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This week Torn Space Theater’s Response Festival returns to Silo City

Torn Space Theater is back at the silos this week with a diverse cast of over 50 performers, including local artists as well as guest performers from as far away as Syria and Burma.  TST’s original production entitled “The Gathering” will debut August 18 & 19 at Silo City, which promises to be a visually arresting project that will include drones, excavators, video, the Lancaster Highschool Marching Band and Color Guard – in other words, get excited. Buffalo Rising is a proud media sponsor of this year’s event, which also brings two critically acclaimed NYC-based theater companies to Buffalo, Palissimo Company and 600 Highwaymen.

Also at the Silo’s this weekend is the not-to-be-missed mobile virtual reality gallery by Buffalo artist, Kyle Marler.

The Dream Wanderer will showcase his exhibition entitled Lilydale, a virtual reality exploration of spiritualism and the afterlife. The festival will take place August 18-20 and September 15-16 with guest lecturers, artists’ talks, and a scholarly panel co-sponsored by the University of Buffalo Department of Humanities.

Artistic director, Dan Shanahan, and associate director, Melissa Meola, established the Response Festival as a source of internationally acclaimed contemporary performance, not currently found in Western New York. Torn Space Theater offers both original drama and new interpretations of existing plays in collaboration with local actors, composers, sculptors, video artists and designers.

See below for additional event information:


August 18 & 19: The Gathering, Torn Space Theater Original Production Premiering @ Silo City

Torn Space Theater returns to the industrial setting of Buffalo’s Silo City for its latest offering. Collaborating with local artists, technicians, and performers, The Gathering focuses on ideas of surveillance and autonomy, combining the artifacts and ideologies of our collective experience into a singular spectacle.

Click here for tickets. General Admission @ $25. VIP @ $100 includes meal, drinks and a special additional pre-performance experience.

Fri 8/18 – VIP at 6:30pm, Performance at 7:30pm

Sat 8/19 – VIP at 6:30pm, Performance at 7:30pm

August 18 & 19: FLATSITTER’s LILY DALE @ Silo City

“First come first served at Silo City – FLATSITTER and the mobile VR gallery ‘The Dream Wanderer’ will be on site for early arrivals to experience “Lily Dale” before TST’s 7:30pm performance. Get down to the silos early to catch this transcendent piece and enjoy libations from the food and beer trucks on site.”

FLATSITTER is an interdisciplinary collaborative that incorporates video, film, software programming, performance and installation. The Dream Wanderer is a transit shuttle that has been converted into a mobile gallery delivering original avant-garde virtual reality experiences to diverse audiences across the US and Mexico. Since December 2016, The Dream Wanderer has visited dozens of cities and delivered “gorgeous and immersive” VR experiences to over 4,000 people. The original VR work being exhibited is titled “Lily Dale” and is a virtual reality exploration of spiritualism and the afterlife. This experience features a custom-drawn tarot deck and 20 different VR vignettes for multiple viewings.

A virtual reality experience that’s on the weirder side of sublime, that’s eerie and personal and arranged like a beautiful immersive installation that takes place inside your head.

The Austin Chronicle

The Lily Dale exhibition will be on site at Silo City alongside The Gathering.

FAQs for the Response Festival

Where to go:  Follow Ohio St. from Michigan Ave. across the canal bridge and turn left into a gated road at the stop light. General parking is located in the first open field on your right, which will have signs and a parking assistant directing you to an open spot. Producer parking is further down the road on your left and right, a parking assistant will direct you to the closest available spot. There will be golf carts available for transporting Producer ticketholders around the grounds.

How to go: Bicycles encouraged! It is a beautiful ride down to the silos.

When to Arrive: The festivities begin at 6:00pm with FLATSITTER’s virtual reality experience Lily Dale. This is a first-come, first-served installation in the mobile VR gallery The Dream Wanderer that explores spirituality and the afterlife. Come early before spots fill up!

Food and beer will be available at 6:00pm, the beer truck is Cash Only!

The Producer Experience begins at 6:30pm, tickets may be purchased at the box office, though we encourage you to buy in advance to secure your spot for this exclusive pre-show performance with themed hors d’oeuvres designed by The Black Sheep, complimentary wine and beer, and a sound installation featuring the Buffalo Gamelan Club.

The Gathering begins at 7:30pm

What to Wear: Comfortable shoes for walking. Silo City is an active industrial site and the ground is uneven.

Bring a sweater, the silos get windy!

If you want to dress in theme, pull out your Gingham, Seersucker, Denim, and Chambray to join the performance experience.

What to Expect: This year’s experience will be a seated performance akin to Motion Picture (2013), so feel free to bring your favorite lawn chair or picnic blanket (with a pillow, ground is hard) if you would rather not sit on bleachers. The performance will last approximately 90 minutes.

This is an outdoor performance and weather-dependent.

Box Office: Tickets will be available on-site, though we encourage purchasing ahead of time as seating is limited! Cash and credit are accepted. There are no student or industry discounts for this production. Tickets are non-refundable, but if a performance is cancelled due to weather, you will be issued a voucher redeemable at any Torn Space event.

Photo gallery: 2016 Response Festival @ Silo City


PLUS, on August 19 & 20 Torn Space Theater brings nationally acclaimed company Palissimo’s production of “Bastard” to the 2017 RESPONSE fest

Torn Space Theater hosts the NYC-based performance company Palissimo, August 19 and 20, as part of its second annual RESPONSE Festival. Artistic director, Dan Shanahan, and associate director, Melissa Meola, created RESPONSE Festival as a source of internationally acclaimed contemporary performance, not currently found in Western New York. [click here to read more.]

Torn Space Theater Company resides in the Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle, a nonprofit private club founded in 1895, which is located on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo’s eastside. The private club is the oldest Polish American organization in Western New York and is the oldest surviving Polish library in Buffalo.

The second annual RESPONSE Festival brings the top contemporary performance ensembles to Buffalo for an unforgettable theatrical experience. Torn Space hosts the internationally-renowned Palissimo Company for two performances of Bastard at its home space, the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle August 19-20, UC Santa Cruz professor of Theater Arts Kimberly Jannarone for a talk about Mass Performance August 19 at the AMLDC, and an original piece The Gathering at Silo City August 18-19 with Lily Dale, a virtual reality installation by FLATSITTER on-site to enjoy before or after The Gathering. Rounding out the festival is The Fever by 600 Highwaymen, taking place at the AMLDC September 15-16.

Click here to buy tickets or for more information on the 2017 Response Festival.

This content was produced in collaboration between Buffalo Rising and Torn Space Theater. The facts and opinions published in Buffalo Rising express solely the thoughts and opinions of our respective authors.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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