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Batavia Players

April 26, 2020 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, arts, entertiament, Batavia Players.
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Avey Williams reads Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess. Avey is associated with Batavia Players.

April 23, 2020 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, video, Batavia Players.
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Jane Burk reads "Reflections on Man" from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare. Burk is a member of Batavia Players.

April 16, 2020 - 10:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, video, Batavia Players.
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Wendy Williams reads "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas. Williams is a member of Batavia Players.

Below, a video analysis of the poem.

April 13, 2020 - 10:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, Batavia Players, video, arts, entertainment.
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Jessica Hill, an artist in residence with Batavia Players, reads William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

April 11, 2020 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, Batavia Players.
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Two poems by Harold Pinter read by Rodrigo Beilfuss, artistic director of Shakespeare in the Ruins in Manitoba, Canada, and an artist in residence at the Harvester 56 Theater.

April 8, 2020 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, news, video.
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Dorothy Gerhart reads Robert Frost -- "The Exposed Nest." Gerhart is a member of Batavia Players.

April 7, 2020 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, news, video.
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Jane Burk reads Dylan Thomas "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Burk is a member of Batavia Players.

If you would like to read a poem, please send a video of you reading a favorite poem to:   [email protected]

April 5, 2020 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, news, video, Batavia Players.
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Our second poem posted today because I didn't get to it on Friday and Saturday. Tonight, Wendy Williams reads Sonnet 43, "How Do I Love Thee," by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Williams is a member of Batavia Players.

You, too, can read a poem for us on The Batavian. Submit your video to [email protected]

April is National Poetry Month.

April 5, 2020 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, news.
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Pat Burk reads Cat Morgan introduces himself by T.S. Eliot.

Burk is the executive director of Batavia Players and helped recruit members of Harvester 56 Theater to provide us these poetry readings.

April is National Poetry Month. 

T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite poets. In his classic, "The Waste Land," Eliot began with the observation, "April is the cruelest month."

April 2, 2020 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, National Poetry Month, Batavia Players, video, news.
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April is National Poetry Month and so, as we shelter in place, The Batavian will strive to bring a little light into your life with poetry.

This morning, we present Emilio Viera reading Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare. Viera is a member of Harvester 56 Theater/Batavia Players.

We welcome your contribution to our daily video posting. Submit a video of yourself reading a favorite poem to [email protected]

Tonight at 8 o'clock, The Batavian is hosting a live poetry reading featuring three Western New York poets, Scott W. Williams, Maria Sebastian, and Christopher M. Waide. Here's a link to the YouTube live stream so you can set a reminder for yourself to watch.

Below is a video from YouTube about Sonnet 29.

April 1, 2020 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, National Poetry Month, news, video, Batavia Players.
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April is National Poetry Month and so, as we shelter in place, The Batavian will strive to bring a little light into your life with poetry.

We intend to post a video of a poetry reading every day throughout April. Mostly, the poems will be read by community members. We turned to Harvest 56 Theater and the Batavia Players for poetry readings, and have several videos in the queue already but we invite you to make a video of you reading one of your favorite poems, as well. Email your video to:  [email protected]

We will also supplement these posts with some of my favorite videos related to poetry on YouTube.

Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., The Batavian is hosting a live poetry reading featuring three Western New York poets, Scott W. Williams, Maria Sebastian, and Christopher M. Waide. Here's a link to the YouTube live stream so you can set a reminder for yourself to watch.

Our first poem of the series is "Hope is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson, read by Malloryann Flanagan, a member of Batavia Players.

Below is a video essay about one of Emily Dickinson's poems that I highly recommend.

February 11, 2020 - 3:00pm

One act play festival celebrating Thornton Wilder. LOVE AND HOW TO CURE IT; QUEENS OF FRANCE; SUCH THINGS ONLY HAPPEN IN BOOKS.
One of America’s most prolific and honored playwrights. Thornton Wilder is known for his amazing stories and interesting characters. This one act play festival will delve into three of his most heartwarming and endearing one acts. 

By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Heather Ferris, Erin Hodge & Walker Kapral. Friday, February 28th & Saturday, February 29th at 7:30pm, Sunday, March 1st at 2pm.
Tickets: Adults $16; Students/Seniors $15. Click here to purchase tickets.

January 16, 2020 - 12:00pm

"Our Town" -- tickets on sale now! Please join the Batavia Players for this  American classic. The lives of a small New Hampshire town at the beginning of the 19th century. A warm and loving look at the people and the day to day activities in Grovers Corners. A true treasure of American theater staged in a traditional but unique way. By Thornton Wilder. Directed by Patrick D. Burk.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24th & Saturday, Jan. 25th, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26th. Tickets: Adults $16, Students/Seniors $15.

