Studio Arena -- the name evokes decades of memories of what was the only regional theater here, a venue that launched plays toward Broadway, featured star-quality and up-and-coming actors and actresses, and staged works by emerging and top-flight playwrights.
As long as Studio Arena remains closed, there will be an empty spot in Buffalo's cultural life. It has been shuttered for long months, and smaller theaters have kept -- some even say augmented -- Buffalo's theatrical picture with quality presentations of their own. But none has the cachet and the national image that Studio Arena had in its heyday.
A strong push for revival is needed from leaders of both the private and public sectors, most notably County Executive Chris Collins, whose county government has claimed the lead on deciding cultural funding assistance. A key objective would be a new board of directors with the skills to keep the theater in business with financial savvy as well as a mandate for quality plays and performances.
Studio Arena long was one of three cultural pillars in this community. The other two, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Albright Knox Art Gallery, recently announced cutbacks. They must be protected, and the Studio Arena restored. Sure, there are other venues in all of the performing and visual arts -- but the communty still needs strong foundations to anchor them.
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