Drunk Theatre Buffalo Puts a Boozy-Comedic Twist on a Classic Tale

Comedy, Culture & Arts, Theater, Things to Do


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on March 1, 2023
Photo x Thomas Zicari Photography

A lot of us want to go out to see live theater more often, we really do. 

But between finding a good show, buying tickets, getting dressed up, figuring out dinner and navigating the parking situation —seeing a show in the theater district ends up happening only on rare occasions, for some of us.

Drunk Theatre Buffalo knows it takes some effort to go see live acting on stage and so the theatre company is bringing their shows to the people. Instead of playing in traditional theaters, Drunk Theatre Buffalo does their thing in local music venues, and the company is now bringing their “drunk” version of Peter Pan to Buffalo Riverworks.


Photo x Thomas Zicari Photography

Staging “drunk theater” shows is an idea that’s caught on in other cities. In addition to playing outside normal theaters, these shows encourage drinking. The actors drink on stage. The bar is kept open so you can drink during the performance. The performance itself is usually adapted with the drinking in mind.

Seeing the success of drunk theater in cities like New York and Chicago, founders Emily Glick and Emma English thought it would be “too good of a fit” for Buffalo to not give it a shot. Given our love of St. Patrick’s Day, Dyngus Day, lawn fetes and all things beer tent-related, this version of drunk theatre sounds like a hand-in-glove fit for Buffalo.

“We knew that our version would incorporate the fun of drunk theater, but with our own spin on it,” says Emily. “We decided to use stories that are well-known and in the public domain. We also wanted to write drinking into the script and invite the audience to drink along with the action.”

If you’ve seen Drunk Shakespeare or similar performances in other cities, Emily wants you to know that the Drunk Theatre Buffalo shows will be different. Specifically, the company is writing original adaptations for each of their shows.


Photo x Thomas Zicari Photography

“We start with the source material and go from there,” she says. “We’re not doing Shakespeare and we’re not doing this ultimate parody.”

She also adds that the show will be different from night to night. Given the fact that everyone is supposed to be drinking, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’ll be chaos.

“When the actors start drinking, the audience participation kicks in, and everyone feels that rush of live performance — you never quite know where you’re going to end up,” Emily says.

Drunk Peter Pan! is the company’s newest show and it’ll be running on Tuesday nights through March and April. The show starts with a happy hour at 7 p.m. and the performance kicks off at 8 p.m. The performance is about 80 minutes long and there is no intermission. In addition to having a few drinks, you’ll also be able to order food from the Riverworks snack bar. Emily says the story of Peter Pan is perfect for drunk theater and she wants people to come with a sense of irreverent fun.

“This is a story that lends itself to adaptation, and jokes, and light-heartedness,” she says. “It lets us push some boundaries. We’re hoping to bring people in with a familiar story, and then entertain them by flipping the story on its head.”

“We’re here for a good time,” she adds. “We’re here for laughter, fun and storytelling — without putting anything too serious on it.”

Performances on Tuesdays at 7 pm: March 7, 14, 21, 28. April 4, 11, 25.

Note: This is a 21+ event


Drunk Theatre Buffalo


  • Entertainment
  • Performance Theater

We are a team of passionate people with a goal to bring creative and inventive theatre to Buffalo. Drink along with the actors as we tell classic stories


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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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