November 14, 2019 - 12:00pm

A Charles Dickens Christmas -tickets on sale now! Please join the Batavia Players for this tender and poignant musical on how Charles Dicken’s life was inspired and shaped while writing one of his most famous stories.  Jam packed with holiday favorites as well as some incredible new music, this is a must-see production for the holiday season featuring a wide ranging in age cast.  A truly gracious and wonderful way to end our 2019 season and to bring about some holiday cheer! Directed by Patrick Burk. Musical Direction by Kathy White

7:30 PM Friday, December 13th & Saturday, December 14th Friday, December 20th & Saturday, December 21st
2:00 PM Sunday, December 15th
Tickets Adults $15 Students/Seniors $13


October 22, 2019 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in theater, Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

What happens when you bring brilliant writing and wonderful actors together? This Nov. 8th and 9th at 7:30 p.m., the Batavia Players and the Harvester 56 Theater will be answering that question as they perform "Off Our Rockers," two one-act plays that are both insightful and hilarious in nature.

"Off Our Rockers" consists of the plays "Laundry & Bourbon" and "I’m Herbert." They were written as part of two separate collections and this is the first time that they will be presented together.

Starring in "I’m Herbert" is perennial actor and local internationally known artist Kevin Partridge (inset photo left) and longtime Players' actress Dorothy Gerhart (inset photo below, right). Both Gerhart and Partridge are recipients of the Performance of the Year Award at the Harvester 56 Theater and they are two of this area’s premier actors. They have appeared on stage in many memorable roles and are a consistent part of the Batavia Players acting troupe.

In "I’m Herbert" their characters are Muriel and Herbert, two octogenarians that recall their lives together and apart with hilarity. The short one-act play looks at the life of the fun-loving couple in their advanced years as they reflect on their former glory days.

Michele Stamp (inset photo below, left) Emily Crawford (inset photo bottom left) and Kathy Johns (inset photo bottom right), who have also been nominated for acting awards and have portrayed many of the theater's most memorable characters, will be bringing to life the one act play "Laundry & Bourbon."

This play also wraps itself around small trailer park life and the highs and lows of loves found, lost and forgotten.

Stamp has been memorable in her award- winning portrayal of Martha in "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe," while Johns is best remembered as Joanne in "Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean."

Crawford, who also works on many of the technical aspects of the show, played the mother Marmee March in the musical "Little Women." All have appeared on stage many times over the eight-year history of the Harvester 56 Theater.

“This is a very special cast with a tremendous amount of talent and stage presence,” said "Off Our Rockers" Director E. Jane Burk.

“They each bring such a dimension to the stage regardless of what role they are playing, but in this show, they are indeed special.”

Both of these well-written plays have been perennial favorites of the short-play set.

This is the first time they have been presented by the Harvester 56 Theater and the Batavia Players. There are only two performances and tickets are available at the Box Office.

October 22, 2019 - 11:39am

Press release:

The Batavia Players are entering the Holiday Season by presenting a truly wonderful Christmas story, "A Charles Dicken’s Christmas." This musical is a highly original take on "A Christmas Carol" that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the holiday classic.

The theater company will be looking for actors and singers between the ages of 8 to senior. Rehearsals are slated to begin the first full week of November.  Auditions will be 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1st and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2nd.

Those interested should check out the Batavia Players website at bataviaplayers.org. Information about auditioning is available on that website.

“This is a great musical for the whole family as well as a wonderful show for someone who may want to try being a part of live theater,” Director Patrick Burk said. “It allows for a wide array of talent, ages and characters as well as some traditional Victorian music and well know Christmas carols.

In the musical, Charles Dickens attempts to provide his publisher with a Christmas story that he promised to write but keeps coming up short. With the aid of his artistic muse, Dickens faces – and comes to terms with – his own troubled youth, learning the true meaning of Christmas and finding the inspiration for his immortal holiday classic.

This humorous and sentimental show is pure family entertainment. Each character in this small cast plays a large part in telling the alternate story of Charles Dickens.

Its rich musical score is sure to put the holiday cheer into every member of the audience. The show will also include a Victorian Christmas chorus as well as some dance and choreography elements. The cast will number approximately 25.

"A Charles Dickens Christmas" is written by Robert Owens Scott with music by Douglas J. Cohen and Tom Toce. It is presented by arrangement through Music Theater International (MTI).

October 16, 2019 - 9:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, news, city centre, dri, batavia.

A slightly revised lease for property owned by the City of Batavia in the mall for Batavia Players got a renewed objection by Councilman Bob Bialkowski and as was the case in February of 2018, Bialkowski was the lone dissenting vote to approve the lease.

