Inclusive Theater offers a unique stage experience, act after act

When it comes to their mission, the name says it all: Inclusive Theater of WNY. It exists for experienced and aspiring artists – writers, actors, directors – who seek the theater experience. That spirit will be on display when the One Act Play Festival takes the stage at St Mary’s High School in Lancaster from August 4th to 7th.

“So we have people who are on stage for the first time and others who have been making productions for 30 years,” executive director Aimee Levesque said during a recent rehearsal.

“I think that’s the fun part for us, that we can get them to go on stage and perform no matter how long it takes.”

The approach offers artists a unique opportunity. While some may be acting on stage for the first time, experienced actors are learning what it’s like to direct.

Then there is the writing. A three-hour rehearsal featured some adventurous, occasionally absurd dialogue. In one play, laundry serves as a metaphor; another offers a glimpse into a marriage counseling session that is often funny and often disturbing.

“I think the cool thing about having local playwrights is that a lot of the content is also local,” said art director Dallas Taylor, whose primary job here at Buffalo is Toronto Public Media.

“So, people that come to the show may never have met any of the actors, they don’t know the directors, maybe they’ve never heard of the company, but they come to the show and they know a connection because they live here in Buffalo.” .”

Originally scheduled for January, the festival has been postponed due to a COVID outbreak.

“We want people to come back to the theater knowing that it’s not just a safe space, it’s a brave space,” Levesque said.

“That is very important to us at inclusive theatre, but also that laughter is allowed.”

Eight plays will be presented:

– “Laundro’s Mismatched Plight” by Justin Pope. Directed by Dallas Taylor and starring Sarah Henderson.

– “Between Two Worlds” by Hilary Bluestein-Lyons. Directed by Virginia Brannon.

– “Pandemic Grief in the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Justin Karcher. Directed by Aimee Levesque, Umar Azam and Tyler Collis.

– “Paisley, Fire and Stone” by Ellen Scherer. Directed by Aimee Levesque, Umar Azam and Tyler Collis.

– “Therapy” by George Bryjak. Directed by Maryna Sophia and starring Aimee Levesque.

– “Ronnie Audition Slayer” by Ellen Scherer and Madison Sedlor. It was directed by Umar Azam and Tyler Collis and starred by Aimee Levesque.

– “Kitty Litter” by J Snodgrass. Directed by Justin Chortie.

– “I just want to be held” by Justin Pope. Directed by Maryna Sophia

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