Buffalo Prep Alumni Aaron Mays ’99 and TaNisha Fordham ’01 Return Home to Illuminate Buffalo’s Theater District

Buffalo Prep Alumni Aaron Mays ’99 and TaNisha Fordham ’01 Return Home to Illuminate Buffalo’s Theater District

Buffalo, NY — December 1, 2023 – Buffalo Prep alumni Aaron Mays ‘99 and TaNisha Fordham ‘01 have returned to their hometown to direct productions in Buffalo’s theater district.  Both are graduates of Buffalo Prep, an educational access nonprofit organization that provides programming to academically ambitious scholars of color. Mays and Fordham are accomplished playwrights and directors, and each have engaged the Buffalo Prep community to assist with their productions.  Alexia Guzman ‘08 is the Assistant Stage Manager for Mays’ play, and a high school scholar is assisting Fordham.

TaNisha Fordham’ 01 and Aaron Mays ’99

“Master Harold”… and the Boys, directed by Aaron Mays

Mays, an Artie Award-winning director from Chicago, takes the helm for Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold”…and the Boys. This coming-of-age drama runs through December 3, 2023 at the Irish Classical Theater, 625 Main Street in Buffalo, NY.  As a Buffalo native, Mays is thrilled to return to his hometown to make his ICTC debut as a director.

“Master Harold”… and the Boys is a drama that explores the relationship between Hally, a white teenage boy, and Sam and Willie, two middle-aged black waiters who work in his mother’s tea room, during apartheid-era South Africa. Faced with the return of his alcoholic and war-injured father, Hally lashes out at Sam and Willie, exposing a pernicious cycle of hatred, despite Hally’s dreams of “progress.”

“As a Buffalo native, it’s always an honor to return home to direct a play, especially one of this literary quality. “Master Harold” is an international gem about the true test of friendship in an age of state-sponsored racial division. I hope Western New York patrons will see the timeliness of this masterpiece tackling race, family and friendship,” said Mays.

Tickets are available here.

12 ‘Mo Angry Men, written and directed by TaNisha Fordham

TaNisha Fordham, an emerging writer, director, performer, and producer, has written and directed 12 ‘Mo Angry Men, a timely and unflinching reimagining of “12 Angry Men,” the 1955 award-winning play and film, written by Reginald Rose.  Fordham sets her adaptation in present day, where 11 black jurors and 1 white juror deliberate about the guilt and/or innocence of a white police officer who shot and killed a 16 year old black teen. 12 ‘Mo Angry Men runs from December 1st-17th at The Lorna C. Hill Theater at Ujima Theatre Company, 429 Plymouth Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14213.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Fordham is a Directing Fellow with the Broadway Theater Coalition. She credits Buffalo Prep as a foundation of her success.  “Prep was the foundation of so many good things that are wholly alive in me now. Prep was a place where I could be me, fully. I felt loved and supported and lifted up at Buffalo Prep. I know now how important those foundational years were; they are a part of the reason why I’m able to use my voice so unabashedly today.”

Tickets are available here.

For more information about Buffalo Prep, please visit buffaloprep.com.

About Buffalo Prep
Founded in 1989, Buffalo Prep is a nonprofit organization that advocates for educational access and equity for academically ambitious scholars of color. Through its comprehensive pipeline of programs, Buffalo Prep supports nearly 750 students and alumni annually. Many of these students begin their journey with Buffalo Prep in 5th grade, dedicating their summers, evenings, and weekends to rigorous preparation for higher achievement. Buffalo Prep’s innovative programming and culturally relevant curriculum illuminate the brilliance of its scholars, promoting a more inclusive, equitable, and just society for all.