We're Back: Live! In Person! Outdoors!

June 17 - July 10, 2021

“Alleyway's unique storefront presentation of 'Quickies' deserves an ovation.
–Melinda Miller, The Buffalo News
"An evening that is exciting, fresh, and seems quite urbane. ... the overall experience is thrilling."
–Anthony Chase, Theater Talk
"[a] practically perfect post-pandemic stroke of theatre genius."
–Cherie Messore, Buffalo Theatre Guide
“It felt so exciting, so “big city”  ... [a] quintessentially urban experience ... right here in Buffalo.”
–Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising

A safe, socially distanced, and (mostly) outdoor theatre experience to mark a return to live theatre, fifteen months after the pandemic shutdown began.

Celebrate summer with live theatre! #OnlyAtAlleyway

Storefronts along Main Street are transformed into distinct theatrical worlds, each containing a short play. Small audience groups will watch from seats on the sidewalk, and listen through headphones, as the actors perform behind the storefront glass. Audiences will then rotate to the next window to peek in on another story, seeing all six in a single evening.

Alleyway’s 30th annual short play festival features five 10-minute world and regional premiere plays and one 20-minute world premiere musical.


By Lauren Davenport
World Premiere Directed by Chris J Handley
Starring Victor Morales

Charon, the ferryman of Hades, is in desperate need of a break. You just happen to be next in line for passage into the Afterlife. Your afterlife, to be exact. How you choose to compensate Charon for your passage will determine where you end up.


By Devon Hayakawa
World Premiere directed by Robyn Lee Horn
Starring Jane Hereth

It's time for Lily and Tessa's Super Star Super Special Show, and they're going to revive all of their greatest hits -- Avril Lavigne dance party! Celebrity impressions! Puppet shows! The only problem is that Lily still hasn't shown up yet... and Tessa might have to do the whole show alone. 


By Alex Lin
Directed by Steve Vaughan
Starring Shanntina Moore

Helen Mirren has a day off. Helen Mirren needs to work on her monologue. Helen Mirren’s brother needs way too much attention. Helen Mirren gets a call from frenemy Judi Dench with ex-husband Kenneth Branagh on the same line. Helen Mirren’s dog is dying. Can she handle it? Of course she can. She's Helen Mirren.


By Rachel Lynett
Directed by Josie DiVincenzo
Starring Victoria Perez and Smirna Mercedes

Becca and Ryan run into each other at an airport having not seen each other for five years. This chance encounter asks them both to reflect on their past relationship and navigate their possible future.


Music by Eliza Randall
Book and Lyrics by Sam Norman
2020 Mazumdar New Play Competition Finalist
World Premiere directed by Susan Drozd
Music Direction by Phil Farugia
Starring Amy Jakiel, Kelly Copps, Steve Copps
Developed in a reading with HARP Theatricals

It’s 1890 and Charlotte is forced into isolation following a postpartum disorder diagnosis. Her husband and sister-in-law, following doctor’s orders, keep Charlotte away from her newborn son sending her deeper into despair. Eventually, in her seclusion, she becomes convinced another woman is living inside the wallpaper. Charlotte desperately tries to free the shadow – but at what cost?

This story is reimagined in a beautiful new musical score based on the famous short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which in 1892 was considered a hallmark of feminist literature,


By Bruce Walsh
Winner 2017 Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and Kennedy Center Gary Garrision National Ten-Minute Play Award
Directed by Chris J Handley
Starring David C. Mitchell and Trevor Dugan

When Louis was eleven-years-old, he wrote a note to his recently deceased father, tied it to a balloon, and released it to the heavens. But now, even though he's a grown-ass man, he can't stop wondering if his dad ever received the message.

TICKETING. Tickets should be purchased in advance. All patrons will be required to provide a phone/email for contact tracing.

ARRIVAL. Patrons should arrive at the Alleyway Theatre by 8pm for an 8:15pm start time.

