Theater Talk: Alleyway steps up with 8 plays over 2-1/2 weeks as TEA FOR THREE, SEAMARKS continue.

Oct 30, 2020

Chris Handley, the Alleyway Theatre's new Executive Artistic Director, along with Robyn Lee Horn, the new Managing Director, decided to drop the entrance fee to enter the annual Maxim Mazumdar new play competition and that expanded the pool with so much good material, they decided to offer a Digital Theatre Festival from November 6 through the 22nd. Visit the website for details.


2020 Tony Award nominated Elizabeth Stanley stars in BIG BREATH, one of the Alleyway's 8 plays in 2-1/2 weeks presented digitally during November.
Credit Alleyway.com

The 8 plays to be presented by the Alleyway are:  

GOAT SONG by Matt Harmon, starring Brian Gallagher. This was the WINNER of the  2020 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. Directed by Robyn Lee Horn the play asks the question: "What if your favorite musician didn't love their music the way you do?" It's described as a "heartbreaking and inspiring story of music, family and addiction." Interestingly, it will be offered live November 6 on Facebook and/or Instagram or you can stream-on-demand through to November 22.

BIG BREATH by Elizabeth Gjelten, starring Elizabeth Stanley (current Tony nominee for JAGGED LITTLE PILL). It's a 2020 Finalist Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competiton and is described as a "beautiful poetic one-woman play [which] explores what it means to take action, find light, and breathe during quarantine."

SCREAMING INTO THE VOID by Kira Mason, is also 2020 finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competiton.

LOL-OL by Sheri Wilner described as "funny and heartwarming" is also 2020 finalist in the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competiton.

BABUSHKA by Todd Benzin and Don Gervasi invites you to "join Buffalo's master improvisers as they create an original play right in front of your eyes, using suggestions from the audience."

with two free playreadings:

THE MIGHTY MAISIE by Bella Poynton 

and

RED ALIEN by Jane B. Jones (free playreading)

and a special Broadway Benefit Reading: 

Credit Alleyway.com

MYSTERY BOX, by Tom Alan Robbins, a benefit reading to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, ECMC's Immunodeficiency Clinic and Alleyway's new play programming, starring Broadway's Mary Testa (3x Tony Nominee for Oklahoma!, Wicked, Guys And Dolls, Xanadu, Forum, 42nd Street), Wesley Taylor (Smash, Spongebob Squarepants, Addams Family, Rock of Ages), Dakin Matthews (Waitress, To Kill a Mockingbird, Henry IV, Gilmore Girls), and Helen Cespedes (Cripple of Inishmaan, Importance of Being Earnest, Timon of Athens, The Knick).

Mary Testa and three other Broadway stars including Wesley Taylor present a special benefit reading of MYSTERY BOX.
Credit Alleyway.com

 

And, should any of these new plays inspire you, dear reader, to try your hand at either playwrighting, acting, or directing, you may be interested in several master classes offered by the Alleyway. Visit https://www.alleyway.com/theatre-school/class-schedule#masterclass 

MEANWHILE...

TEA FOR THREE: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty has opened. O'Connell and Company's latest offering opened last night and runs only two weekends, pre-election (October 29, 30, 31) and post-election (November 5,6,7) each with 7:30 p.m. starts. The play in three monologues asks "What is it like for a woman when her husband becomes The President of the United States — and she is suddenly thrust into the spotlight?" Eric H. Weinberger & Elaine Bromka look into that in TEA FOR THREE: LADY BIRD, PAT & BETTY which explores the hopes, fears and loves of Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford – three drastically different women, with one thing in common: The White House.

TEA FOR THREE offers a look at three First Ladies, only up this weekend and next, through November 7, at O'Connell and Company.
Credit O'Connell & Co.

Particularly pertinent in this era of heightened politics, TEA FOR THREE humanizes the political scene with a whimsical and authentic look at three former first ladies, each sharing some memories of life in the fishbowl of First Ladydom.

In three scenes (videotaped in Buffalo at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site on Delaware Avenue) take place in the family quarters of The White House  just prior to the end of living there as the wife of a president, each of the women confides alone to the audience.

This is a tale of a remarkable trio in a most unusual job and revealing the the personal cost of what Mrs. Nixon called the 'hardest unpaid job in the world.'

As author Elaine Bromka, said 'This highly polarizing political climate is perfect for the show since it manages to reach across the aisles, something we all need right now, especially on election night. We can make hay with that.” 

Mary Kate O'Connell is Lady Bird Johnson

Mary Moebius is Pat Nixon

and Pamela Rose Mangus is Betty Ford

For tickets, visit oconneland company.com

AND

this is the final weekend for SEAMARKS at the Irish Classical Theatre starring Chris Kelly as Colm and Kristen Tripp Kelley as Timothea.

The Irish Classical Theatre Company kicked off its 30th Anniversary Season with Sea Marks by Gardner McKay. This lyrical Irish love story, winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award (Best Play) and the Canadian National Regional Theatre Award, will be presented virtually. Tickets are affordably priced at $15 - $25. 

A professionally produced, fully staged performance filmed at ICTC's home, The Andrews Theatre, and will be available for online purchase only through November 1, 2020. Under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Kate LoConti Alcocer, this will be ICTC's first digital theatre performance.

Living on a remote island West of Galway, Colm, a lonely fisherman, woos a woman he's glimpsed but once. He courts her by mail, and after a year and a half, romance blossoms, and he arrives in Liverpool. Colm aches to find connection in the arms of Timothea in this strange place she calls home; yet he longs for the sounds of the sea and for the life he has left behind.

ICTC is proud to partner with Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., to provide both American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted and Open Captioning options for viewing. This is the first of such offerings in the Region. Patrons will have the ability to choose one of our three options:

Without ASL Interpretation or Closed Captioning

With Closed Captioning

With ASL Interpretation and Closed Captioning

Sea Marks, directed by ICTC Associate Director Fortunato Pezzimenti, stars ICTC audience favorites Chris Kelly as Colm and Kristen Tripp Kelley as Timothea. Both are recipients of multiple ARTIE Awards and nominations in multiple categories for productions at ICTC and across Western New York. Notably, Chris and Kristen played opposite one another in ICTC's regional premiere of The Seedbed by ICTC Playwright in Residence Bryan Delaney and The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, displaying dynamic on-stage chemistry.

ICTC is collaborating for this online production with award-winning, Buffalo-based Pan-American Film Division. Travis Carlson will serve as Project Lead and Megan Gonsalves as Project Coordinator.

Sea Marks by Gardner McKay will be available for online viewing Friday, October 16 through Sunday, November 1. Click here for production and ticket information.