“‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore” engrosses and shocks – Michael Rabice, BWW review

by Michael Rabice, broadwayworld.com, Sep. 30, 2019

Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre Company has chosen to open their 2019-20 season with a rarity, ‘TIS PITY, SHE’S A WHORE by John Ford. First seen in 1633, the question arises as to whether this Jacobean drama still deserves to be produced. Happily, this often shocking play has enough intrigue to keep the audience engaged. By its final moments, the elements of incest, murder, poisoning, and deception lead to a drama of epic proportions that grips the viewer.

With a nod to Romeo and Juliet, Ford’s story of forbidden love is pressed to the max as young Annabella must choose a proper suitor, but her brother Giovanni confesses that no one can love her more than he, and she agrees that she equally desires him. Lord Soranzo is the most likely man to wed her due to his military position, but he has a spurned lover (Hippolita) who seeks revenge on him. The young soldier Grimaldi offers his hand, while the wealthy but foolish Bergetto is also in line. Bergetto (Adam Yellen) and his servant Poggio (Aleks Malejs) are stock characters from the commedia dell’arte genre of Italian theatre. The Catholic church serves as the moral backdrop, as Friar Bonaventura (Christian Brandjes) counsels Giovanni and a Cardinal, played by Adam Yellen, proclaims his condemnation of the situation and claims the property of the household for his own use in the Catholic church.

Director Fortunato Pezzimenti has updated the time period to Pre-War Italy in Parma, without much effect positive or negative. His deft hand paces the action well, despite an overly long expository first act. The sheer nature of an incestuous marriage is shocking enough, and Ford does not stop there in his desire to jar the audience’s sensibilities. But in using incest as a central theme, he prepares the viewer for other unthinkable acts that truly heighten the drama.

Jeremy Kreuzer is Giovanni, and brings a youthful and earnest portrayal of the lovesick brother. Kreuzer’s multi-layered performance is full of soul searching as he grapples with his desirous feelings, but morphs to crazed lover. He is asked to perform a mad scene that would rival that of grand opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” and he handles this with great conviction. Anna Krempholtz is the object of everyone’s desires, the fair Annabella. She brings a self assured nature that almost convinces the audience she is able to love her brother as well as take a husband. Ms. Krempholtz is lovely to watch, but her future comes to a crashing end as her new husband learns of her forbidden love.

Adriano Gatto gives a winning performance as Lord Soranzo, dashing and fully in control. He dominates his scenes, as he should, and brings some great physicality to the drama in the second act, causing audible gasps at his handling of his new bride. Roland Martin Gomez is Soranzo’s man servant, who becomes an integral character as he is manipulated by Hippolita to take Soranzo down. Mr. Gomez dives into the meaty role, clearly enjoying the twists and turns that Ford has written for him.

Aleks Malejs is delightfully conniving as the evil Hippolita, oozing a seductiveness to conceal her inner demons. She effectively leads the trio of dancers who entertain at Annabella’s wedding in a sinuous dance of love.

Charmagne Chi brings levity to the play, as the tutor and confidante to Annabella, whose own comical name is Putana (meaning whore in Italian). Despite some very unflattering costuming, Chi’s bubbling personality is endearing as she attempts to protect the young lovers, but her chatty nature leads to her ultimate demise.

The simplistic set by David Dwyer provided a multi level playing area, but could have benefited from a few more regal trappings.

Irish Classical Theatre has essentially unearthed a riveting drama that at first glance may seem like a dated piece of melodrama, but has instead been presented in a thoughtful production that engrosses the audience. Such programming is to be lauded.


“… absorbing, a fine production … no holds barred” – Ann Marie Cusella, buffalo vibe

Review: ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore
By: Ann Marie Cusella | Posted September 21st, 2019

“… Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord’.” Romans 12, v. 19.

‘Tis a pity that biblical exhortation is not taken to heart by the players in Irish Classical Theatre Company’s season opener, ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore, John Ford’s early 17th century tragic tale of incest, betrayal and revenge that ends in torture, death and murder. There is no thought of forgiveness by those wronged in this very absorbing play, only a desire for vengeance that results in complex plotting, often going awry, and retribution for real or imagined betrayers.

Central to the play, as Director Fortunato Pezzimenti says in his notes, is the concept of self-governance vs. bowing to authority. Who has the right to determine one’s fate? Are people to be led in matters of the heart by authority, in this instance the Church, a powerful institution that considers sexual desire to be “that leprosy of lust that rots the soul,” and demands obedience to its tenets of sacrifice and female purity? Or can one break free of societal constraints and live according to one’s own principles and desires?

