Buffalo Theatre Ensemble will continue as a resident theater company at the College of DuPage.
At their April 19 board meeting, COD trustees approved a two-year agreement running from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020, for the continuation of Buffalo Theatre Ensemble as a resident theater company at the college, and continued funding of the ensemble at a decreasing scale for a total of $225,000 for the term of the two-year agreement.
Since returning to COD, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble has exceeded expectations. In the first year of the ensemble returning to the campus, the ensemble generated ticket sales of $144,345, exceeding projections of $97,500 in ticket sales.
The ensemble also raised $75,645 in funds, exceeding projections of $33,785.
COD residents, students and faculty members spoke at the meeting in support of the ensemble. Mike McCoy of Glen Ellyn urged the Board of Trustees to renew its agreement with the group.
“You provide terrific cultural activities for us as residents of the Glen Ellyn area,” McCoy said in addressing trustees.
COD Faculty Association President Richard Jarman heralded the opportunities the ensemble provides for students.
“You have seen the financial targets hit, but I wanted to highlight the student engagement data: 450 to 500 students directly engaged in BTE each season, 52 students working on BTE productions, and other items besides,” Jarman said. “BTE provides the kinds of co-curricular activities that sets COD apart from the norm.”
In September 2016, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble presented its first production in three years. The majority of COD trustees in April 2016 voted to support a plan to bring the theater group back to the campus.
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, founded in 1986, previously had operated out of the McAninch Arts Center. The group had been on a hiatus after being told it would no longer get any in-kind support from the college, including subsidized rent and front-of-house services, as the college sought a more financially viable presence for the MAC.
Although the ensemble is a nonprofit equity theater group featuring professional actors, students have the opportunity to learn about the productions and help with them, including as assistant stage managers and crew members.