Board of Directors

Kim Piazza, President
Maria Pendolino, Secretary
David Sambora, Treasurer

Michelle L. Bouton
Leonard London
Shazad Mohammed
Armand Petri
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

Chris 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, most recently for Fun Home and The Tempest.

Chris'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, an inaugural cohort 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 is an actor, director,educator, theatre administrator, and PhD candidate. As a member of Actors' Equity Association, Robyn 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, Robyn 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, Robyn was assistant dramaturg on several world-premiere plays. Horn authored a chapter in the forthcoming collection, Theatre & the Macabre (University of Wales Press). She 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


Emma Schimminger
Production Manager/Technical Director

Emma is an Artie Award winning theatrical designer and technician, specializing in lighting design and production/stage management. She is a Buffalo native who moved back to the area after spending a decade working in New York City. While there, she worked as a freelance lighting designer and at several private secondary schools in Manhattan as a designer, stage manager, technical director and faculty member. Emma also took time to travel to London in order to achieve her Master’s degree, and is still looking for an opportunity to travel there again.

Upon returning to Buffalo, she became Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s Resident Lighting Designer and has designed lighting for several other local theatre companies. Most recently, she was the Production Manager at UB’s Center for the Arts. Artvoice Artie award winner for Outstanding Lighting Design 2014, 2004 . BA:  State University of New York at Buffalo; MA: Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama, University of London.

Tracie Lane Thomason
Education Director

Tracie is an actor and educator based in New York. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and has performed at Lincoln Center, off-Broadway, and in regional theaters and for Shakespeare festivals across the United States. Tracie holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance and an MFA from the Drama Division at the Juilliard School, Group 48.

Andrew McLaughlin
Company Manager

Andrew has been honored to serve as Alleyway’s Company Manager since July of 2021. Previous to this, he was Alleyway’s Production Manager for three years. He is thrilled to call Alleyway Theatre his home. Andrew grew up in Buffalo, NY, and has worked as a Stage Manager, Production Manager, House Manager, and Magic Consultant in the Western New York area. He also works at Shea’s Performing Arts Center as the Receptionist. Andrew is a graduate of Daemen College with a B.S. in Theatre Arts Administration and a Certificate in Human Resources Management. Currently, he is also a student in Brooklyn College’s M.F.A in Performing Arts Management program.

Todd Warfield
House/Bar/Event Manager

Todd 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. Todd 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.

Bruce Dejaiffe
Facility Manager

Bruce  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.

Mary Smyth
Volunteer Coordinator

Mary 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.

Mary 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 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.

Richard 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.