BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Buffalo's Alleyway Theatre is announcing a big change in its future leadership. After nearly four decades the founder and executive director is preparing to hand-off the baton to a new leader.
But as 7 Eyewitness news senior reporter Eileen Buckley explains. This is just one of many changes on tap for the local theater.
Play-write and composer Neal Radice first founded alleyway back in 1980. But a succession plan is now underway for him to leave by this time next year.
Alleyway Theatre is located in the heart of buffalo's theater district. It is best known for original plays, musicals and the long-running "A Christmas Carol" and its "Buffalo Quickies". Many shows have been written and composed by Radice. But tonight he tells 7 Eyewitness News it's time for a reboot of the company.
"It's more a matter of whether or not it's right for the organization to be looking ahead and getting itself in a place where through this transition - its future can be as health as its past," remarked Radice.
Radice said he believes handing off the leadership role will help keep Alleyway "healthy" and create "new energy" if he steps aside.
Chris Handley, who currently serves as associate artistic director at Alleyway, has been named the new executive director. Handley said he will continue staging 'non-traditional plays.
"And I'm so committed to continuing the tradition of being - 'un-traditional - I think," said Handley.
Allleyway will also have Broadway's play-write Gordon Farrell will be in in residence.
"And he just had a Broadway hit in New York this season and won the Outer Critics Circle award and we are excited to have him here," declared Handley.
Handley will take over next May. Alleyway announced it's new 2019-2020 season Monday. It will be doubling it's programs for the new season. Curtain Up! will take place September 20th and Radice will be chairing the event still as Alleyway's leader. Curtain Up! celebrates and kicks-off the official start of Buffalo's theater season.
Meanwhile, Radice tells us he's not retiring from the theater world next May and has many more works he would like to present to Buffalo's theater world.