Second Generation Theatre’s story all began in 2013 when three University at Buffalo graduates (Kristin Bentley, Kelly Copps, and Arin Lee Dandes) transformed their shared passion into a professional venture. In addition to being a tribute to those who fanned their flames and helped them hone their craft, the name of this non-profit theatre company is also a promise to continue and strengthen Buffalo’s theatre scene for
generations to come.
True to their mission of uniting people through the power of performance, Second Generation Theatre is using this year – their tenth anniversary – as an opportunity to celebrate with the entire Western New York community.
In commemoration of this milestone year, Second Generation has set the stage for an exceptionally memorable production lineup, which was, as Artistic Director Kelly Copps revealed, “crafted to reflect [their] past decade of growth.” In further elaboration, Copps also added, “We hope you will join us as we celebrate these past ten years of creating high quality theatre with something big, something new, and something that brings us back to our roots.”
Kicking off their tenth season with their first collaborative project, Second Generation has partnered with Ujima Company and Shea’s 710 as trailbreakers in bringing a professionally as well as locally produced performance of The Color Purple to Buffalo. This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel incorporates jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues, to emotionally capture the complexities of surviving and overcoming hardship.
For some comedic relief, Second Generation is presenting their first original work, The Bowling Play by Artistic Director Kelly Copps. Enhancing the endearment of its humorous storyline is the fact that this show was developed through Second Generation’s free reading series, making it a full-fledged local production.
Back to Their Roots:
With a Stephen Sondheim musical having been Second Generation’s initial production ten years ago, it’s certainly fitting to create a full-circle moment on stage with Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along as the third show of this anniversary season.
While this magnificent production lineup will only run from mid-September through mid-May, Second Generation also offers year-round programs, including educational classes and a free reading series.
For children (ages 6 and up) and adults alike, Second Generation Theatre Academy provides a series of fun and engaging classes designed for all experience levels. With everything ranging from improv games, comedy writing, costume design, and theatre dance, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
As a win-win for theatre producers as well as theatre goers, Second Generation’s free reading series provides an opportunity for newer directors and performers to showcase their talents and ideas for potential productions that enable an accessible and affordable theatre experience for audience members. Second Generation has been coordinating this free reading series for more than five seasons, from which three of their mainstage plays have been discovered.
On behalf of Second Generation Theatre, Copps has gratefully expressed, “We would not be celebrating this milestone without our patrons, donors, audience members, and last but never least, the brilliant artists who have worked with us over the last decade.”
The gratitude flows both ways, with Western New York being fortunate to be the beneficiary of Second Generation’s creative vision that has tirelessly provided the region with productions made with everyone in mind.
Second Generation Theatre’s 10th Season Details
Note: As this musical contains mature content, parents are advised to use discretion when deciding if their children are of an appropriate age to watch this performance.
While Second Generation Theatre may be the one with the anniversary, they are the ones doling out gifts! For those who subscribe to the season, Second Generation is offering a special rate that allows you to see all three shows for $110, with zero additional ticket fees, first choice of date selection, as well as easy access to ticket exchanges. Subscribers also receive discounts at various local shops, restaurants, and
fellow production company, Alleyway Theatre.