Set in Parma, Italy, where the Church is the ultimate authority, Giovanni (Jeremy Kreuzer, who begins rather stiffly, but warms to his role and loosens up alarmingly well as events unfold) is a university student in love with his sister, Annabella (Anna Krempholtz, who plays her complex role with charm, wit, passion, and great sadness). He confesses his love to the Friar (Christian Brandjes) and argues his case for personal freedom. The Friar, horrified, instructs him to cloister himself and pray to be freed from his sin, which proves to be an exercise in futility, as he returns more passionate than before. He and Annabella consummate their love, resulting in pregnancy and the full force of the patriarchy falling on her slender shoulders. In the mix are suitors for Annabella’s hand, a woman who betrayed her husband, who then is betrayed by her lover and so plots her own revenge, the husband seeking revenge for her betrayal, a soldier enemy of the lover, a servant with his own agenda, another servant who meets a terrible fate, and so on. Many of these people are killed during the play, and each actor is very believable in those scenes, which could easily have devolved into unfettered melodrama. That they do not is a testament to their skills and that of the Director.

In the midst of this tragic narrative Charmagne Chi as Putana, Anna’s free-spirited companion, Christian Brandjes as the bumbling Signor Donado, and Adam Yellen as the dim-witted and hilarious suitor, Bergetto, skillfully add comic light to the darkness.

Aleks Malejs is excellent as the angry and rather scarily vengeful Hippolita and is quite amusing as the servant Poggio. Adrian Gatto is also excellent as the passionate suitor and ultimate husband of Anna, Lord Soranzo. David Oliver, Ben Michael Moran, Jacob Albarella, Rolando Martin Gomez, and Melinda Capeles round out the fine cast.

A large, bare, three-tiered platform acts as the set, designed by David Dwyer. Its simplicity allows the often-frightening action to unfold unencumbered. Lighting designer Jayson Clarke hung candles suspended by red ribbons from the ceiling, placed them in the corners of the platform and on the floor surrounding it. Red lights dim the stage, giving the impression of blood. The crucifix that hangs overhead throughout the play, and the statue of the Virgin Mary that is paraded through the theater by the entire cast at the outset, are reminders of just who has authority and what that authority demands. Contemporary costumes by Vivian Del Bello add to the personalities of each character, e.g., Hippolita in a clingy black satin gown, Bergetto in silly gold shoes and red jacket, Donado in a rumpled suit he struggles to unbutton.

There are no holds barred in violent scenes, of which there are many. People are thrown across the stage and die excruciating deaths. Choreographer Lauren Nicole Alaimo and Fight Director Adriano Gatto have done a fine job of creating realistic scenes. The knife is the weapon of choice, so there is no shortage of blood, although poison comes into play as well.

“’Tis as common to err in frailty as it is to be a woman,” says Lord Seranzo to the desolate Annabelle, which inspired a loud groan from the opening night audience. While it may seem like an anachronism, one has only to read about current and often successful efforts to control women’s bodies to realize that there are still many changes to be made in that arena.

‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore, in a fine production, gets down and dirty as it raises questions about morality, obedience to authority, love, lust, and the dark side of the human heart that humans have struggled with since – well, likely since there have been humans.

You can see ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore at Irish Classical Theatre Company through October 13th.

Join us Saturday, October 12 at 2PM for a FREE Pre-Show Talk.

ICTC’s production of ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore is sparking plenty of discussion.
Join the conversation!

Saturday, October 12 at 2PM just steps from ICTC at the Market Arcade, 617 Main Street, Buffalo, NY (just prior to the 3PM performance of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford).

Renowned Shakespearean scholar, Dr. Barbara Bono, will present a talk entitled:
Hypocrisy and Passion in John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
and will lead a pre-show discussion.

By the time John Ford wrote ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Romeo and Juliet’s blaze of passion had twisted to calculated negotiation and perverse desires. These talk-back comments will reflect on the rise of love lyric in the late Elizabethan court as an expression of both desire and politics and its increasingly decadent and nihilistic expression under the Stuarts.

Dr. Barbara Bono, Associate Professor in the UB Departments of English and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, has studied and taught the works of William Shakespeare for over 40 years. For over 20 years, she has been UB’s representative to the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. In 2016, she organized the year-long region-wide commemorative celebration, Buffalo Bard 2016: 400 Years Since Shakespeare.