Bialkowski objected to the lease at Tuesday night's council meeting, he said, because it didn't address issues he said were typically in commercial leases -- such as provision for a dumpster, snow removal, parking, after-hour usage, and utilities.

He said the lack of clarity on these issues could lead to a lawsuit against the city and that since it is the first of what may be more leases of city property in the mall, the right precedent needs to be set.

"In my opinion, a good lease makes for good business," Bialkowski said.

He made a motion to rewrite the lease but it failed for lack of a second.

City Attorney George Van Ness said the only change in the lease was an extension of the term in order to meet state requirements for Downtown Revitalization Funds.

The proposal by Batavia Players to move the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue to 35 City Centre -- the former Dent Neurological Clinic office, between Genesee Dental and The Insurance Center -- at a total cost of $901,750, was approved by the governor's office as part of the $10 million DRI award to the City of Batavia last year. The state grant will cover $701,750 of the construction costs.

Van Ness said if the city renegotiated the lease to the degree Bialkowski proposed, the past year's worth of work with the state to get final approval for the project would be lost and the process would start from the beginning.

"This is a standard commercial lease," Van Ness said. "It's been used in the past for other properties. It's been approved by Dent counsel. It's been reviewed and approved by counsel for Batavia Players as well as the Department of State.

"So respectfully, it's a standard lease in terms and received prior approval by the council on February 12th, 2018. Many of these same questions were asked and answered at that point in time. They were addressed and council voted at that point seven to one in favor of the lease."

Councilman Paul Viele, a contractor and commercial property owner, told his fellow council members that the lease is a standard "triple net."

A triple net lease means the tenant assumes responsibility for not just the rent, but also all other property expenses such as property tax, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

"I don't think anyone understands that they (Batavia Players) are responsible for most of everything that Bob raises as an issue," Viele said.

The council approved the lease on a 7-1 vote, with Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian absent.

October 16, 2019 - 12:21pm

Press release:

The Batavia Players and the Harvester 56 Theater are pleased to announce that they will be offering Theater and Acting Master Classes over this Thanksgiving weekend.

The classes will be conducted by Emilio Viera, an award-winning Toronto-based actor.

Classes offered are:

  • Unlocking Shakespeare: Breaking Down the Text -- 1 to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29
  • Unarmed Stage Combat 101 -- 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 30
  • Unlocking Shakespeare: Monologue Workshop -- 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30

Each class has a limited attendance and will be on a first-come first-serve basis. The cost of each three-hour class will be $75, or take all three for $180.

All classes will be limited in attendance and be on a first-come first-serve basis.

“This is an exciting and wonderful opportunity for all our local actors," said Patrick Burk, executive and artistic director of the Harvester 56 Theater. "Emilio is an amazing performer that has an incredible presence on stage. His ability to work with all ages and provide a solid Master Class Program makes him ideal for our theater community.”

Emilio Viera has been featured in "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Measure for Measure" with the Canadian Stage’s critically acclaimed Shakespeare in High Park. Other classical credits include "Titus Andronicus" and "As You Like It" (Canadian Stage), and "Romeo and Juliet" (Guild Festival Theatre).

His performances at the National Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, Canada have included several roles in "The Tempest," "Coriolanus," "Twelfth Night" and "Macbeth."

He has also appeared in "Romeo and Juliet" (Guild Festival Theatre.) Viera was part of the original cast of Hannah Moscovitch’s "Bunny" at the Stratford Festival. This past year he was part of the original cast of Andrew Kushnir’s "Towards Youth" at the Crows Theatre in association with Project Humanity.

In 2016, he became one of the youngest recipients of The Peter Donaldson Award at The Stratford Festival, which recognizes an actor with ability in classical texts.

Always game for a candid discussion about the work, Viera enjoys participating in theater education whether it be as a student or a teacher. He is looking forward to being part of the Harvester 56 Theater family and providing classes to the actors that are a part of this exciting regional theater.

Actors interested in any of the classes should contact Patrick Burk at:  [email protected]

Enrollment sheets and payments can be made at the Harvester 56 Theater Box Office, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, or they can be sent to: Patrick Burk, Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, NY 14020.

September 25, 2019 - 3:00pm

Visit our website for a schedule of all of our upcoming shows and special events. (www.BataviaPlayers.org)

Harvester 56 Theater, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia


The mission of Batavia Players Inc. is to bring affordable theater to the community by making theater accessible to everyone with a variety of quality productions, to enhance artistic growth of participants and encourage audiences to think, feel and develop an appreciation for theater.

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