Buffalo Theatre Ensemble Announces 2020/2021 Season

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE), the professional Equity company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center, is pleased to announce its 2020-2021 three-play season. The season will open with Mat Smart’s “Naperville” directed by BTE Ensemble member Kurt Naebig, and include Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” directed by Steve Scott and Richard Bean’s “One Man, Two Guvnors” directed by BTE Artistic Director Connie Canaday Howard.

“It is with great hope and optimism that we look forward to our 34th season. We know our audiences share our love of theater, an art form that uniquely allows us into others’ realities, enhancing understanding for our lives as well as others we had not before imagined. All three plays in our season provide heartwarming looks, sometimes touching and sometimes hysterical, at people on the brink of great change – themes that have never seemed more relevant than now,” said BTE Artistic Director Connie Canaday Howard.

BTE’s 2020-2021 three-play season will include the following:


By Mat Smart

Directed by Kurt Naebig

Featuring Ensemble Members

Kelli Walker, Rebecca Cox, Nick DuFloth and Robert Jordan Bailey

Sept. 10-Oct. 11; Preview Thursday, Sept. 10

Performances Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

It is Naperville, 2012. Anne works on a new project, T.C. is captaining the first shift as new manager and Candice and son Howard, back from Seattle, arrive at her favorite coffee spot: a Caribou. What follows is a day full of eccentricity, cups of coffee and affecting conversation creating a turning point that shows how community can add to your life. The New York Times says, “…everyone in this shop has a story, a loss, a regret, and Smart weaves their tales together adeptly.” This funny and moving play is a heartwarming salute to the moment we discover a new definition of home

Related free special events: Pre-show discussion with the director and designers 6:45-7:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10; Post-show discussion with director, actors and crew Friday, Sept.18.

“The Humans”

By Stephen Karam

Directed by Steve Scott

Featuring Ensemble Members Lisa Dawn and Robert Jordan Bailey

Jan. 28-Feb. 28; Preview Thursday, Jan. 28; Press Opening Friday, Jan. 29

Performances Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake brings his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s lower Manhattan apartment. As darkness falls outside the dilapidated pre-war duplex, spooky things go bump in the night and the family’s deepest fears and greatest idiosyncrasies become revealed. Part thriller and part kitchen-sink drama, this finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2016 Tony for Best Play creates what the Chicago Sun-Times calls a “delirious tragic-comedy.”

Related free special events: Pre-show discussion with the director and designers 6:45-7:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28; Post-show discussion with director, actors and crew Saturday, Feb 5.

“One Man, Two Guvnors”

By Richard Bean

Based on “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni and songs by Grant Olding Directed by Connie Canaday Howard

Featuring Ensemble Members Nick DuFloth, Rebecca Cox, Laura Leonardo Ownby, Kurt Naebig, Lisa Dawn and Norm Woodel

May 6-June 6; Preview Thursday, May 6; Performances Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.

The ever-starving Francis Henshall finds himself working for both a gangster and a criminal in hiding, both of whom are linked in a web of schemes, shakedowns and seductions. To prevent the discovery that he is working for two bosses, Francis must do everything he can to keep his two guvnors apart, while still getting food and the girl. Playwright Bean transports the commedia dell’arte conventions of the 1746 “The Servant of Two Masters” to the seaside town of Brighton in 1963. Daily Variety calls “One Man, Two Guvnors” “…sheer comic delirium.”

Related free special events: Pre-show discussion with the director and designers 6:45-7:15 p.m. Thursday, May 6; Post-show discussion with director, actors and crew May 14.

All BTE 2020-2021 season performances contain adult themes and language.

Tickets are currently on sale by subscription only. For a limited time (through May 31), subscribers purchasing tickets to all three productions in BTE’s season receive a 25% discount off individual show ticket prices. Those subscribing after May 31 will receive a 20% discount. Tickets for individual productions go on sale Aug. 1. Individual show tickets are $42. Please note: The MAC box office is currently working remotely in light of COVID-19 distancing directives. Anyone wishing to subscribe, should email bteorders@cod.edu or call 630.942.3008 to leave a message for the MAC box office staff who will call them back to take their order. They may also visit AtTheMAC.org to download an order form and mail it back to The McAninch Arts Center, P.O. Box 630, Glen Ellyn, IL, 60138 or fax it to 630.942.3905. For more information about the season, including extra seating and audience service protocols for the 2020-2021 season updates visit AtTheMAC.org.

About Buffalo Theatre Ensemble

The mission of Buffalo Theatre Ensemble is to provide a forum in which artists, scholars, writers, students and community members explore new ideas and provocative issues through the production of high-quality theater for the enjoyment of its audiences. Since 1986 BTE has staged more than 117 productions. For more information about BTE visit btechicago.com.

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble is partially supported and funded by generous grants from The DuPage Foundation, The Norm Woodel Inspiration Fund, The Illinois Arts Council, and a gift from Dr. Thomas R. Scott and the late Shirley Klein Scott of Glen Ellyn through the College of DuPage Foundation.

About The McAninch Arts Center

The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355. It houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), the outdoor Lakeside Pavilion, plus the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 100,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.

The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community.

Special MAC 2020-2021 Season Protocols

The MAC staff is working hard in multiple capacities to ensure the MAC is a safe place for the community. Special procedures include offering the option of an empty seat between parties, and providing all subscribers with a cloth mask; rigorous cleaning and sanitizing of the theaters, lobby and restrooms before and after each show; providing hand sanitizer stations positioned throughout the facility; scanning patron tickets so no touching is required to tear tickets; emailing digital versions of the handbills to audience members in advance; allowing patrons to pre-order concessions and installation of safety screens at the box office and concessions and marked spots in lobby to encourage social distancing. For more information visit AtTheMAC.org.

The MAC’s 2020-2021 Season is made possible in part with support by Follett, L.L. Bean, Doubletree by Hilton Lisle/Naperville, WDCB 90.9 FM, DuPage Foundation and the College of DuPage Foundation. Programs at the MAC are partially supported through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency