The Buffalo theater scene continues to evolve in inspiring ways. From new theater companies to new venues, local theater is hotter than ever, with a strong talent pool and endless possibilities for theatergoers.
Now, two new theater evangelists, Bob Rusch and John Patrick Patti, have come together to orchestrate productions that Buffalo has never seen, and perhaps would never get a chance to see if it was not for their new venture First Look Buffalo Stage Productions. Moving forward, their goal is:
To entertain our local community with live plays that have never before been produced on the Buffalo stage. This includes Buffalo Premieres, East Coast Premieres and World Premieres.
Both Rusch and Patti recently returned home to Buffalo after making their marks elsewhere.
Rusch cut his teeth as an actor and producer in Chicago, including work at Trap Door Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theatre’s first ever “Ensemble Project”. He also made his mark in Los Angeles with a career in television and film. Ultimately, he was the founder and Artistic Director of SkyPilot Theatre Company, also in LA.
“For my last five years in LA, the theatre where I was artistic director at and founded, SkyPilot Theatre Company, exclusively produced and developed world premiere plays written by members of our playwright wing,” said Rusch, who is the founder and head instructor at Acting Studio 716 in Buffalo. “I loved the excitement of seeing something new created from just an idea and found there was a lack of that here in Buffalo when I arrived. So I decided to start First Look Buffalo with the simple goal of just bringing new plays to town that no one’s seen. Eventually we will also be developing and producing new plays as well. I asked my friend John to join me and he’s also very excited and has a background with new play development as well from his time in LA also.”
Rusch’s fellow “culprit” in this project, John Patrick Patti, was heavily involved in the independent film scene when he was out in LA. That expertise will come in handy when rolling out First Look Buffalo Stage Productions. So will his training at Actor’s Studio, the Stella Adler Conservatory, and HB Studios in NYC (prior to relocating to LA). From acting in Off-Broadway and regional stage productions throughout the northeast, to studying with Joe Santos, Jeffrey Tambor, and Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Patti has managed to procure a diverse skillset that will complement that of Rusch’s.
Rusch and Patti will be staging their first production in January 2020 – the East Coast Premiere of “Cops and Friends of Cops” by Ron Klier, and directed by Drew McCabe. They will be holding auditions for that play on Monday, November 18 – interested parties can learn more at this Facebook event page.
Find First Look Buffalo Stage Productions on Facebook.