Patrons should plan to walk to multiple storefront locations within a half block radius of the Alleyway throughout the course of the evening, including one indoor location under strict Covid safety protocols. Sterilized headphones will be provided to each ticket holder. PLEASE NOTE: A credit card or photo ID must be held on deposit until the headphones are returned at the end of the night.

COVID SAFETY. Alleyway has implemented a strict safety plan. Based on the latest NYS guidance, masks are optional for vaccinated patrons. However, ALL PATRONS must wear a mask while watching the one indoor performance. Updated guidance will be provided by your usher on the day of the show. All Alleyway artists are vaccinated and/or submit to weekly testing panels. If you aren't feeling well, please stay home and exchange your ticket for another performance. See Alleyway’s full Covid Safety Plan here.

REFUNDS/EXCHANGES/WEATHER. In the event a ticketholder is feeling unwell, comes in contact with someone testing positive, or tests positive themselves, tickets can be exchanged to another performance or production with advance notice. Tickets cannot be exchanged following a performance. In case of inclement weather, rained-out performances will be scheduled on the Sunday following the original date. Patrons will be contacted and tickets automatically rescheduled. No refunds will be provided except in the case of cancellation due to weather.


Environment Design by
Dyan Burlingame
Lynne Koscielniak
Emily Powrie

Costume Design by
Todd Warfield

Sound Engineering and Design by
Andy Borchick

Covid Compliance Officer
Andrew McLaughlin

Assistant Stage Managers
Katie Bergstrom
Eve Brunswick
Ella Colbus
Jessica Lynn
Maureen Sheldon
Cali Smith

Technical Director/Master Electrician
Rick Haug

Designers' Assistant
Isabella Fortunato

Graphic Design
Devon Adams

About the Playwrights

Pay Your Ferryman

LAUREN DAVENPORT (she/her/hers) is a bisexual Philadelphia-based playwright and theatre artist with a first-degree black belt and a fascination for historical things. Her work has been produced and read inPhiladelphia, Chicago, San Diego CA, Chestertown MD, and West Chester PA. Herplays include Sandcastles (2021 Semi-Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival), Morning Stars (2018 Semi-Finalist PlayPenn New Play Conference), Fishers Of Men (2014 Finalist Sue Winge Playwriting Award),her Mary Shelley solo show Waking Dreams (2016 co-production with Beacon Theatre Productions), and her ten-minute play A Weight Of Worlds (2019Project Transcend, 2020 Art Pride Diner Theatre Library Selection, and 2020 DGFootlights Ten-Minute Play Fest) among others. She received her MA in Theatre from Villanova University and her BA in English Literature, Theatre, and Creative Writing from Washington College.

Lily and Tessa's Super Star Show, Episode 37

DEVON HAYAKAWA (any pronouns used with respect) is a Chicago-based theatreartist with a passion for developing new works. Their plays have been seen atChicago Dramatists, Women's Theatre Festival - Occupy the Stage, Digital Dramatists,and Ball State University. Favorite new work credits include: 9066(playwright, Chicago Dramatists), Emily/Emily (playwright, WTF Occupythe Stage), The Bushwick Girls (director, Wayward Sisters TheatreEnsemble), Baked! The Musical (performer, Chicago Musical TheatreFestival), and Rosemary and Time (dramaturg, BSU). BSU Class of 2019, devonhayakawa.com.

Helen Mirren Takes a Day Off

ALEX LIN (she/her/hers) is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist. Her plays have been workshopped and read with Women's Theatre Festival, The Rude Mechanicals, Pace University, Actors Theatre of Louisville (PTC), Little & Fierce Theatre Co., Spooky Action, The COOP, and Central Square Theater. As a journalist for Supercluster, the frontline space media agency founded by A24Films, she’s worked with NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Netflix, and Apple TV+ to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and the popular culture it inspires. Her artistic work centers marginalized voices who manage to not only survive, but also thrive in systems that were never intended to accommodate or protect them. Honors: Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, Semifinalist; Ashland NewPlays Festival, Pass the Pen Nominee. Writer’s groups: The COOP’s ClusterF**K,Page Break.

