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Alleyway Theatre Expands Education Offerings for Teens and Adults

In-person classes are back and better than ever at Alleyway Theatre on Buffalo’s Main Street.

This summer, Juilliard graduate Tracie Lane Thomason was hired by Executive Artistic Director Chris J. Handley and Managing Director Robyn Horn to expand Alleyway Education, the theatre’s wing for professional theatre training and audience outreach. 

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at the Alleyway. We’re under new artistic leadership, emerging boldly from the COVID-19 pandemic, and actively reimagining our role in the community. Our doors are finally open.  

Alleyway Theatre has been a mainstay of the Buffalo theatre community for 40 years, and education is integral to its ever-evolving mission. The team at Alleyway believes that a commitment to the growth and development of artists and audiences is essential for excellence and innovation in the arts. 

“My work is to create a space where artists of all ages and experience levels look forward to coming together to play and to sharpen their skills, or to develop entirely new skills—all are welcome!” said Thomason. Fall classes in acting, improvisation, playwriting, scene study, audition preparation, and more are available for teens and adults and begin September 21st.

If you’re new to the Alleyway and looking for a place to begin, check out Don Gervasi’s improv class where you’ll connect with others, think on your feet, and have serious fun. Or if you’re ready, dive right into Thomason’s scene study class where you’ll analyze scenes from contemporary plays, put those scenes up on their feet, and ultimately activate them in rehearsal and performance.


Fall Classes:

ADULTS

PLAYWRITING | September 21 – November 16, 2021
with BELLA POYNTON

Put pen to paper! Playwrights will delve into dramatic structures as they explore building characters, creating and writing into conflict, and crafting moments of dramatic tension, and will finish a 10-minute play. Begin, brush up, or finesse your writing skills in this playwriting course! Culminates in an evening of readings for an invited audience. All experience levels are welcome.

SCENE STUDY FOR ACTORS | September 22 – November 10, 2021
with TRACIE LANE THOMASON

Stella Adler said, “Growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous.” Enrich your humanity while you strengthen your instrument in this brand new scene study course with Education Director Tracie Lane Thomason. Actors will analyze circumstances, exercise their imaginations, and play actions as they explore scenes in a safe and supportive environment. Whether you’re seeking a strong foundation or looking to challenge yourself with contemporary material, this course is for you. All experience levels are welcome.

IMPROV FOR ACTORS | September 27 – November 15, 2021
with DON GERVASI

Jump feet first into the world of acting! Whether you’ve never set foot on a stage or you’re a professional actor working in WNY, you’ll have a blast in this hands-on improv course. Actors will sharpen their senses, think on their feet, and discover why improv skills are vital to any actor’s process through short-form games and improvisations. Culminates in an open rehearsal for friends and family. All experience levels are welcome.‍‍


TEENS

TEEN ACTING | September 28 – November 16, 2021
with KAREN MCDONALD

Explore what it means to be an actor! Exercises in concentration, imagination, relationships, and awareness form the basis of this pre-professional acting course. Students will use games, activities, and short scenes to develop their understanding of the essential building blocks of the actor’s craft. Some memorization required. All experience levels are welcome.

Executive Artistic Director Chris J. Handley

PLAYWRITING | September 21 – November 16, 2021
with BELLA POYNTON

Put pen to paper! Playwrights will delve into dramatic structures as they explore building characters, creating and writing into conflict, and crafting moments of dramatic tension, and will finish a 10-minute play. Begin, brush up, or finesse your writing skills in this playwriting course! Culminates in an evening of readings for an invited audience. All experience levels are welcome.

TEEN IMPROV | October 4 – November 22, 2021
with TODD BENZIN

Stretch your imagination, follow your impulses, and tickle your funny bone in this introductory improv course. Students will explore foundational acting techniques including stage presence, vocalization, characterization, and teamwork through short-form games and improvisations. Culminates in an open rehearsal for friends and family. All experience levels are welcome.

#ENOUGH PLAYS TO END GUN VIOLENCE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP | October 3 – 31, 2021
with KAREN MCDONALD

Whether you love theatre, are passionate about ending gun violence, or both, this course is for you. Writing prompts, organizational tools, and creative exercises will guide young writers as they craft a 10-minute play that confronts the issue of gun violence in this writers’ workshop. Students will be encouraged to submit their plays to a nationwide competition. Winners will be paid, produced, and published, and will appear on stage right here at Alleyway in Spring 2022! All experience levels are welcome.

COLLEGE AUDITION PREP PACKAGE for High School Juniors + Seniors | November 14 – December 19, 2021
with TRACIE LANE THOMASON

College Auditions are competitive. Set yourself up for success with a comprehensive audition preparation package customized to achieve your personal goals! Begin your journey with Education Director and Juilliard graduate Tracie Lane Thomason with a complimentary planning session (to include a parent or guardian), followed by six group classes, six private coaching sessions, and ongoing access to resources and individual support. After working closely with Tracie to select and rehearse your audition material, get feedback from industry and academic professionals during a mock audition before you share you work with the college programs of your choice. Tailored topics may include: school selection, applications and meeting deadlines, essays, audition material, audition techniques, headshots and resumes, what to wear, and more. Want more info? Contact Tracie at education@alleyway.com


For the full list check out: https://www.alleyway.com

The team at Alleyway Theatre firmly believes that theatre training can and should be for everyone.

So take the leap and sign up for class! Or if you want to investigate further, meet the teaching artists at two FREE open houses happening on Saturday, September 11th at 11:00 AM and Monday, September 13th at 7:00 PM.

Alleyway Theatre
1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY 14202 | 716-852-2600
Website | Facebook | Instagram 

READ MORE >> Alleyway Theatre Announces 2021-2022 Season

Written by Liberty Darr

Liberty Darr

I am a Buffalo State student studying journalism. I love writing, art, and meeting new people. When I’m not at school or work I enjoy reading/writing poetry and watching documentaries. My favorite dynamic duo is investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I’ve been a resident of Buffalo for quite some time and I still fall in love with something new about this city everyday.

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