BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “It’s really sad, this theater district that was so vibrant has been abandon,” declared Amy Blundell, stagehand, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 10.
Buffalo’s Theater District has been shuttered for nearly a year because of the COVID pandemic. There’s no Broadway shows at Shea’s and the curtains are closed at other nearby theaters.
But a special pop-up style event will take place this weekend to help theater workers and the public enjoy a little fun in the theater district.
“We hope that this will just remind people how they can be feel so excited,” explained Blundell.
Union members from arts and entertainment community are eager to perform again for a live audience. That's why they have created their own free, pop up event, inviting Western New Yorkers to “Lights on” Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
“And take in designs from lighting designers, local artists, local set dressers, wardrobe designers and they can see a little bit of what goes into a show,” Blundell noted.
Blundell is a stagehand with IATSE Local 10. She says they wanted to help members who feel emotionally and socially isolated because of the pandemic and offer the public something to do, too.
“We really wanted to highlight that so many workers are effected by this shutdown. So many workers love their job and they really want to connect to the public,” said Blundell.
Stagehands were busy Thursday working on lights and displays for the event starting Friday night.
Another artist, set designer David Butler, who works in the film industry, is working out of his north Buffalo studio preparing a fun Valentine’s window display for the theater district.
“I made these three-D hearts out of an air drying clay and I’m going to sort of animate them as best I can with wire hands and stuff,” Butler described.
Butler says this is their “gift to Buffalo” to celebrate what they do to help entertain people.
“We’ve been through so much in the last year. And I know a lot of people are in a lot of pain. I mean most of us right now — unless you're lucky enough to get some sort of little freelance job — are living on a fraction of what we would normally get,” stated Butler.
“Just to reawaken peoples awareness about the theater district,” Blundell replied.
The event runs Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Main Street in the city’s theater district.