Second Generation Theatre Prepares For A New Beginning

Second Generation Theatre (SGT) prepares for a new beginning with the debut of their first live and in person performances since 2019! In accordance with the theatre’s new logo and branding, courtesy of Crowley Webb, the team at SGT couldn’t be more thrilled to be back doing what they all do best.

Second Generation Theatre was founded in 2013 by University at Buffalo graduates Kristin Bentley, Arin Lee Dandes, and Kelly Copps with a mission to encourage a new generation of theatregoers to become involved in the arts. While the theatre’s beginning was nomadic in nature, the team finally settled at Shea’s Smith Theatre in 2018. With the company’s fresh and bold thinking approach to theatre, the intimate atmosphere found at Shea’s Smith acts as the perfect home for these immersive productions.

“You’re not just an audience member super far away from the action. You’re really immersed in what’s going on,” stated co-founder Kristin Bentley.

Amidst the momentum that the theatre was building, the pandemic threw a wrench in their plans that nobody could have planned for. While health and safety came as the biggest concern, this team used their extended pause in time as a way to give back to a community that they loved so much.

“We really wanted to use this time as an opportunity to give back to the community. We offered our summer camp online for free for kids. We did a lot of free education and engagement opportunities for kids and Kelly, our artistic director, also started sewing masks and gave them for free to anybody who needed them.”

With one arm in production, the other is in educating and cultivating the next generation through a wide variety of educational opportunities. The theatre offers classes and after school programs for kids ages 6 through 17 specializing in anything from comedy and playwriting to design and production.

“Really the skills that you get through arts education and engagement are skills that can transfer anywhere as you grow. They build confidence, help you with your speaking skills and help build creativity.”

With months to re-configure and establish their branding, the theatre returns better than ever with a full season lineup beginning with the first show, Songs for a New World, written by Jason Robert Brown. This show explores themes of love, loss, hope, rebuilding, and that “one moment” of decision. Featuring performances from three of the four cast members from the theater’s highly acclaimed digital production in June of 2020, Michele Marie Roberts, Brian Brown, Steve Copps and introducing a new face to Buffalo theatre, Fredonia graduate Genevieve Ellis. Directed by Amy Jakiel with music direction by Stephen Piotrowski and videography by Chris Cavanagh, this show is sure to bring a “new world” to the beloved Smith stage.

Songs for a New World

Friday, October 22, 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 23, 2:00 pm
Saturday, October 23, 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 24, 2:00 pm
Thursday, October 28, 7:30 pm
Friday, October 29, 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 30, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 31, 2:00 pm
*Note, there are no performances Nov. 4-7*
Thursday, November 11, 7:30 pm
Friday, November 12, 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 13, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday, November 14, 2:00 pm

Where: Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202
Tickets: General Admission $30, Seniors $25, Students $15.
Box Office: Shea’s Box Office: (716) 847-0850,

The second show on the season’s line up is Constellations by Nick Payne Starring SGT Executive Director Kristin Bentley and Chris Avery. Directed by Michael Wachowiak, this spellbinding romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. What happens next defies the boundaries of the world we know, delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.


Thursday, March 17 & 24, 7:30 pm
Friday, March 11, 18 & 25, 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 12, 19 & 26, 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 13 & 20, 2:00 pm

Where: Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202
Box Office: Shea’s Box Office: (716) 847-0850,

The season closes with the must see theatre event of the summer, Cabaret, starring Ben Michael Moran, Cassie Cameron, Ricky Needham, Steve Jakiel & Pamela Rose Mangus. In 1930’s Berlin, everything is beautiful… but for how long? Directed by Kristin Bentley, choreographed by Kelly Copps and with music direction by Allan Paglia this beloved musical theatre classic with a message remains relevant even today.


Full Schedule
Thursday, June 16 & 23, 7:30 pm
Friday, June 10, 17 & 24, 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 11, 18 & 25, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday, June 12, 19 & 26, 2:00 pm

Where: Shea’s Smith Theatre, 658 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14202

Box Office: Shea’s Box Office: (716) 847-0850,

Theatre plays an important role in the rich history of Buffalo, and contributes to many different areas of growth and development that make our city unique.

“I think that the theatre and arts community here is what makes Buffalo a really special place. It shows the culture of the city, and that we have such rich cultural organizations between the arts organizations here, the Albright Knox and physical art, and performing arts from music to theatre. It roots itself in the long history of Buffalo and the appreciation that people have here for everything that makes the city special,” states theatre’s co-founder Kristin Bentley.

This team is sure to bring an energy this year that is unmatched to any other season. Show appreciation for our city’s unique arts and theatre organizations by seeing one of these performances that is sure to knock your socks off. For more information or to learn how to get involved visit the theatre’s website and follow along on social media to stay up to date on all newest announcements.

Article by Liberty Dar
Photography by Vincent Berbano
Produced by Jessica Marinelli

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