A new trailblazing sign honoring the late Chris O’Neill (Co-Founder of the Irish Classical Theatre Company) is set to be unveiled on Tuesday, September 12, at Plaza of Stars, Main and Tupper Streets. The unveiling of the sign will coincide with the designation of the 600 Block of Main Street as “The Chris O’Neill Way”.
In 1985, two Dublin-born brothers, Vincent and Chris O’Neill, internationally acclaimed actors and former members of Ireland’s celebrated Abbey Theatre, found themselves in Buffalo, performing Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the dining room of a local hotel. They were enthusiastically embraced by Western New York audiences and critics, and together with fellow Dubliners Josephine Hogan and the late Dr. James Warde, formed the Irish Classical Theatre Company. Performing on various rented stages until a permanent home was established at the Calumet Arts Café, ICTC became the fastest growing theatre in the region and led to the building of its new home, The Andrews Theatre, which opened its doors in January of 1999. – ICTC
On that day, a crowd will gather at 5:30PM, at which time bagpiper David Gray will lead a procession of people to the Irish Classical Theatre Company. Once at the theater, a brief ceremony will commence at the newly dedicated “Chris O’Neill Lounge”. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held, featuring music and Irish dancers.
The public is invited to attend all of the aforementioned dedication activities.
Lead image: (L-R) Vincent and Chris O’Neill – founders of the Irish Classical Theatre Company