Dr. Bono is a subscriber to the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

ICTC’s FREE Speakers Series in sponsored by the John R. Oishei Foundation.

Join us Sunday, September 29 at 1PM for a FREE Pre-Show Talk.

ICTC’s production of ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore is sparking plenty of discussion.
Join the conversation!

Sunday, September 29 at 1PM at the Irish Classical Theatre Company’s Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY (just prior to the 2PM performance of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford).

Renowned Shakespearean scholar, Dr. Barbara Bono, will present a talk entitled:
Hypocrisy and Passion in John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
and will lead a pre-show discussion.

By the time John Ford wrote ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Romeo and Juliet‘s blaze of passion had twisted to calculated negotiation and perverse desires. These talk-back comments will reflect on the rise of love lyric in the late Elizabethan court as an expression of both desire and politics and its increasingly decadent and nihilistic expression under the Stuarts.

Dr. Barbara Bono, Associate Professor in the UB Departments of English and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, has studied and taught the works of William Shakespeare for over 40 years. For over 20 years, she has been UB’s representative to the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. In 2016, she organized the year-long region-wide commemorative celebration, Buffalo Bard 2016: 400 Years Since Shakespeare.

Dr. Bono is a subscriber to the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

ICTC’s FREE Speakers Series in sponsored by the John R. Oishei Foundation.

“The laughs come often and solidly … ICTC has a hit on its hands.” – Brad Auerbach, Enertainment Today

There are jewels of regional theatre spread across the country, and the Irish Classical Theatre is counted among them. Prominent in the burgeoning Buffalo Theatre District, Irish Classical Theatre is helping to draw people to the formerly dark sidewalks of a once-tired city.

Joe Orton’s “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” slyly balances edgy sexual innuendos and proclivities with more traditional British humo(u)r. Written in the mid-1960s as fresh voices were being given a broader platform, the play pricked up many ears and bushy eyebrows with its brashness.

Indeed, when it came time for The Beatles to move to the big screen, they hired Orton to write a screenplay. The results were too edgy for the then squeaky clean Liverpudlians to pursue. (That did not stop George Harrison from later underwriting various Monty Python film projects).

At the Irish Classical Theatre, Anthony J. Grande plays the titular character. As a rather louche chap, perhaps hiding from the law, Mr. Sloane is seeking new digs. Grande does a good job evoking what is needed to appeal to the landlord Kath (Kelli Bocock-Natale) and alternately to her brother Ed (Stan Klimecko). The siblings’ father (Gerry Maher) has little affection for his son or Mr. Sloane; the father’s homophobia undoubtedly standing in for society at large.

The roles of the siblings are well-assayed. Indeed, the brother and sister characters are crucial to the play’s success. As a four hander, the script calls for deft interaction among the actors. Kath is a rather lonely and somewhat clueless zaftig, whom Mr. Sloane quickly seduces. The more worldly brother equally sees Mr. Sloane as a younger boy he wants nearer. Klimecko is excellent in his shifting forgiveness and ruthlessness.

The laughs come often and solidly, and with little dialogue reference to the era in which it was written, the play works decades after I first saw it.
The set (by David Dwyer) is laid out cleverly, allowing for three exits through the audience surrounding the apartment flat.

With crisp direction by Greg Natale and a solid command of script by the quartet of actors, Irish Classical Theatre has a hit on its hands.

4 Stars (out of 4) “‘Mr. Sloane’ is perverse, cynical joy” – Anthony Chase, The Buffalo News

Published June 15, 2019|Updated June 15, 2019

… From the first moment of the play, when Kelli Bocock-Natale races onto the stage as sexually frustrated “Kath,” the world of Joe Orton explodes onto the stage of the Andrews Theatre in all its joyfully perverse and cynical glory.

Click here to read full review, including historical context.

In “Entertaining Mr. Sloane,” middle-aged “Kath” meets young and handsome “Mr. Sloane” and brings him home, ostensibly as a potential boarder. What ensues is a story of socially inappropriate sexual desires run amok.

Both Kath and her closeted brother Ed, played by Stan Klimecko, are sexually attracted to Mr. Sloane. They become obsessed with him and competitive for his attention. Meanwhile, their father, played by Gerry Maher, recognizes Mr. Sloane, as the young hustler who murdered his boss. Given Mr. Sloane’s assets, this possibility does not concern anybody else too much. This collision of sexual desire, criminality, and sheer absurdity, characterizes the small but enormously influential dramatic output of Joe Orton.

Director Greg Natale has assembled a dream cast for this production.

