A Buffalo theater mainstay for 32 seasons, Buffalo Quickies, returns this year with a local twist. “We have had a really great, busy season this year,” shared Artistic Director Chris J Handley, “producing new works, and trying to find the most current, the most exciting, and the most theatrical voices that are writing plays right now, and get their plays on our stage.” In order to do this, Handley has engaged some of the most exciting playwrights in Western New York for Buffalo Quickies.
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“We are asking the playwrights, six of them, all local to the region, to write a 10-minute play in one week based on [global warming and climate change]. And it could be coming from any angle. We don’t know what those plays will be but… we chose the six who we think are going to really give us something exciting in that week, and challenge them as writers to take that prompt and give us an interesting story about it. They’ll have a week to write it, and then the directors and actors will have one week to put it together, and then it will be on stage, so the whole thing is happening very quickly. It’s in the format of those 24-hour Film Festivals… We are not rushing through it, the point is that we’re creating a set of rules and challenges and guidelines that great art comes from.”
Justin Karcher, playwright, whose work is known to Buffalo theater audiences, said that “A successful night would be that everyone who is in attendance [goes] down the street to Matinee and talks about the plays, while having a drink or non-alcoholic drink, or whatever they drink. They go immediately somewhere to have a conversation about the pieces. That would be a success in my book… I think all good art, or all successful art, or even unsuccessful art, sparks a conversation of some kind… Either someone thinking about the piece, having that inner dialogue or inner conversation, or they’re with a group of people, as long as conversation happens with art that’s a good thing. The last thing I think any creator wants is indifference.”
“What’s exciting to me about it is you are going to find something that you like” said Rosa Fernandez, a theater maker and playwright for Quickies. “I love the idea of just having smaller plays that people can consume and find something that resonates with them. I’m a big fan of inclusivity, of everybody having a seat at the table, and what I like about the concept of a festival like this is that it really lends itself to providing a little something for everybody. So, I do think that that will be the case with this festival, which makes me excited about it.”
Karcher and Fernandez are joined by playwright’s Shawn Adiletta, Thomas Bellavigna, Bella Poynton, Chris Woodworth, and a cast of ten local actors.
The special format for Buffalo Quickies #32 might only be used for 2023, as Handley is committed to experimentation. “I feel like Buffalo Quickies wants to be reinvented all the time. I think if we get stuck into a routine… it’s not exciting. For better or for worse I want to keep going, I have to keep challenging myself, and challenging our artists and our community that we’re creating.”
Buffalo Quickies #32 is on stage at the Alleyway Theatre March 9, 2023- March 19, 2023.
See and hear more about this 10-minute play festival:
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