"Buffalo boasts an active and diverse theater community. This wasn’t always so. Yes, we were a big town on the vaudeville, burlesque, and touring circuits of the early twentieth century, but homegrown professional theater didn’t really take off until the 1980s."
"When I arrived in Buffalo in 1981, the theater scene was in major transition. Studio Arena Theatre artistic director Neal Du Brock had just been fired by his board of directors, who were fed up with his chaotic fiscal management and general uncontrollability. Du Brock had originally been hired to helm the community-based Studio Theatre, founded in the 1920s, because of his local theater activity using local actors. Under his leadership, the theater at 710 Main Street became Studio Arena, an Equity member of the national League of Resident Theatres (LORT). In its golden age, Studio Arena regularly featured major stars, staged world premieres, and sent shows to Broadway; however, the use of local actors became infrequent. After Du Brock was fired, local actors found that they were personae non grata at a theater they had helped establish. Not wanted, they went elsewhere."
The rest of this article by Anthony Chase—entitled Buffalo Theater: Past, Present and Future— is featured in this month's Buffalo Spree. It's one of many focusing on our rich theater scene in Western New York. Here's a peek at a few more pages: