Written by Kevin Heffernan

How do you build a show from scratch in a city that isn’t yours, using only teenagers as your cast?

You start by heading to a city that’s as friendly and welcoming as Buffalo. Last week, we took the quick trip over to Broadway/Fillmore to Torn Space’s HQ in the shadow of the Central Terminal to meet Abby Browde and Michael Silverstone, a producer and director team in Buffalo from Brooklyn calling themselves 600 HIGHWAYMEN.

MANMADE EARTH is an upcoming show running November 16-18 as part of Torn Space’s RESPONSE performance festival this year. Admittedly, I came in a little cold, not knowing anything about the production, but it turns out – neither did the playwrights! That’s not exactly true. Abby and Michael had the idea in their heads that they would first cast local teens, from Lafayette High School and other schools in the area, and based on the cast, develop a story from there.

As with most productions Torn Space puts on, you should not expect to come into the theater, be told a story from beginning to end, and walk away with an exact message the team wanted you to hear. Instead, it’s immersive, it’s a journey, it’s provocative and fun.

“Teenagers allow us to go somewhere.”
Support our local artists, the young ones, and those with some years under their belt. See you at the show! (Stay tuned to Rise social for some tickets).

And don’t just take it from us, check out what The New Yorker had to say: