Blackfriars Theatre Announces 2017-18 Season

Blackfriars Theatre Announces 2017-18 Season

One production still remains in Blackfriars Theatre's 67th Season: Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's classic American drama about Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine. The 2016-2017 Season saw unprecedented growth with the addition of Mary Tiballi Hoffman as Blackfriars' new Development Manager, the launch of the Blackfriars Theatre Summer Intensive training program for high school and college theatre artists, and upgrades to the theatre with brand new seats and a new sound system.

The 2017-2018 Season plans to build on that momentum with the Theatre's biggest season yet! With three musicals, a Shakespearean comedy, an original collaboration with PUSH Physical Theatre, and two riveting American dramas, this season has something for everyone! We're also partnering with local organizations and charities on each production in order to expand the Theatre's reach while giving back to the Rochester community. From post-show panel discussions to book drives to free tickets for charity organizations, we'll be engaging the community and our patrons in new and meaningful ways.

We will continue our artistic, educational and community partnerships with Nazareth College's Visual Communications Design Program, showcasing the work of two new student designers this season: David DiPrimo (17-18 Season Designer) and Kristopher Kodweis (17-18 Special Events Designer). Our technical internship program with RIT's Theatre Department continues to offer students professional training in stage craft and stage management. Unleashed! Improv and Canary in a Coal Mine remain as the Blackfriars Comedy Series and Writers and Books will co-produce the 24-Hour Musical Theatre Festival next season. PUSH Physical Theatre is back at Blackfriars this Halloween with a new spin on a classic tale of horror and the Hourglass Play Reading Series continues to offer five challenging and important new plays.

New in the year ahead, Blackfriars will welcome Mrs. Kasha Davis and Aggy Dune - The Big Wigs! - to the Theatre for a full-year residence. The 17-18 Season will also feature a strong focus on female artists and storytelling, as well as new partnerships with community and cultural organizations as a way to support and promote diversity, creativity and strengthen empathy and humanity across our region. As the year unfolds, Blackfriars will announce more details on the growing partnerships and programs.

"As a female artist, I am thrilled that we're focusing on female stories and artists next season," said Development Manager, Mary Tiballi Hoffman. "It's vitally important to celebrate and support women in this industry, from actors and directors to designers, technicians and playwrights."

"Over the past two years Blackfriars has broadened its relationship with the Rochester community - continuing to provide challenging, engaging and quality theatre for our patrons and artists as well as championing local educational, community and artistic organizations with our new partnerships," adds Artistic and Managing Director, Danny Hoskins. "By increasing our cultural and artistic opportunities with more community outreach, more diverse local artistry and a continual dedication to important, bold and immediate storytelling, Blackfriars continues to be a key player, invigorating the cultural landscape of downtown Rochester."

In addition to our 17-18 Season announcement, we have launched a few new initiatives as well. Blackfriars recently launched the Triple Threat Raffle, a fun new way to generate additional income for the Theatre while offering our patrons the chance to walk away with some pretty incredible prizes. The 1st prize is $3,000 in cold, hard cash! Second prize is two lifetime subscriptions to Blackfriars Theatre - an awesome value for any theatre-lover! Third prize is a luxurious overnight in a suite at East Ave Inn & Suites, complete with wine, restaurant gift cards, and theatre tickets. Raffle tickets are $50 and we are only selling 200. The winners will be chosen at our final performance of Death of a Salesman on Sunday, May 21st and you don't have to be present to win. Tickets are also available via our website,, if you get suddenly struck by the urge to gamble at 2am.

We believe that everyone should have access to the performing arts and that often, those who may benefit most from seeing stories played out on stage are prevented from doing so by economic barriers or challenging life events. Thanks to support from an anonymous donor, Blackfriars Theatre will launch a Performance Pass with five local charities to provide 50 free tickets to the people they serve. We're thrilled to welcome clients from the YWCA, Gilda's Club, The Breast Cancer Coalition, Sojourner House and Women Sanctuary to experience our holiday production of Little Women, the Musical at absolutely no cost. We hope that they find comfort and inspiration in the heartfelt story of the March sisters. This is a special pilot program that we hope will gain traction and expand in the years ahead, attracting additional underwriters so we can offer even more tickets to members of the Rochester community who need them most.

