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Getting into character with Against the Grain’s Story Series

In the talk-back sessions that often follow theatrical performances, it’s virtually guaranteed that audience members will ask these two questions: “How do you remember your lines?” and “How did you prepare for your role?” The second question serves as the basis for the third installment of the Against the Grain Theater Festival’s “Story Series,” in which four esteemed Buffalo actors will demonstrate their individual approaches to character development.

The free event, “Looking into a Broken Mirror: the Watchman, the Emperor, the Storyteller and the Queen,” begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Holmes Chapel in Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.). It will feature Josephine Hogan reading from Lady Gregory’s “The Gaol Gate,” David Oliver reading from Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon,” Annette Daniels Taylor reading from Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” and Matt Witten reading from Utai Kimme Zuye’s “Genjo.”

The Against the Grain Theater Festival, founded by Buffalo playwright Neil Wechsler, was launched in 2013 with ambitious plans to mount an outdoor production of “Faust” the following summer. Those plans have been put on hold as the organization attempts to build its local and national reputation, along with the necessary funds, through smaller events such as its reading series.

The fourth event in the series, a roving production through the Buffalo Maritime Center called “The Humble and the Brave,” is set for May 2. Admission is free, but a space must be reserved through the festival website. Call 243-2805 or visit

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