To begin, Kelli Bocock-Natale is a comic genius … Her facial expressions, her gestures, her intonations, and her impeccable timing combine to create a work of hilarious wonder … Beneath a façade of guileless vulnerability, she is a shark. We delight in her every word and double take – the way she walks, the way she cries, the way she manipulates her world to satisfy her inappropriate and insatiable desires.

Coming from his recent triumph as sleazy Cosmo Vittelli in the Torn Space Theater adaptation of John Cassavetes’ “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie,” actor Stan Klimecko seems to have trademarked onstage creepiness. As Ed, the way he exudes perverse delight while leering at Mr. Sloane simultaneously makes our skin crawl and triggers uncontrollable giggles. He embodies the character wholly and convincingly …

Costume designer Vivian DelBello has served these actors exceptionally well with clothes that amplify their characters brilliantly: Bocock-Natale in an alternately array of fashions for housewifery and for the boudoir; Klimecko in attire that speaks to both his sleaziness and his social pretentions.

Buffalo’s consummate character actor, Gerry Maher, is ideal in the role of “Kemp,” the father who represents the doomed voice of truth and reason in the demented world of this play. He deploys his pint-sized feistiness with fervor, and squeezes every drop of comedy and horror from the script.

Finally, Anthony J. Grande is hilarious as sociopathic and opportunistic, yet irresistibly charismatic Mr. Sloane. He is the bleached blond blank slate onto which Kath and Ed project their unfulfilled desires, and Grande gives a wonderfully underplayed performance.

Natale’s direction makes excellent use of the circular Andrews Theatre space. The production moves briskly, and gives these expert comic actors space to breath life into their roles. The play remains fresh, and while it may no longer be shocking, it still inspires irreverent joy.

“Entertaining Mr. Sloane”
4 stars (out of four)

“masterfully staged … visceral … a ‘Hamlet’ to remember” – Ann Marie Cusella, buffalo vibe

Posted April 29, 2019
From the moment Hamlet begins, in darkness with only a weak light from the soldier Francisco’s lantern as he creeps around the perimeter of the stage/castle on his nightly rounds, the audience is completely engaged in the action on stage. We immediately enter the dark and troubled world that is Elsinore Castle, and The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

Director Kate LoConti Alcocer and her team have masterfully staged this Hamlet with a clear and unified vision that is truly compelling. She creates a visceral experience from minute one that only intensifies as the tragedy unfolds. She constructs images that blend the talents of the actors, sound, set, lighting, and costume designers to produce an emotional experience that will not soon be forgotten. For instance…

In Act One, when Hamlet and Ophelia first meet upon Hamlet’s return to Elsinore, they stand across the stage from one another, awkward and unsure. The music then suddenly heightens into a romantic orchestral piece. They rush to each other center stage, a spotlight bathing them while they passionately kiss. Then the moment is over. The music stops. They return to their places, awkward and unsure. Costumed by Jessica Wegrzyn in modern, but not contemporary dress, they are like the lovers in a 1950s movie, circumstantially separated and full of repressed desire. This short scene speaks volumes about the power of imagery to swiftly expose true feelings and desires. Certainly not in the original production, it nevertheless feels like an integral part of the play. Other images in the play also produce this effect.

Hamlet, Shakespeare’s longest play, is full of words, words, words—some of the most famous in the English language. In just over three hours including intermission, many of those words are spoken by the Prince himself. So as the prince goes, so goes the play.

Anthony Alcocer (a close relative of the Director) is a terrific Hamlet. From his petulant school boy, I’m-not-even-going-to-look-at-you-Claudius entrance, to his final words, Mr. Alcocer embodies the grief-stricken, angry, confused, heart-broken young man who is ripped to shreds by the loss of his father, by his mother’s betrayal, and then by the demands of his father’s ghost. His emotions are heart-wrenching, palpable. He is completely committed, completely open, never holds back, and has great range of feeling. He passionately expresses his rage and grief, then quietly contemplates the sadness that underlies them. He horrifies himself and everyone else by his deliberately vicious treatment of Ophelia. He is tortured and confused by not knowing if the ghost is his father or a manifestation of the Devil. He is tormented by his love for his mother and his anger at her betrayal. He nostalgically, almost sweetly, tells Horatio about his childhood memories of Yorick. He makes a flippant, offhand remark with a sardonic smile, and is then in a rage a moment later. His initial laughter and joy at the beginning of the sword competition with Laertes in the denouement is a window into what might have been for this young prince, raised by loving parents to become king. I can only think how exhausting and exhilarating an experience this Hamlet must be for the very talented Mr. Alcocer, who in an interview stated this is the role he has most wanted to play.

