Corporate records and publications from the Studio Arena Theatre (c. 1920-2008) in Buffalo, NY. Drama periodicals; ephemera; fundraising materials, including “Take a Seat”; newsletters; photographs; playbills; posters; production reports; publicity materials; reviews; scripts; slides and negatives; and VHS/CD.
218 linear feet
Scope and Content:
Corporate records and publications from the Studio Arena Theatre (c. 1920-2008) in Buffalo, NY. Drama periodicals; ephemera; fundraising materials, including “Take a Seat”; newsletters; photographs; playbills; posters; production reports; publicity materials; reviews; scripts; slides and negatives; and VHS/CD. Notable performances include: F. Murray Abraham in Scuba Duba, 1971; Christine Baranski in Hedda Gabler, 1987-88; Kathy Bates in Semmelweiss, 1977-78; Betty Buckley in A Very Private Life, 1976-77, Buffalo Gal 2001-02; Glenn Close in The Crucifer of Blood, 1977-78; Robert Costley in A Raisin in the Sun, 1962; Colleen Dewhurst in A Moon for the Misbegotten, 1965; Olympia Dukakis in The Rose Tattoo, 1965-66; Bonnie Franklin in Peter Pan, 1972-73; John Goodman in Lady of the Diamond, 1980-81; George Grizzard in Cyrano de Bergerac, 1966-67; Kelsey Grammer in Arms and the Man, 1983-84; Celeste Holm in Mama, 1971-72; Kim Hunter in Elizabeth the Queen, 1976-77; Richard Kline in Don't Talk to the Actors, 2007-08; Swoosie Kurtz in Other Voices, Other Rooms, 1973-74j; Nancy Marchand in Children, 1990-91; Eve McVeagh in Scuba Duba, 1971; Julianne Moore in The Dresser, 1983-84; Betsy Palmer in A Doll's House, 1975-76; Ving Rhames in Wait Until Dark, 1983-84; John Schuck in Harvey, 1994-95; Jon Voight in A Streetcar Named Desire, 1973-74; Christopher Walken in Lemon Sky, 1969-70; Paxton Whitehead in Springtime for Henry, 1996-97; James Whitmore in Last Love, 1989-90.
Biographical / Historical:
The Studio Arena Theatre was established as Studio Theatre in the 1920s and operated in a second floor lodge meeting hall on the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Anderson Place. In 1934, Studio Theatre moved to a concert hall on the second floor of the Teck Theatre, until that building was converted to a movie house three years later. Studio Theatre School was incorporated with the playhouse as an educational institution in 1936 under the New York State Board of Regents. In 1937, having purchased the former Universalist Church at 305 Lafayette, the Studio Theatre was at home there for many years.
In the early 1960s, the resident theatre movement was beginning, and Studio Theatre began its evolution into a professional equity theatre under the leadership of Neal Du Brock. In a mere forty-day transformation, the former Town Casino at 681 Main Street was transformed into the Buffalo's only not-for-profit professional regional theatre and was renamed Studio Arena Theatre in 1965. Studio Arena Theatre was a key player in the resident theater movement. Eventually it moved across the street into the former Palace Burlesque Theater at 710 Main Street in 1978 and became a cornerstone of the Buffalo Theater District. Studio Arena Theatre operated until 2008 when it closed citing $3 million in debt. It was reopened in 2012 under the new name 710 Main Street and under the management of Shea’s Performing Art Center. It was renamed again in 2016 as Shea’s 710 Theatre in an effort to clarify management.