After nine months of harried negotiations, planning and construction, Road Less Traveled Theater will open its new home Friday at 456 Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
"When we first started, we were a gypsy company," recalled Scott Behrend, Artistic Director/Executive Director for Road Less Traveled.
"We went from that to moving into a movie theater (Market Arcade Cinema) that we converted. That was definitely a different thing. And we had to leave that space and we walked into a giant space (500 Pearl St.). We were creative about it and created intimacy in that setting."
"Now, I feel it's a culmination of all those things to finally get to the place we want."
At one time, Behrend says, the location housed Baker's Shoes. When he first saw the space this year, it had been completely gutted.
"It was all on the first floor. It had 20-foot, clear-span ceilings. No posts," Behrend described.
"It was meant to be."
A fast negotiation with Ellicott Development's William Paladino ensued, culminating in a 10-year lease. Money needed to be raised and Behrend says about half of a projected $600,000 capital campaign has been secured.
From air conditioning to easy accessibility to dressing room space for male and female artists, Behrend rattled off the many new amenities at his company's new home.
"We are going to a full bar, now. Not just beer and wine...And you will be able to take drinks into the theater," said Behrend, while adding a note of caution.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed we'll have it in time for the actual opening. But, if not, I'm sure it will be soon after that."
Friday's opening features David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Starring Matt Witten, Laura Barrierie and Kevin Kennedy, the production runs through November 18.