Board of Directors

Kim Piazza, President
Dennis Knipfing, Vice President
Elizabeth Barsi, Secretary
David Sambora, Treasurer

Michelle Bouton
Leonard London
Shazad Mohammed
Maria Pendolino
Armand Petri
David Sipos
Lee Ann Vogt

Advisory Members

Eric Bentley, in memoriam
Joan K. Bozer
Alfred T. Coppola
Maryalice Demler
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Carlos R. A. Jones
‍LeonardR. Lenihan
Dr. Donna Orlando-Martin
Adine Wittig
Hon. Penny Wolfgang


Chris J Handley

Executive Artistic Director

Mr. Handley served as Alleyway’s Associate Artistic Director for two seasons before his appointment as Executive Artistic Director in June 2020. He grew up in WNY and has worked as an actor, director, educator across the country.

At Alleyway, he has been seen onstage in Navigators, Philosophus, Reefer Madness and Unholy Trinity. He is a five-time Artie nominee for his work on stages across the region.

Handley's work as an actor and director runs the gamut from classic and contemporary musical theatre to Shakespeare and Ibsen, award-winning indie soaps to Mississippi Riverboat entertainment. In the new play field, he has directed and performed in multitudes of productions, workshops and readings, shepherding new work through all stages of development.

He previously taught Acting and Voice/Speech at Indiana University and is currently on the faculty at SUNY Fredonia where he teaches Acting and Directing. He is Vice President of the Theatre District Association, a Cullen Fellow, 2019 Spark Awards Finalist for Artist of the Year, and previously served on the Buffalo/Rochester Actors’ Equity Liaison Committee.

MFA Acting Indiana University, BFA Musical Theatre SUNY Fredonia.

You can reach him at

Robyn Lee Horn

Managing Director

Robyn Lee Horn is an actor, director,educator, theatre administrator, and PhD candidate. As a member of Actors' Equity Association, Horn performed in dozens of regional theatre productions, as well benefit concerts on Broadway and at Lincoln Center. She has directed several plays, musicals, and showcases in both educational and professional theatre. Before her current teaching assignments at UB and Niagara University, Horn taught at an award-winning performing arts high school in New Jersey,where she was also the administrator of the extracurricular performing artsprogram. During a year-long internship at Premiere Stages in New Jersey, Horn was assistant dramaturg on several world-premiere plays. Horn authored a chapter in the forthcoming collection, Theatre & the Macabre (University of Wales Press). Horn holds a BA (summa cum laude) in Theatre and Education from Kean University in New Jersey and an MA in English Literature from the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English inVermont.

You can reach her at


Gordon Farrell
Resident Playwright

Gordon Farrell received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1986. His plays include “With More Than Voices” (produced off-off Broadway), “Mendocino” (produced at the Yale School of Drama with Courtney B. Vance),  and “Navigators,” (originally presented at Primary Stages and directed by Arthur Sherman, revised and remounted in 2019 at the Alleyway Theater in Buffalo where it received rave reviews.

Gordon’s hit play, “The Lifespan Of A Fact,” starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Canavale, ran on Broadway from September 20th, 2018 to January 13, 2019. It was co-written with Jeremy Karegen & David Murrell, directed by Leigh Silverman, and produced by eight-time Tony Award winner Jeffrey Richards.  The play was a finalist for the New York Critics Circle Best New Play, and the New York Critics Circle Best New American Play, and received the John Gassner Award for New American Play from the Outer Critics Circle. It was selected for the New York Times and the Boston Globe’s Critics List and Variety’s Ten Best Plays of 2018.

From 2009 to 2013, Gordon worked with dozens of women on New York City's Lower East Side who wanted to tell their personal stories on stage. The series of monologue plays that grew out of it is called “In The Red Room/Every Woman Dances For Someone” and ran for six months at the Upstairs Cabaret in the Village. In 2019, it was transformed into a fully-realized, immersive theater experience, “Girls Who Walked On Glass,” that ran for four weeks at the Alleyway Theatre to sold out houses and rave reviews.  Gordon also wrote the book for a series of award-winning musicals based on the life and death of Sherlock Holmes that ran at Alleyway, in addition to “Alice Again,” “A Tin Star Over Tombstone,” and “The Voice of America.” 

Gordon is the author of “The Power of the Playwright’s Vision,” published by Heinemann Press in 2001. Translated internationally, it is now used as a standard playwriting text in Europe, Asia and North America.

Teaching in NYU’s Dramatic Writing Department for over 25 years, Gordon’s students include many Tony, Pulitzer and Obie Award-winning playwrights, as well award-winning television and film writers. Among them are Annie Baker, Lucas Hnath, Shinho Lee, Christopher Shinn, Marco Rameriz, Madeleine George, Chisa Hutchinson, Anthony Jaswinski, Yahlin Chang, Jessica Goldberg, Stephanie Sengupta and Colin Trevorrow.

Andrew McLaughlin
Production Manager

Andrew McLaughlin is attending Daemen College where he is finishing his degree in Theater Arts Administration and Human Resources Management. Andrew has experience as a Production Stage Manager, Production Manager, and House Manager at local theaters including Musical Fare, Artpark Mainstage, and Subversive Theatre Collective. He is very excited to have called Alleyway home for the last few years. In his free time, Andrew is a professional magician and is in training to become a professional stage hypnotist.

