Plays

Cast Spotlight: Colleen Ann O’Byrne

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Colleen Ann O’Byrne joined ITOWNY in the fall of 2018 when she served as Assistant to the Prop Master for And Where Will You Put the Things You Save? at the Alleyway Theatre. This past April Colleen auditioned for and was cast in a role in Television Man for ITOWNY’S Festival of Shorts.

Colleen has performed in summer theater with individuals with disabilities previously and is thrilled to be back on stage. Although she has been diagnosed with MS, through homeopathy and other natural and alternative therapies she has managed to slow its progression. Doing what she loves, she says, is great for the immune system!

Colleen’s biggest fans are her two Bichons–Molly and Bella. Don’t miss Colleen’s performance as The Handmaiden (no, not that one!) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare!

When: July 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th at 7pm Where: The Foundry, 298 Northampton Street, Buffalo, NY

For tickets: Brown Paper Tickets

Plays · Rehearsals

Who Knew?

As rehearsals proceed for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: A Midsummer Night’s Dream the cast is finding its footing. And they are hilarious. Did you know that Shakespeare was a very funny guy? And he was an anti-snob. His play within a play (at the end of Midsummer Night’s Dream) is ridiculous, and the royal court doesn’t know quite what to make of it–they’re kind of clueless. It’s Shakespeare’s way of making fun of the upper crust. The actors are disrespectful and the royal court can’t figure out if it’s just part of the play–or could it be they are the butt of the joke? Nah…

Our creative and hilarious cast takes the fun to the limit. Here are a few pictures from this weeks’ rehearsals…

For tickets go here

Commentary · Plays

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.

Plays · Rehearsals

Behind the Scenes…Rehearsal for A Festival of Shorts

Another hilarious night of Shorts-this cast is having a great time!

A Festival of Shorts Friday April 5th 7:30 pm at The Foundry–298 Northampton Street, Buffalo. Saturday April 6th 7:30pm at The Foundry 298 Northampton St. Sunday April 7th 2pm at The FoundryT

For tickets please email inclusivetheaterofwny@gmail.com

Plays

Weekend Rehearsal for A Fesitval of Shorts

Our cast got together this past weekend over lunch to discuss their characters, go over lines, cues, and scenes. We ‘ve been encouraging improvisation in the earlier rehearsals because we saw how creative and, well–FUN–this cast is.

We will be opening A Festival of Shorts on Friday April 5th at The Foundry on Northampton Street in Buffalo, at 7:30 pm. Saturday we will be at Hallwalls (at Babeville) on Delaware Avenue at 7:30 pm. Each of these venues is unique and we look forward to performing in each. We will be posting our venue for Sunday April 7th (2pm) shortly. Watch this space!

For ticket information, email us at inclusivetheaterofwny@gmail.com

Here are photos from this past weekend:

Our fabulous cast discusses a scene over pizza.
Commentary · Plays

The Power of Theater: No Ordinary “Fiddler” On This Stage…

Last evening my husband and I went to see Fiddler on the Roof at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY. We’ve each seen “Fiddler” a few times over the years and knew what to expect- and we looked forward to this beautiful, sad, humorous musical play. But from the first moments of the show we knew THIS production would be different. The set is a train station and a man is dressed in contemporary clothing (a red jacket). As he boards the train with many others, the doorway is turned and as the people mingle suddenly they all are in peasant clothing from a long ago time. The man in the red jacket becomes Tevya, the father with five daughters, husband of Golde, and he begins his conversation with God and sings of “Tradition”.

As we approach Election Day 2018 I am thinking of all the men who, like Tevya, are trying to feed and protect their families in a world that seems only to care for certain types of people. I’m thinking of all the women, who like Golde and her daughters, struggle to embody their true selves, to protect themselves and each other from what the world would impose on them and yes, what is imposed upon them in their own household, in the guise of “Tradition”.

I’m thinking of all the refugees who like the family in “Fiddler” find themselves suddenly and without warning forced from their homes, or those who choose to leave under threat of harm. Where is safe haven? And who will be allowed to go there?

Growing up in the America of the 1950s and 60s, I never had to worry about those kinds of questions. I read about people who did, but they were from other places, not here, in America. That could never happen here!

And yet earlier this year families were torn apart as they crossed the border into the US and as I write this, people still  are fleeing their homes in South America to save their children

Fiddler on the Roof always has been an  important and relevant play. By adding a contemporary note, the production we saw last night  was made  all the more powerful, current and relevant as, when the villagers begin their forced emigration  to America, Tevya once again becomes the contemporary man in the red jacket, walking with the “others” against a backlit stage–shadow people walking, walking, walking, but to where? And to what?

One thing I know for sure is this: They are us.


Performances · Plays

Audiences Love “And Where Will You Put the Things You Save?” –at Alleyway Theatre on Main Street in Buffalo Through October 28

Inclusive Theater of WNY opened its inaugural play on Thursday, October 11 and held a well attended gala before the play on Saturday, October 13th.

The play, “And Where Will You Put the Things You Save?” was written by Baroness von Smith, a WNY playwright and directed by Virginia Brannon. The talented cast includes veteran WNY actors Steve Brachmann, Jessica Levesque and John Profeta (just off his powerhouse performance in Farenheit 451 at Subversive Theatre).

Audiences have been enthusiastic and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the play, the chemistry between the actors, and the subject matter. Read the review by Cherie Messore of Buffalo Theater Guide hereThe play runs through October 28th at Alleyway Theatre. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm.  You can purchase tickets here.

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Cast and Crew of “And Where Will You Put the Things You Save?”

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