The Kavinoky Theatre opened in the 1980-81 season, but the idea for it was born a decade earlier during a production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" on the original, unrestored theatre stage.
Under the artistic direction of David Lamb, the idea was two-fold:
1. To form a local company of paid professional actors to produce a subscription season of plays and to work as an ensemble along the lines of traditional repertory company.
2. To raise money through the auspices of D'Youville College to restore the small Edwardian gem of a theatre to serve as a home for the company.
The 1970's were spent producing in the Porter-View Room under the company name of Stage Centre. At that time we were the only locally producing professional theatre company in Buffalo since Studio Arena cast from New York. By 1979 we had a healthy balance in the bank of $11,000 and the D'Youville Capital Campaign to restore the theatre under the leadership of Edward Kavinoky was completed.
Restoration and refurbishing work was completed in time for the 1980-81 Season, the theatre was renamed The Kavinoky. Our first production was Sleuth, featuring Brian LaTulip and David Lamb and was successful enough to sell out and double our production fund (at $3 per ticket!!).
The Kavinoky Company has produced over 160 shows in the last 35 years and has earned a reputation for consistently high-quality productions, a solid subscriber base of 2,500 and has received more awards than any other theatre in Buffalo.
During the past 35 years, The Kavinoky has had a seminal influence on the growth of live theatre in Buffalo. Most of the leading area actors had their start at The Kavinoky, as did many of the Artistic Directors. When we began we were alone; there are now over thirty producing organizations in town! We are justifiably proud of this record. There are now more patrons attending live theatre than ever before in the city's history, but there are also many more options. This is why we need a new and strong board to help us continue our vision and maintain the company concept that has led to past successes.