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Western New York pair aim to add to Buffalo entertainment scene

Producers Bob Rusch and John Patrick Patti have announced the formation of Buffalo’s newest addition to its theater scene: First Look Buffalo Stage Productions.

The pair’s mission statement: If it ain’t new in Buffalo, we don’t produce it!

In a news release issued this week, Rusch and Patti said their goal is simple: “To entertain our local community with live plays that have never before been produced on the Buffalo stage. This includes Buffalo Premieres, East Coast Premieres and World Premieres. We are excited and honored to join such a prestigous group of local talented artists!”

The first production will be staged in January 2020.

Rusch returned home to Dunkirk four years ago after “Joining the Circus” as he calls it, spending over 20 years working as an actor and producer in Chicago and Los Angeles. In Chicago, he was a member of the World Famous Trap Door Theatre, where he performed in numerous productions.

While in Chicago, he trained as a member of Steppenwolf Theatre’s first ever “Ensemble Project,” where he was one of 18 chosen from more than 1,000 applicants from across the country. In Los Angeles, he enjoyed a successful career in television and film, but it was as the founder and artistic director of SkyPilot Theatre Co. that he is most proud of. At SkyPilot Bob produced over 30 plays, many of which were World Premiere’s written by members of the company’s playwright wing. In Buffalo, he is the founder and head instructor at Acting Studio 716.

Patti also recently returned home to Western New York. Prior to relocating to Hollywood and working in the world of independent film, John lived in New York City where he trained at the Actor’s Studio, the Stella Adler Conservatory, and HB Studios.

He acted in numerous off-Broadway and regional stage productions throughout the northeast United States. In Los Angeles, he studied with Joe Santos, Jeffrey Tambor, and Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and was a founding member of the Write Act Repertory Theatre Co. in Hollywood where he acted, produced, and served on the original Board of Directors for several years. Patti holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo where he served as the president of the Undergraduate Management Student Association.

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