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Alleyway’s annual short-play festival BUFFALO QUICKIES begins this Sunday via YouTube

The annual (now 29th annual) “Buffalo Quickies” festival of new one-act plays produced by The Alleyway Theatre is going to happen, just in the virtual COVID-19 world in which we all find ourselves.

Although the health crisis prevented QUICKIES on stage this year, Alleyway is thrilled to present the plays live via YouTube over the coming weeks. Audiences are invited to join, from their own homes, BUFFALO QUICKIES: LIVE BRUNCH starting this Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 11am. Then tune in to www.alleyway.com every following Sunday morning for a world premiere short play each week.

2019 Maxim Mazumdar Prize Winner Collin I. Hood | Photo courtesy New Play Exchange

Five of the plays are world premieres by Buffalo playwrights, including Darleen Pickering Hummert, Justin Karcher, Mark C. Lloyd, Samantha Marchant, and j.Snodgrass. The final play scheduled is by 2019 Maxim Mazumdar Prize Winner Collin I. Hood, a native of Colorado with a number of short plays to his credit.

Director Joyce Stilson will bring together a cast featuring Quickies favorites Smirna Mercedes, David C. Mitchell, Kate Olena, Matthew Rittler, and Michael Starzynski.

Because of social distancing the actors, director, and audience can’t get together in person. But fortunately, the 29th annual Quickies plays were well into rehearsal by the time theaters were shut down. So, The Alleyway is bringing the actors back and meeting (Live! From their Living Room Lay-Z-Boys!) on camera. They will apparently get one virtual rehearsal (which will be a technical rehearsal for Artistic Director Chris Handley to figure out how to make this all happen) and then the show goes live, all from the safety of everyone’s own homes.

As Handley states: “It’s new ground for everyone, but we felt like Quickies is such a Buffalo tradition at this point (this is our 29th year!) that we couldn’t just let it vanish. So, 2020 will go down in the Alleyway Chronicles as ‘that year Quickies went online’.”

He went on to say that “The actors have been great and are excited about using this new platform to tell the stories, director Joyce Stilson is focused on getting everyone back into the swing of things, and I’ve been learning a lot about producing streaming videos.”

The Alleyway is going to announce the plays each week, but the first one, this Sunday, April 19, at 11:00 a.m. will be (THE ONE ABOUT) THE NURSE AND THE GYM TEACHER by j. Snodgrass, directed by Joyce Stilson, starring Smirna Mercedes (most recently seen in GLORIOUS at O’Connell & Co.) and David C. Mitchell, most recently seen as Scrooge in the Alleyway’s annual A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Watch and get the full BUFFALO QUICKIES: LIVE BRUNCH lineup at alleyway.com.

Lead image: Alleyway Chris Handley coordinates Buffalo Quickies Live on YouTube

Written by Peter Hall

Peter Hall

Peter Hall continues trying to figure out how "it" all works. For 20 years, as program host on Classical 94.5 WNED and continuing on-stage with the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, he's conducted over 1,000 interviews with artists as he asks them to explain, in layman's terms, "what's the big picture here?"

As mentioned recently in Buffalo Spree magazine, Peter's "Buffalo Rising reviews are the no-holds barred 'everyman's' take." And, on “Theater Talk” (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO 88.7 FM and Saturday afternoons at 5:55 p.m. on Classical 94.5 WNED) his favorite question of co-host Anthony Chase is simply "What's goin' on?"

A member of Buffalo's Artie Awards Committee, Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty-five years he has been an adjunct professor for Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

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