to be held April 11-15, 2012 in Pawtucket and Providence, RI. ‘The Unproductive’ will screen on Sunday, April 15th, part of the 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM block of local films.


The film was accepted into the SENE festival based upon audience vote at a recent public screening held in Providence at Rhodywood, also known as Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House.


The Unproductive’ is the first film from Providence Lyceum LLC, a communication company established in 2010 by two Rhode Island natives, writers Michael Iacobbo and Karen Iacobbo.


Karen, a journalist, author, and award-winning short story writer, wrote ‘The Unproductive’ screenplay and directed and produced the film. Michael, who was a reporter for The Associated Press, added his flair to the script, and was a producer and the production manager of the film.


It was Karen’s dream to make a film. New to screenwriting, but an experienced professional writer, she didn’t want to take the traditional route of sending screenplays to Hollywood, and instead enlisted the skills and talent of a local cast and crew to make a short film.


For technical assistance in filmmaking, the Iacobbos turned to  Anthony Ambrosino, and Nicholas Delmenico, of The 989 Project and their crew. The Director of Photography of The Unproductive is Chris Garrison, award-winning photographer, and Fred Tindall is the accomplished film editor.


Other team members of the film came from New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), students or graduates Michael Anastasio, Christopher Esper, and Michael McHale. Graphic design artist Eric Benson designed the DVD cover art for The Unproductive.


A help in getting the film made was the RI Film Collaborative (RIFC), which provided space for rehearsals, as well as assistance in locating crew members. The Silver Dragon, a local jewelry-making company that’s on the Internet, and tailor Victor’s Ltd. of North Providence, provided props or some wardrobe. Hair and makeup for some of the actors in the film is by Paul Mitchell The School of Cranston, Rhode Island. Spirito’s Restaurant at the Italo-American Club on Broadway in Providence was the caterer.


A narrative short in a Twilight Zone-like style, but with more twists, ‘The Unproductive’ is twenty-two minutes long, the same length of an episode of the old television series.


A fictional story, ‘The Unproductive’ is a provocative look at effects of the euthanasia debate on a relationship: how it can divide and devastate, as well as create a sense of helplessness at having to make a life or death decision. The story also touches upon the ever-increasing competition between independent and established news media; that is, the conflict this causes between two cousins whose perceptions of reality are shaped by quite different news media sources. ‘The Unproductive’ was somewhat influenced by the Terri (Schindler) Schiavo saga, which occurred in 2005.


‘The Unproductive’ is the first lead role for actor Andre Correa, who was born in Brazil, and now resides in California where he is studying acting with acclaimed acting teacher and former Rhode Islander Howard Fine.


Leading lady actress Sarah Nicklin is a local favorite, who has starred in several popular indy films, and recently moved to California, where she is to be featured in an upcoming commercial.


The role of The Narrator is played by Connecticut actress and broadcaster Suzanne McCormick. Rhode Island actor David Graziano, who is featured in several other local films, is The Doctor.


Another Rhode Islander who has appeared in local films and a commercial, Peggy Passarelli, is the Reporter. Television and film actor and model Margot Muraszkiewicz, also known as the stand-in for Jeri Ryan of the TV series Body of Proof,  plays mysterious lady Bernadette.


The background actors, as protestors or in other roles in the film, are: Ray DiTomasso, David Nuovo, John Faiola, Beatriz Lopez, John Douglass, Christopher Johnson, Linda Colvin, Stephen Babbitt, Kimberly Morales, Chris Esper, Lare Short, Louise Short, Angela Ford, Michael McHale, Erica Mills, Patrick Campbell, Father Roman Manchester, Joseph Burke, and Allie Kaye.


Local singer and songwriter Patricia Overdeep, also a background extra and singer in the film, wrote a folk song ‘Choose Life’ for the film.


‘The Unproductive’ is a dark tale dealing with death that does not “take sides” on the euthanasia issue, and may be taken quite personally by some viewers. In fact, at one preliminary screening of the film, an audience member burst out in tears and said the film eerily represented what had happened in his life.


Filmmaker Karen Iacobbo says she hopes the film will “entertain and give the viewer a twist and turn ride.”


The film was shot at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, with some shots at the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.


Currently Michael and Karen Iacobbo are shooting their second short film ‘House of Shadows’, which takes the viewer into the Victorian era, and is a Gothic tale somewhat in the style of ‘Dark Shadows’ meets ‘Twilight Zone.’ The film is in production at a Victorian mansion museum in Rhode Island. Actors Suzanne McCormick and Peggy Passarelli of The Unproductive are among the cast members.


The Iacobbos are also at work on a documentary about disco, which they will release as an addition to a feature film they are planning about an eighteen year old Italian American young lady of the disco scene growing up in 1978 on Federal Hill, the Italian-American neighborhood of Providence. The film will feature local actors, musicians, and businesses, as well as a few fun surprises.




“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”          Henry David Thoreau  Walden  1854     401-339-0131

The lyceum movement was a social movement, begun in the 1830s in the Northeast United States, as well as the name of the places and organizations that held events.
“The Lyceums in New England were progressive democratic institutions. No one was barred from membership. Membership dues were very inexpensive and women and people of color were admitted. It was a place in which the entire community could gather to discuss new ideas and build consensus about local issues. Classes would include literature, philosophy, art appreciation, and the current science of the day. The Lyceums became the hosts for the Transcendentalist lecture circuit as well as the proving ground for the abolitionists and early feminists. Though there was the occasional heated political debate, most of the classes were designed to offer continuing education in many enriching aspects of life…the residents of rural communities were grateful for the connection to broader culture. The movement was instrumental in starting many local public libraries and public schools and colleges.”