He is surrounded and supported by an excellent cast that are very much up to the mark in this challenging play.

Anna Krempholtz comes into her own as Ophelia when she is attacked by Hamlet and goes mad after the death of Polonius. She makes a very believable grief-stricken young woman driven insane by Hamlet’s abuse and her father’s death, singing and dancing, playing the flute, handing out herbs and flowers while she sinks deeper into despair.

Rolando Martin Gómez is very otherworldly indeed in his role as the Ghost. Without even the benefit of creepy makeup, he moves as one too tired to lift his foot, with a slight reverb in his voice that enhances his ghostly speech. Later he is all laughter and mirth as the Player King.

Chris Kelly is excellent as Polonius, the verbose counselor to the king and father of Ophelia and Laertes. He expertly expounds at length on matters that are often contradictory. He also has fun with his small role as the Gravedigger, using an accent that would require subtitles were this play a movie.

Kristin Tripp Kelly is an elegant Gertrude who keeps her emotions in check until her love for her tormented son overcomes her reticence.

Matt Witten plays Claudius as a calculating and restrained villain, who shows little passion and whose one, dark-night-of-the-soul moment is quickly replaced by his next nefarious plan to solidify his position.

Adam Yellen is a great, loving friend as Horatio, and Patrick Cameron as Laertes is very good as he expresses his love for Hamlet after his rage at him over the death of Polonius. Peter S. Raimondo and Jake Hayes round out this excellent cast as the spies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and others.

The fight scenes, choreographed by Adam Rath, are realistic and scary. Lighting Design by Brian Cavanagh and Sound Design by Tom Makar enchance the entire production while never overwhelming the action, as in the eerie sounds and weak lighting in the opening scene. Jessica Wegrzyn’s set intensifies the sense of things being all awry, as mismatched chairs are strewn about, an old ladder leans up against a table, paint cans act as stools. These are all inside a three-sided wooden structure without walls, everything unfinished. Her costumes aid in defining the characters, from Gertrude’s stunning blue satin gown, to the Ghost’s long grey double-breasted overcoat hanging loose on his shoulders, to Horatio’s preppy V-neck sweater and Hamlet’s completely black ensemble.

The expressions and movements of the actors are in very close proximity to the audience in the small, intimate space of the Andrews Theatre. Souls are laid bare for all to see and absolutely nothing is held back. Kate LoConti Alcocer has given us a Hamlet to remember.

Kudos to all.

You can see it at Irish Classical Theatre Company in the Andrews Theatre through May 19th.

3-1/2 Stars – “Excellent directing, depth of talent … make ‘Hamlet’ a hit” – The Buffalo News

by Randy Schiff, The Buffalo News
3-1/2 Stars (out of 4)

“… With excellent directing and a well-edited script that remains true to Shakespeare while keeping the action flowing briskly, Kate LoConti Alcocer offers an outstanding ‘Hamlet..’

A great strength of this production is the depth and talent of its cast. Chris Kelly is consistently engaging as the smarmy and insufferable Polonius, while Adam Yellen provides both balance and humor as Hamlet’s level headed university friend, Horatio …

This ‘Hamlet’ is enriched by actors who, in playing multiple roles give the production the spirit of Renaissance theatre. Peter Raimondo and Jake Hayes are … superb as the comically inept spies, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern … Rolando Martin Gomes is compelling, both as the sublimely sorrowful ghost of Hamlet’s father, and as the bright-eyed traveling actor who charms Hamlet. Patrick Cameron is excellent as Laertes …

Exuding both intense emotions and biting wit, Anthony Alcocer delivers a riveting performance … Alcocer offers an edgy Hamlet … When not brooding over his twisted family or the brutishness of reality, Alcocer’s Hamlet electrifies us with his intense interactions with friends and foes alike …

(Anna) Krempholtz (as Ophelia) … gives a breathtaking performance as her plaintive songs, wild words and frantic gestures channel the heartbreaking depths of despair …

Read full review here.

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! ICTC Lecture Series continues 05/18, 2PM with Dr. Barbara Bono on “Hamlet”

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!  SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2PM … Renowned Shakespearean scholar, Dr. Barbara Bono, will present a Talk entitled: “Hamlets and Your Hamlet: A Conversation about Famous Hamlets, the ICTC Hamlet, and Your Hamlet” at the Irish Classical Theatre Company in collaboration with its production of “Hamlet.”