In Transit

RACHEL LYNETT is a queer Afro-Latinx playwright who writes dark comedies about complex, complicated women of color. Her recent playwriting credits include commissions with Barrington Stage Theatre Company (Holy Ground), Florida Studio Theatre (CARRY ME and AS YOU ARE), and Theatre Lab (Last Night). Other credits include Last Night presented as a reading with Theatre Lab (2020); Here Be Dragons presented as a reading with Capital Rep (2019); You Were Mine presented as a reading at the Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival presented by Theatre Prometheus (2019); He Did It presented as a reading with Equity Library Theatre, Chicago (2018) and presented as a workshop production with University of Central Florida's Pegasus PlayLab; Refuge as part of Z Space's Problematic Play Festival (2018); Good Bad People as part of Talk Back Theatre's Reading Series (2018), part of American Stage Theatre Company's 21st Century New Voices New Play Festival (2018), part of Jackalope Theatre's CIRCLEUP series (2017) and as a reading as part of Unicorn Theatre Plays In Progress(2018); Well-Intentioned White People as the Michigan premiere with Matrix Theatre (2018), the world premiere with Barrington Stage Theatre Company (2018), the Downstage Left Residency with StageLeft (2017), part of Orlando Shakespeare New Play Festival (2017), and receiving honorable mention for the 2017 Kilroys for her play (2017). Her play, Abortion Road Trip received a workshop production produced by Theatre Prometheus as part of Capital Fringewhere it won Best Comedy (2017) and then was later presented by Theatre Prometheus, as a part of the 2017 Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival. Rachel Lynett is also the 2018 Recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, one of the 2020 recipients for the Artist 360 grant, and the 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize.

The Yellow Wallpaper

SAM NORMAN is a prize-winning lyricist, librettist and poet originally from England. His three full-length musicals have been performed across the UK. His twenty-minute musical THE YELLOW WALLPAPER had a developmental reading with HARP Theatricals and will receive its stage debut at Alleyway Theatre; it is also a finalist in the Mazumdar Short Play Prize. Sam has been profiled in The Huffington Post and Tin Pan Alley 2; his work has been performed at Lincoln Center and off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, as well as reaching the finals of the Mercury Songwriting Contest (judged by producers of SIX). He has authored a book of comic poems, A Teen’s Guide to Modern Manners (Little,Brown), warmly reviewed by Buzzfeed, and has won The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation. He graduated from Oxford University with a congratulatory first-class degree, and has recently completed an MFA in musicaltheatre writing at NYU Tisch. samuelnorman.com 

The Yellow Wallpaper

ELIZA RANDALL is a composer and pianist from Southern Nevada. She began composing music when she was six years old and has been hooked ever since! Her twenty-minute musical THE YELLOW WALLPAPER had a developmental reading with HARP Theatricals and is currently a finalist for the Mazumdar Short Play Prize. Her various other compositions have been performed by the Gallatin Theatre Troup and Tin Pan Alley 2, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre off-Broadway, and the Lincoln Center. Eliza studied classical piano under internationally renowned pianists Jeffrey Shumway and Stephen Beus at Brigham Young University where she graduated magna cum laude, and she has just finished an MFA in musical theatre writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Grown-Ass Louis

BRUCE WALSH Since receiving his MFA in playwriting from Indiana University in 2017, Bruce Walsh’s plays have won the Heideman Award, the Gary Garrison National Ten Minute Play Award, and the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition. His works have recently been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, Fat Turtle Theatre Co., and Cardinal Stage; and developed by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Azuka Theatre, and Outpost Repertory Theatre. His play, Berserker, is scheduled to open at Alleyway Theatre in 2022. In a previous life, he was a longtime arts reporter for the Philadelphia Metro andCity Paper. He currently lives in Elizabethtown, PA, where his wife, Jennie, is a mental health counselor at Elizabethtown College, and his son, Henry, enjoys cupcakes, ROBOCAR POLI, and shooting hot lava out of his elbows.