Bruce Dejaiffe
Technical and Facility Manager

Bruce Dejaiffe is a native of Corning, New York where he earned an Associate in Science and Engineering degree. After working for Corning Glass, Inc. he moved to Western New York in 1993 to work for Dunkirk International Glass and Ceramics Corporation, followed by M&T Bank, Mortgage Banking Management Systems and now Frontier Science Technology Research Foundation.

He started volunteering at Alleyway Theatre during the 2008-09 season. He moved on to also volunteer at other local theatres including Buffalo United Artist, Theatre in The Mist and O’Connell and Company.  Some memorable scenic projects include, Les Misérables, Christmas Carol, Hell Hole Honeys, Poseidon The Musical, Killer Rack: The Feminist Horror Musical Comedy, The Graduate, Granny Bird, Annie, and many of Alleyway’s Buffalo Quickies one-act play celebrations.

Samantha Marchant

Samantha Marchant graduated from Spalding University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing with a concentration in Playwriting.

At Spalding, she studied under mentors Charlie Schulman, Kira Obolensky, Sam Zalutsky and Gabriel Jason Dean.  Some of her recent theater credits include Blasted (Director and Dramaturg, Bread and Water Theater, Rochester NY), Current (Playwright, Workshop and Staged Reading, Directed by Meghan Beals, Route 66 Theater, Chicago, IL), The Firestorm (Assistant Director and Dramaturg, NNPN Rolling Premier, Directed by Pesha Rudnik, LOCAL Theater Company, Boulder, CO), Elemeno Pea (Director, Production Winner of Denver’s Broadway World Awards Best Comedy and Best Small Cast Ensemble, The Misfits, Denver, CO), “Fluffy Mountain” (Playwright, Staged Reading, MATC Playwriting Symposium 10-Minute Play Festival, Houston, TX), Balcony: A Vertical Play (Playwright, Staged Reading, Boulder Writer’s Warehouse, Boulder, CO).

Todd Warfield
Resident Designer

Todd Warfield started his career at 22 as the youngest set designer ever to be admitted to the IATSE Set Designers and Model Makers Union, he quickly earned honors including an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences EMMY Award for his design work on the number one rated sit com Cheers. He also designed for such television favorites as Dear John, Ferris Bueller and the original pilot set of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He contributed special effects and design work to many feature films including Coneheads, Clear And Present Danger, Beverly Hills Cop III, Witchboard IV and Star Trek: Generations.

Leaving Hollywood for his home of Buffalo, NY he quickly joined the Alleyway Theatre company and dedicated much of his design and directing work to the creation of new American plays, highlights include Pink Floyd’s The Wall In Concert, The Vagina Monologues, Happy Hunting, The Maids, Naked By The River, Big Happy, Tagged and Columbus. Warfield’s recent work includes numerous commercials and the set design for Buffalo Bills All Access with host Steve Tasker. Warfield currently lives in Buffalo, NY in a home constructed entirely of stage sets including an Egyptian living room and bedroom he describes as ‘Louis XIV on Crack’. In his free time, he collects classic movie props, the most famous being Faye Dunaway’s dented coat hanger from Mommie Dearest.

Carly Weiser
Stage Manager

Carly Weiser is a graduate of Buffalo State College with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts. She served as resident stage manager for Alleyway Theatre and Buffalo United Artists for four years, and is also a director, lighting designer and sound designer. She has also worked at various other local companies including Torn Space Theater and Second Generation Theatre.

Weiser is also the co-producer of the Carly & Karcher Presents series, which most recently featured a sold out, one-night-only production of The Twilight Zone showcasing new “episodes” from Buffalo playwrights. Follow her adventures on Instagram at cult_carly.

David Hunt
House Manager

David Hunt is an aspiring screenwriter living in Buffalo where he is very active with many local artists and performers. He attended University of Toledo, where he studied English. He spends his time writing and working on his graphic novel which will be released in late 2019.

Hunt has a lifelong love of theater and arts, encouraged at a young age to pursue many artistic outlets, including writing and photography. He is also active in costume design and cinematography.

Mary Smyth
Volunteer Coordinator

Mary Smyth graduated from Buffalo State College with a masters degree in Elementary Education. She taught for thirty-three years in the Kenmore School system where she loved every minute. She then gravitated toward her second love: theater.

Smyth has been volunteering at Alleyway Theatre since 2001. She began as an usher, before accepting the duties of volunteer coordinator and has also served as Alleyway’s box office manager. Smyth is currently volunteering at no fewer than eight local theaters where her duties range from online ticket sales, box office operation, and training new ushers.

Richard Smyth
Head Usher

After retiring from a thirty three year career as a math teacher in the Buffalo School system, Richard Smyth knew he wanted to volunteer in some capacity in our community. He began as a docent at the Teddy Roosevelt site and became a member of Preservation Buffalo where he gives both City Hall tours and Queen City downtown tours. His love for Buffalo drew him to the theaters where, along with his wife, he volunteered at various local theatre companies.

Smyth has been part of the Alleyway family since 2001 where he served as usher and house managed. In particular, he enjoys bringing Queen City tour groups into Alleyway to talk about the history and architecture of the building. In his spare time, Smyth also distributes posters for Alleyway Theatre and four other local theaters.