The Talks will be held at ICTC Sunday, May 12 at approximately 4:30 PM, following the Matinee performance at 2PM; and Saturday, May 18 at 2 PM, prior to the Matinee performance at 3PM. Both will be presented at ICTC’s Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street, Buffalo, in the heart of Buffalo’s Theatre District.  Tickets to these two and other performances are available at: https://irishclassical.com/hamlet/.

If you think about it, pretty much everybody has a Hamlet. The most famous text of western literature after the Bible, a play full of questions which literally beings with the challenge “Who’s there?”, we have all heard something about it, and some of us think we know it very well indeed. Deeply contemplative but driven by revenge, political and skeptical, misogynist and Oedipal, melancholic and very funny, it challenges us with its twists and contradictions. And then there are the performances, in a stage tradition extending from Richard Burbage in Shakespeare’s own day to Benedict Cumberbatch in ours, and including film versions from Laurence Olivier through Nicol Williamson and Mel Gibson to Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant, and Ethan Hawke. The Irish Classical Theatre Company’s new production of the play offers audiences a chance to think yet again about what is their Hamlet, and to talk it over before or after the play with UB Shakespearean Dr. Barbara Bono.

“Hamlet” is directed by Kate LoConti Alcocer and stars Anthony Alcocer as “Hamlet.”

Brief Biography:
Barbara Bono, Associate Professor in the UB Departments of English and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, has been an all-purpose Shakespearean for over 40 years now, studying and teaching his works in both their historical and theoretical contexts but also in performance and film adaptations. In addition to her scholarly credentials, she has received several teaching and mentoring awards and has, for twenty years, been UB’s representative to the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. In 2016 she organized the year-long region-wide commemorative celebration, Buffalo Bard 2016: 400 Years Since Shakespeare, and, as a regular subscriber to the Irish Classical Theatre, is delighted to have been asked to participate in this behind-the-scenes and across-the-boards collaboration

ICTC announces transition of Artistic Leadership

Vincent O’Neill, Artistic Director of the Irish Classical Theatre Company, and Kevin C. Brady, President of ICTC’s Board of Trustees, today announced its plans for a transition in Artistic Leadership and an exciting vision for the company’s future. The transition will commence in the 2019-2020 Season and culminate during the celebration of ICTC’s 30th Anniversary Season in 2020-2021.

Vincent O’Neill will remain ICTC’s Artistic Director, and Kate LoConti Alcocer, actor, director, administrator and educator, will join the Irish Classical Theatre Company as Associate Artistic Director on June 1, 2019.

For the first three months of the transition period, Ms. LoConti Alcocer will work closely with ICTC Producing Director Fortunato Pezzimenti on all administrative functions of the company. Then, for one full Season (September 2019 through June 2020), she will work in tandem with and under the supervision of Vincent O’Neill on all artistic and production aspects of the Company.

Subsequent to the successful completion of this extended mentoring period, Ms. LoConti Alcocer will become Executive Artistic Director on July 1, 2020, with absolute discretion, independence and authority in all artistic and production matters of the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Kate LoConti Alcocer to the Irish Classical Theatre Company’s creative team,” said O’Neill. “Discussions about her role in the Company and her vision for the future of ICTC began in May 2018 and came to fruition with the enthusiastic approval of ICTC’s Board of Trustees on September 2018, This calibrated transition in Artistic leadership will allow the Irish Classical Theatre Company to move forward seamlessly into 2020 and beyond with Ms. LoConti Alcocer at the helm,” he continued.

“I first knew Kate as Freshman acting student at U.B. and have followed her stellar career ever since – from her MFA at Columbia University to her work with Shattered Globe Company in Chicago, and the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres. She has earned an exceptional reputation as a first-class actress on many stages in Western New York, including 14 leading roles at ICTC.
But beyond all of her qualifications and experience, what made me feel totally comfortable in handing over the reins is the extraordinary person that she is: her talent, intelligence, artistry, passion, commitment, energy, and above all her absolute love for her art, and her total dedication to high standards in acting, directing and design,” O’Neill concluded.

Founded in 1990 by Vincent O’Neill, Josephine Hogan, the late Chris O’Neill and the late Dr. James Warde, the Irish Classical Theatre Company is currently producing its 28th Season of plays at the highest level of artistic excellence for the audiences of Western New York, Southern Ontario and beyond.

The Irish Classical Theatre Company is located at the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main Street in the heart of Buffalo’s Theatre District.
Succession planning support by the Cullen Foundation.