Festival of Shorts

Final Show Sunday April 7th!


Quentin Gray (Barry, Pig #3, Alex): Quentin was raised in Toledo, Ohio and has been acting since 15 years old. H was a film extra in Marshall, Bashira, Crown Vic, and the first Purge. Quentin has appeared in several stage productions with roles such as Jeffrey in The Curtious Savage at the Ghostlight Theate and Randy Dexter in Curtins for The Elmira Little Theater in Elmira,NY. Quentin trained with Frank Rossi in both Method and Meisner. “I want to thank inclusive Theater of WNY for giving me this great opportunity as an actor. Juggling multiple roles is a new experience for me. So I would have to thank Aimee for giving me this part and pushing my limits as an actor.

Jessica Levesque ( Thomasina, Snow White, Mama) Active in RollerDerby until an injury ended her career, Jessica moved on to acting, something she’d always wanted to do. She has appeard on several episodes of Total Divas, and an independent film, The Secret Origin of Mojo Man. Jessica loves WWE wrestling, Anime and cartoons. She loves the beach, making jewelry and travelling. Jessica has appeard in several plays on Buffalo stages including Always October (2013), The Process (2014), An Evening of Personal Stories (2017), And Where Will You Put the Things You Save? (2018).

Colleen Ann O’Byrne (Television Man): Colleen is a long time Buffalo resident who has appeard in one previous Inclusive Theater of WNY production—An Evening of Personal Stories. She makes her acting debut in Television Man, the first short play in ITOWNY’s Festival of Shorts. Colleen has one adult son and two Bichons: Molly and Bella.

Summer Harris (Cate Blanchett, Paula, Princess Charming): A enior at The Park School of Buffalo, Summer is excited to be apart of ITOWNY’s Festival of Shorts! In the past with The Park Players she has been Mollie in TheMousetrap, Alice in You Can’t Take it With You, Banzai and a Featured Dancer in The Lion King Jr, the antagonist Cat in Honk! Jr, and the variety shows Patchwork since middle school. She also performed in The Diary of Anne Frank with The Raiders of Niagara as Anne Frank. In her spare time she loves to draw, write, sing, play guitar, ukulele, and viola.

Jennelle Torrey (Gremlin, Wolf) is a wife, mother, virtual assistant, curriculum developer, technology trainer, actor, and accessibility advocate. To me Inclusive means that everyone no matter who you are has access to be included in all areas of life, there should be no exceptions.

Rev. Christopher Wylie (Gremlin, Zombie, Television Man, Pig 2, Rumplesiltskin) Chris is a father, husband, United Methodist pastor, writer, blogger, musician, artist, actor, and disability advocate. More than anything he wants you to know that Inclusive means you are loved no matter the body in which you live.  

Aimée Levesque, Ph.D. Executive and Artistic Director: Aimée has served on the Boards of Buffalo Theatre Alliance (TABS) and Ujima Theatre. She holds Masters Degrees in English Literature and Library Science and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. This past January Aimée received her Doctorate in Curriculum Design and the Science of Learning from University at Buffalo. Aimée’s daughter Jessica, a talented actress and a woman on the autism spectrum, is one of the inspirations for Inclusive Theater of WNY.

Marilyn Erentsen-Scott (Artistic Director) Marilyn retired from the stage after a well received performance in 7th grade and only returned some 50 years later, appearing in a play (The Process in 2014) with two of the actors in this production: Jessical Levesque and Chelsea Braun. Marilyn and her husband of 38 years, Steve, moved to Buffalo from L.I. almost five years ago. They have one son, Anthony, and a 2 year old Golden Retriever named Penny, who is the official mascot of InclusiveTheater of WNY. A former Registered Nurse, Marilyn received her BA in Sociology from Adelphi University in 1998 and has worked for more than 25 years as an advocate for full inclusion for people with disabilities.

Festival of Shorts

Meet the Cast of ITOWNY’s Festival of Shorts!!

Pictured from top to bottom: Carling Barry, Chelsey Braun, Shelby Calabro, Marilyn Erentsen-Scott, Dave Goddard, Quentin Gray, Summer Harris, Aimee Levesque, Jessica Levesque, Colleen O’Byrne, Dallas Taylor, Jennelle Torrey, Charles Weber, Jennifer Weber, and Chris Wylie.


The Power of Theatre

Last night I had a theatre experience I won’t soon forget. The Kavinoky Theatre’s production of 1984 is a disturbing and imaginatively staged vision of a future in which truth is relative and ever changing, depending on the needs of the “elite” which is control of, well, reality itself. Big Brother is always watching but a man called Winston dares to dream that perhaps he has escaped observation in small stolen moments with Julia, the woman he has the audacity to love. The audience is pulled in to believing that maybe, just maybe this couple will find freedom: Freedom to think, freedom to feel, freedom from observation, freedom to have real chocolate..

Aleks Malejs gives depth to what could have been a one dimensional character–Julia– a woman who may (or may not) be just who she says she is. Chris Avery’s portrayal of Winston is something I can’t even describe–but I’ll try. Gut wrenching comes close, but other than that words fail me.

There is one heart stopping moment in that play that occurs between Winston and the audience, and it is shocking, disturbing, paralyzing and is reason alone to see the show. It’s a moment that will stay with me for a very long time.

At the opposite end of the seriousness spectrum, Inclusive Theatre of WNY’s A Festival of Shorts opens on Friday April 5th at 7:30 pm and runs until Sunday April 7th at 2pm at The Foundry, 298 Northampton Street, Buffalo. Tickets are available through paypal here.

So. Here’s my recommendation for a perfect weekend: Catch one of the final performances of 1984 at The Kavinoky Theatre at D’Youville on Porter Rd in Buffalo, and then head over to The Foundry for a little comic relief!

Here are pictures from today’s rehearsal of A Festival of Shorts.