Blackfriars Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theatre located on Rochester, NY's "Theatre Row". Free parking is available on site. Handicapped seating is available. For more information regarding Blackfriars Theatre, please visit their website at

2017-2018 SEASON


book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and WarRen Casey

July 7-16, 2017

Blackfriars Theatre Summer Intensive (BTSI), a training program for the next generation of artists, offers up the iconic musical about the duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies!" Relish in the sights and sounds of the 1950s with the iconic musical sensation that became the soundtrack of a generation!


by William Shakespeare

September 1-23, 2017

Blackfriars Theatre kicks off its 68th Season with a wild new take on the Bard's most popular comedy with an all-female production set in the roaring 20s! A shipwreck on a strange shore leaves Viola with fears her twin brother is dead. She is forced to build a new life on her own. Masquerading as a man (in her brother's clothes) in order to procure a job with Duke Orsino, she finds herself in the midst of a topsy-turvy love triangle. Magic, mayhem and mistaken identities come to the stage in Shakespeare's cherished romantic comedy of revelry, reunion and love.


conceived by PUSH Physical Theatre & written by Danny Hoskins

October 31-November 12, 2017

Experience globe-trotting, award-winning and mind-bending PUSH Physical Theatre's all new adaptation of the classic horror story through the eyes of Dracula's human-pet, Renfield. In his hunt for immortality, Renfield stumbles upon the Amulet of the Vampir, a lost jewel buried in the legend of Dracula, The MasteR. Caged in a cell and under the watchful eye of The Doctor, Renfield uncovers the secrets of eternal life as a mysterious Maiden arrives at the asylum. As the ties that bind the living and the dead begin to unravel, the lines between heroes and the devil begin to blur.


music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and book by Allan Knee

December 15-31, 2017

The beloved adventures of the four March sisters is brought to life in this vivid and stirring new musical! Meg, Beth and Amy March are inspired by their fearless and larger-than-life sister, Jo, as she weaves stories of romance, heartache, humor and their experiences growing up in Civil War America. Based on Louisa May Alcott's book, this timeless, captivating story filled with laughter, hope, and everlasting love is perfect for the entire family this Holiday Season.


by David Mamet

February 2-18, 2018

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning comedy is Mamet at his very best - writing about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers in a never-ending scramble for their share of the American Dream.


by Sarah Treem

March 23-April 8, 2018

In this powerfully poignant and moving new play, we find ourselves in 1972, before Roe v. Wade and the Violence Against Women Act. Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge.


music and lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez and book by Jeff Whitty

May 11-27, 2018

The laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that, although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart.




July 20-23, 2017 | October 13-15, 2017 | December 1-3, 2017

Return to the 50s, Trick'or'Treat at Halloween and celebrate the Holiday Season with Aggy Dune and Mrs. Kasha Davis as they kick off the first season of their residency. The Dueling Divas bring their signature Las Vegas style Drag Show to Blackfriars Theatre for the 2017-2018 Season. If you haven't seen a Big Wigs show, you're missing out on the extravagant, hilarious and lovable ladies and their dead-on impressions of all your favorite Divas; Cher, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler and many more!


Hourglass Play Reading Series is the in-house play reading series at Blackfriars Theatre and produces five readings over the course of a Season. HPRS continues to present readings of thoughtful, well-crafted plays that might not otherwise be produced in the Rochester area. Sandi Henschel is the Artistic Director with Associate Producers, Jodi Beckwith and Allison Roberts.

The Hourglass Play Reading Series productions are free with donations accepted at the door.


The BCS was created in 2015 with two of Rochester's premiere comedy groups: Unleashed! Improv and Canary in a Coal Mine, to bring the Blackfriars audience and the Rochester Community a full season of hysterical long form improv, original themed comedy specials and dark, irreverent sketch comedy!

The Blackfriars Comedy Series produces four late night events and two full weekend comedy shows.


In 2016, Blackfriars Theatre and Writers & Books unleashed a chaotic storm of creative possibilities with The 24 Hour Musical Theatre Festival. A huge hit in its inaugural production, The 24 Hour Musical Theatre Festival saw the creation of four brand new rollicking musicals and two witty and powerful new plays. You won't want to miss what we have in store for 2018! A favorite among artists and audiences world-wide, The 24 Hour Musical Theatre Festival is an exercise in theatrical survival as composers, playwrights, directors, actors, choreographers and musical directors gather to write, direct, rehearse and perform a new short musical or play in 24 hours!


September 14-23, 2017

Ten days of enthusiasm, creativity, energy, generosity and inspiring dedication to our Rochester community. Blackfriars Theatre is always honored and thrilled to be a host venue of The Keybank Rochester Fringe Festival!

2017-2018 Season Subscriptions are on sale now. Blackfriars offers five affordable and flexible options, ranging from $90 to $185. Every option offers our subscribers more savings than if they were to purchase single tickets. Full Season Subscriptions (regular and senior discounted) include all six season shows and range from $131 to $185 with exclusive benefits. Full Season Subscriptions are the only subscriptions that guarantee choice of show date and seating at time of purchase. They also include ticket insurance, which allows you free exchanges and the ability to redeem unused tickets. Flex Pass Subscriptions and the Show Day Pass give you added flexibility and a deeper discount. Three or four show Flex Passes ($90 or $120) allow you to pick and choose your titles from the six-show season. The Show Day Pass gives you the deepest discount for all six shows ($140) and allows you to book on the day-of only. For more information on subscribing to the 2017-2018 Season, please visit: If you have any questions about becoming a subscriber, please don't hesitate to contact the Box Office at (585) 454-1260.

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