In Buffalo’s Theatre District, watch a play in a shop window

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Live theater is back in Buffalo’s Theatre District.

Alleyway Theatre (1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo) is hosting its 30th annual “Buffalo Quickies” short play festival – with a twist.

In this special, 2021 edition of the event, actors perform their ten-minute shows inside of storefront windows in the Theatre District, while the audience sits outside wearing “Silent Disco” style headphones.

When the show is over, they move to the next storefront and change the channel on their headset to hear the next play.

Courtesy: Alleyway Theatre

“Coming back after COVID-19, we knew we wanted to welcome audiences back in a way that felt safe and comfortable,” explained Robyn Lee Horn, managing director for Alleyway Theater.

The storefronts are decorated as sets – from the 1890s-era bedroom of “The Yellow Wallpaper” to a colorful tween girl’s room for “Lily and Tessa’s Super Star Show, Episode 37”.

“The six plays really run the gamut – they’re funny, they’re sad, they’re weird,” Horn said.
“Some are realistic, some are fanciful and fantastical, and each storefront has been designed as its own little world.”

Susan Drozd is the director of “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

“Coming back in a very collaborative way felt right, coming back with a bunch of friends who really believe in the good of what theater can do, felt right,” Drozd said.

Alleyway Theatre has been finding creative ways throughout the pandemic to bring theater to the Queen City.

Amid the pandemic, Alleyway Theatre has adapted its version of “A Christmas Carol” as a radio play

They adapted their annual production of “A Christmas Carol” into a radio play, and created a series of original monologues called Currents: 716 in Sept. 2020.

“It’s been really creative and exciting – we learned a lot, and we’re really happy to go back to making theater in a theater,” Horn laughed. “We’re excited for next season, we’ll be back in September with a full season at our main stage.”

Guests have welcomed the return to live performance to the Theater District.

Courtesy: Alleyway Theatre

“The audience has been so overjoyed to be here,” Horn said. “We realized how much people missed it .”

“We’re so happy to have you, and you being here is a part of history and a part of community and a part of showing buffalo that the arts matter more than ever,” Drozd added.

Buffalo Quickies is running Wednesdays through Saturdays until July 10. You can buy tickets online here or at the Alleyway Theatre Box Office.

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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