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  • Richard Lambert

MAKING ART | EPISODE 5: Kurt Schneiderman, Founder/Artistic Director, Subversive Theatre Collective

Please join The New Phoenix Theatre as we walk down memory lane. As we continue to plan for next steps with the uncertainty of COVID-19, we are sharing testimonials from the amazing artists who emblazoned their imprint on our stage. We hope with all our hearts to be back with you soon.

For now, here is a message from Kurt Schneiderman:

“The New Phoenix Theatre has been like a second home for me for more than twenty years now. I started working there as a stage manager and techie in 1999 and was quickly sucked into the crazy theatre world from which I blissfully never returned. I worked with many of the coolest people I’ve ever met at the Phoenix. I directed my first show there in 2002 and it was the excitement of working at the Phoenix that gave me the drive to go out and found my own theatre company right after that.

I’ll never forget some of the earliest projects I worked on … like ALICE UNDERGROUND where the show started in the theatre but then moved out into the park and the audience followed the actors down different paths and around certain trees and bushes. As stage manager, I kept all the props in a shopping cart and wheeled through the park frantically trying to pre-set all right props in the right places before the actors arrived at each locale. It was a beautiful adventure in the sweltering heat that summer.

I was working as stage manager at The New Phoenix on a production of NIGHT OF THE IGUANA the day the World Trade Center came crashing down. We didn’t get a lot of rehearsing done that night, we all held each other and cried together. I’ll never forget the heart-breaking looks on the faces of the whole cast, I’ll never think of 9/11 without seeing their faces.

Over the years I’ve helped set up weddings there, I’ve seen people film movies there, I’ve seen young students take acting classes there, I even attended a memorial there for the dear departed actor/director Gary Darling. Whether it was celebrating the good the times or mourning the bad ones, The New Phoenix Theatre has been a life-affirming way station on many a beautiful journey. It’s a place where dreams come to life, where imaginations take flight, and where people are brought together in the quest for awe and wonder. I can think of nothing we need more in these difficult times than the beauty that New Phoenix has steadfastly offered Buffalo for so long."

Kurt Schneiderman, Founder/Artistic Director, Subversive Theatre Collective.

Coming soon, Episode 6: Frank Rossi

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