The theater scene is strong in Buffalo. With new groups and venues ever-emerging, and established theaters growing and diversifying, Buffalo is extremely lucky to have such a culturally significant climate. One thing that helps to make all of the local theaters as strong as possible, is the collection of resources that many of them share. Whether it’s performance space, or fundraising initiatives, there are unbreakable bonds due to the nature of the artistic business at hand. And that ‘business’ is to continue to grow the entire theater ensemble in this city.
Recently, Alleyway Theatre (located in a deco building that was once a Greyhound bus depot – lead image) has announced that it has brought a resident theater company into the fold – a homeless theater that was looking for space. Buffalo United Artists (BUA – Buffalo’s Off Broadway) was recently displaced from Chippewa Street when its home was leveled to make way for the new Uniland building underway at the corner of Delaware (at Chippewa). A maddening search for a new home ensued, resulting in this ‘in-residence’ relationship with Alleyway. The relationship will also help turn the Alleyway Theatre (located at 1 Curtain Up) into one of the busiest theaters in the region. Not only will BUA have a new performance space to work with, the company will also be able to access multiple rehearsal halls – Alleyway’s 99 seat black box theatre and its 70 seat Main Street Cabaret theatre – as well as expand and tap into shared services. BUA Executive Producer Javier Bustillos points to “the long standing, warm relationship between our two companies.”
Alleyway Theatre Executive Director Neal Radice adds, “In the past, our staff members and artists have found artistic satisfaction working for both organizations. I see this collaboration as a natural match since Alleyway is blessed with ample and outstanding theatre spaces at a time when BUA is searching for a new home. As with any marriage, success will depend on good communication, a willingness to compromise and to trust. I think the prospect for mutual benefit is excellent.”
Alleyway will continue to operate business as usual (opening its 35th season of live theater in September, 2014). BUA will help to round out the production schedule within the theater complex. The two companies will move forward sharing marketing and promotional duties in order to create a unique and expansive home for top-notch theatrical performances in Downtown Buffalo.