Priscilla Young-Anker, right, and Ronald J. Leonardi, run a scene during a dress rehearsal for the Buffalo Repertory Awards Theater One-Act plays, at Canalside in Buffalo, Friday, July 25, 2014. (Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)

Buffalo’s ballooning theater scene swells a little bigger this week with the addition of the Buffalo Repertory Awards Theater (BRAT, for short), which is running productions of five one-act plays by Christopher Durang from July 30 through Aug. 27 at Canalside.

The company, launched by Ron Leonardi, has been in the planning stages for the past two years. It will focus on producing comedies and dramas that have won major literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Awards. The Canalside series is sort of a warm-up for the company as it searches out a theater to host future productions.

Leonardi said he started the company out of a desire to bring new kinds of comedy and drama to local audiences.

“I began dramaturgy in earnest for the theater several years ago, and as a guidepost I decided to read all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays as a starting point. That list quickly blossomed to encompass Critics’ Circles, Tony Awards and others,” he said. “These plays win awards for a reason: They’re amazing works of art. Simply put, BRAT Theater’s canon of work [is] the best of the best.”

Each of the Canalside performances includes productions of Durang’s short plays “Kitty the Waitress,” “DMV Tyrant,” “Funeral Parlor,” “Canker Sores and Other Distractions” and “The Actor’s Nightmare.” The cast includes Gina Drigant, Jeremy Kreuzer, Ronald J. Leonardi, Patricia Maxwell, Vincent Rondinelli and Priscilla Young-Anker.

Performances take place at the Canalside venue known as the Ruins, next to the Commercial Slip. It is free. Call 572-5328 or visit

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