Discover the history of The Kavinoky Theatre and join us as we continue our story this season.

The History of The Kavinoky Theatre
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 a 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 The Kavinoky Theatre was the only locally producing professional theatre company in Buffalo since Studio Arena cast from New York City. By 1979 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, and the theatre was renamed The Kavinoky Theatre.

The Kavinoky Theatre will produce its 200th show in May of 2020 and has earned a reputation for consistently high-quality productions, and has received countless awards. Over the 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 and we are proud to have paved the way for Buffalo's thriving theatre community.

1.  A charming turn of the century facility, with rococo architecture, a balcony and boxes,
a warm and invitingly intimate atmosphere with free, protected parking.
2.  A strong subscriber base of patrons who have become familiar with The Kavinoky style.
3.  The security of a unique relationship with D'Youville College, its board, and
      President Lorrie Clemmo, who is strongly supportive of the theatre’s mission and is dedicated to community outreach.
4.  The Kavinoky Theatre is the area’s largest employer of AEA, the professional Actors union.

In June of 2018, Loraine O’Donnell became Executive Artistic Director of
The Kavinoky Theatre. Under her new leadership, a new mission statement was formed.

The Kavinoky mission:
To produce a mix of the classics, musicals and new works in order to expose our patrons and students to the diverse creativity in all genres of theatre.  

Here’s to the next 40 years of amazing live theatre!!