Kate LoConti Alcocer, Executive Artistic Director of Irish Classical Theatre Company, talks about the powerful ways that the theater inspires transformation in individuals. “We see our own stories when we’re watching the stories of other people performed in front of us live,” she says. “Theater has a cathartic quality, it’s universal and it has survived the test of time. It’s one of the oldest artforms, borne out of early civilizations – the very essence of theater is storytelling, and that’s magical.”
Founded in 1985 by Vincent and Chris O’Neill and housed in rented spaces before finding a permanent home on Main Street in 1999, ICTC is Buffalo’s only true theater-in-the-round, a setting in which no seat is more than ten feet from the actors on stage. It’s a theater experience that “harkens back to formative storytelling environments,” LoConti Alcocer says.
The company’s mission is to produce Irish, classical and modern plays of exceptional merit.
“It’s fascinating the effects of these stories on people, the universal themes of family dynamics, the importance of the land,” LoConti Alcocer explains. “There are also the lyricisms and poetic qualities in the language, the images conjured whether the play is classical or new.”
LoConti Alcocer said ICTC is stretching its mission to include more diversity in productions and casting. They are presenting “Thurgood,” a 90-minute monologue about the life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Justice appointed to the Supreme Court, as part of their 2022-2023 season. “We have a very young and creative staff and Irish Classical has great forward momentum,” she adds.
“Explore our fascinating outdoor spaces that are very family friendly. There are so many local parks in the city, as well as Artpark in Lewiston, Allegany State Park, Letchwork State Park, Griffis Sculpture Park, Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, Tifft Nature Preserve. Being outside and shaking hands with nature is restorative.”