Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
Jul 18, 2012
01:07 PMBe There
Neil E. Garvey’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
Neil E. Garvey had a dream—perhaps a midsummer night’s dream—of a renowned and prosperous theater community in Buffalo and all of Western New York. As a fervent patron of the arts throughout his lifetime, he saw to it that this dream became a reality. After his untimely passing at the age fifty-six in February of this year, friends and family of Mr. Garvey wanted to ensure that his legacy lives on even if he’s not around to oversee it. Thus, the Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts was born.
The Foundation shares the same mission Mr. Garvey had during his lifetime: “to empower and financially assist artists across all disciplines and, thereby, to promote the betterment and cultural growth of Western New York.” Though the man may be gone, his name will continue to enrich our community’s culture.
Mr. Garvey was not only a benefactor of the Western New York’s theater community; he was also an active member. The accomplished attorney—taking a recess from corporate America in his spare time—acted with such theaters as the Kavinoky, the Irish Classical, and the Road Less Traveled, as well as appearing on more distinguished local stages than there is room to list. He brought life to countless characters, from Shakespeare’s King Henry VIII to Sir Wilfred in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, even donning a red suit and long white beard for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Christmas Performance as Ol’ Saint Nick—a role he held for over a decade.
But perhaps what Mr. Garvey is most well known for is his work with Shakespeare in Delaware Park. He was the theater company’s first chairman of the board and served as its president and chief executive officer from 1998 to 2003. His tenure, spanning over 25 productions, began with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1980. That’s why there is truly no more fitting first fundraising event for the Foundation than with a Midsummer Night’s Picnic, taking place at 5pm at the Marcy Casino in Delaware Park on July 26. Food and drink will be served, and guests will celebrate the arts in Western New York, and the man who devoted his life to them.
And be sure to stick around until 7:30pm for Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s opening night of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
For more information, please visit neilegarveyfoundation.com. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Shakespeare in Delaware Park offices at 716-856-4533.