Buffalo Theatre District Honors Vincent O'Neill

Published October 27, 2022

Vincent O'Neill.

Photo of Vincent O'Neill by Mark Duggan/Nickel City Headshots.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Vincent O'Neill for being named the 2022 Buffalo Theatre District Plaza of Stars Inductee for his work as Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of The Irish Classical Theatre Company. O’Neill’s star was officially unveiled in a special ceremony on September 12 in the Plaza of Stars at the corner of Main Street. and West Tupper in downtown Buffalo.

“Vincent’s contributions to the Western New York Theater Community as an actor, director, producer, teacher, and friend are immeasurable,” said Kate LoConti Alcocer, Executive Artistic Director of ICTC. “We are over the moon with excitement to see him honored in this way and to celebrate his legacy.”

The ceremony was the first event of Curtain Up!, the annual celebration of the new theater season in Buffalo, which culminated on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.

Image of Vincent speaking in front of large audience.

Photo by Mark Duggan/Nickel City Headshots.

Per a press release from The Irish Classical Theatre Company, Vincent trained as an actor at the Abbey Theatre School of Acting, attached to Ireland’s National Theatre.

Subsequently he trained as a mime artist with the legendary Marcel Marceau for several years in Paris, and graduated from Marceau’s International Mime School in 1980. On returning to Ireland, he won the Harvey’s National Theatre Award for “Best Newcomer in Irish Theatre”. He then founded the Oscar Mime Company, Ireland’s first professional mime company, and became its Artistic Director. He also co-founded and was director of the Dublin Theatre School, a conservatory for professional actors.

In the 1980’s, Vincent was appointed to the Drama Faculty at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1985, he was invited to become a member of the Abbey Theatre Company, both as actor and director. With the Abbey Company, he toured to the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, (winner of the Fringe First Award), London, Paris, Philadelphia, New York, Hong Kong, the Bolshoi Theatre in Leningrad, and to the Moscow Arts Theatre. He was invited by both the President and Prime Minister of Ireland to give command-performances of his internationally acclaimed one-man-show, Joyicity. He has toured this show extensively throughout Europe and the USA, with two runs off-Broadway, and also to Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo.

Films include: “Manna from Heaven;” “Tesseract;” “Queen City;” “Game Changers;” “Laff in the Dark;” and “The American Side.”

Image of Star on the Plaza.

Photo by Mark Duggan/Nickel City Headshots.

Since relocating to Western New York in 1989, he has worked both as actor and director in all of the region’s major theatres. In Western New York, he won the first ever Artvoice (Artie) Award for Outstanding Actor. He was also awarded Artie Awards in the categories of Outstanding Director; Outstanding Playwright; and the Career Achievement Award.

O’Neill was awarded the YMCA’s Toast of Buffalo Award for his contribution to the cultural life of Western New York. He was also awarded Irishman of the Year, and more recently Citizen of the Year by The Buffalo News.

Vincent is a former President of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo, which represents 19 Western New York professional theatre companies. He is former Chair and Director of Theatre Performance in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he still teaches.

A co-founder of the Irish Classical Theatre Company, winner of the Arts Council’s Outstanding Artistic Organization Award, he was also its Artistic Director for the first 30 years of its existence.

Celebrating its 32nd Season, the Irish Classical Theatre Company presents outstanding live productions at The Andrews Theatre. ICTC creatively pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic, remaining culturally relevant as an artistic leader in the Community. The company received Buffalo Spree’s “Best Production of a Classic Play” for Waiting for Godot, which starred O'Neill, in their 2021 Best of WNY Poll.