A favorite Buffalo pastime hits the stage with 2nd Gen Theatre’s new work, ‘The Bowling Play’

After years of dedication and creative exploration, The Bowling Play is ready to make its debut at Shea’s Smith Theatre on February 23, 2024. Written by local artist and Artistic Director of 2nd Gen Theatre, Kelly Copps, the new play not only marks a milestone for 2nd Gen Theatre’s production history, but also serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and the evolution of an idea over a decade.

The inspiration for the play struck during auditions for the company’s first-ever play, Neil LaBute’s SOME GIRL(S). Four incredibly talented Buffalo actors auditioned for the play, and though they weren’t the right fit for the roles, their talent left a lasting impression.  It was during a conversation with executive director, Kristin Bentley, that Copps proposed the idea of creating a play centered around this group of actors, envisioning them as a bowling team.

After that initial spark of inspiration, The Bowling Play underwent several developmental reads and edits. Copps, along with the dedicated team at 2nd Gen Theatre, worked tirelessly to refine and shape the narrative. “ I love human interaction,” said Copps. “I love watching how people interact and how the same sentence can be so different coming from different people. So, pinpointing specific characters and the way that they talk, or the way that they speak to different people, the cadence of their voice, that is always fascinating to me.”  

Several of the cast members have been involved in the project since its inception, embodying the very characters they influenced. “Working on a new play is always a welcome challenge for me,” shared cast member Jacob Albarella. “It gives me an opportunity as an artist to create something brand new. Unlike a play that is already produced, there are no expectations for what my character is supposed to be like. I get to set the standard, so to speak. In that way, it can also be a bit intimidating, because the pressure is on to capture the audience and allow them to take the journey of my character with me… It’s all very exciting!” 

Copps hopes the play resonates with a large local audience.  “The Bowling Play speaks to a broader group of theater goers than usual. If we interviewed a bunch of people on the street, a lot of them might not go to the theater. But I bet a lot of them have been bowling. Bowling is like the great equalizer. If you’re great at it, it’s fun. If you’re bad at it, it’s fun. If you’re just there for the beer and the chicken fingers, it’s fun. So, it’s kind of a really open invitation to people who maybe are not as interested in theater to come in and see this story about people that are just like them.”

Tickets are available at the Shea’s box office, and online.  For those looking for a fun evening out, this new play might be the ticket, and runs through March 10, 2024.  “This show is fluff in the best way, and sometimes theater gives us really, truly moving, beautiful experiences. Sometimes theater gives us a smile and escape, a bit of silliness, and The Bowling Play is meant to do exactly that.”

The post A favorite Buffalo pastime hits the stage with 2nd Gen Theatre’s new work, ‘The Bowling Play’ appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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