Start The Season With A Laugh At Alleyway Theatre

Start The Season With A Laugh At Alleyway Theatre

Alleyway Theatre will present the world premiere of PHILOSOPHUS: OR ... A true and terrible recounting of the horrible events to befall one François-Marie Arouet, otherwise known as "Voltaire," at the vile hands of despotism and tyranny, as represented by Baron Franz von Freytag and his insidious persecution of said philosopher, which, over the course of a few weeks, dictated the fate of liberty and freedom in the historical trajectory of Western civilization by Colin Speer Crowley, directed by Neal Radice. Opening night is September 13, 2018. It is the company's first production of its 39th season dedicated to presenting new plays and musicals.


Yes, it's as absurd, off-beat and funny as it sounds. Voltaire, along with his trusted companion Collini, is on the run. It seems he has stolen a treasured notebook from Frederick The Great and the monarch's men have him surrounded in the German town of Frankfurt. A theatrical entertainment devised for only the stout of heart! Winner of the 2017 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition.

Playwright Colin Speer Crowley

Mr. Crowley is a playwright-lyricist who has written a variety of dramatic works, including three musicals, nine straight plays, a rock opera, and a few screenplays. His work has been presented throughout the United States, including California, Washington, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Louisiana, Colorado, Kentucky, Texas, and New Jersey. Plays and screenplays by Crowley have been winners or finalists in over 50 national and international contests since 2010 and songs to which he's written the lyrics have been performed in musical revues in London. Additionally, Crowley has had the pleasure of seeing his work performed in theatrical capitals on both sides of the Atlantic, including Off-Off-Broadway and London's Covent Garden. Crowley is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Lambs Club, the Playwright's Center, the New Play Exchange, and Phi Beta Kappa and also served as founder and President of the theatrical group Speerhead Theatricals, Inc..


Chris J Handley will star as the wickedly brilliant Voltaire. Mr. Handley has worked in theatre for over twenty years in Buffalo, New York City, and across the country as an actor, teacher, director, and producer. As producer and director, his work has earned four Artie nominations as he oversaw a dozen musicals, including two local premieres: Stephen Sondheim's SATURDAY NIGHT and Jason Robert Brown's THE LAST FIVE YEARS. He has worked as an actor on stage in new, classic, and contemporary plays and musicals, television commercials, an award-winning independent soap opera, over two years as an entertainer on a Mississippi riverboat, and numerous developmental workshops of new plays and musicals. Along the way, his colleagues included many current Broadway performers, and several TONY-nominees. Locally, he earned two Artie nominations for Best Actor in a Musical: ASSASSINS and Alleyway's REEFER MADNESS. As a teacher, he is on staff at the Broadway Mentors Program, has led various workshops on the craft, taught privately, and spent three years teaching BFA and BA theatre students Acting and Voice & Speech. Mr. Handley holds an MFA in Acting from Indiana University, and a BFA in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia. Mr. Handley is a member of Actors' Equity Association.

Also featured in the ensemble are Andrew Zuccari, James Cichocki, Christopher Standart and Emily Yancey.

Sets and lighting for PHILOSOPHUS will be designed by Neal Radice with properties and costumes by Artie winning costume designers Joyce Stilson and Todd Warfield.

September 13 - October 6, 2018
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM.
Curtain Up!, Friday, September 14 at 8:00 PM

Ticket Prices
$32/general admission; $16/students/industry.

Ticket Availability:

Online at or at the box office beginning 30 minutes before each performance. Pay-What-You-Can performance on Thursday, September 20 is on a rush basis only. Group rates available. Alleyway Theatre Box Office: 716-852-2600 x0.
Rated suitable for adults and teens.

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