New HEIGHTS with Jake Lipman

Interview with Jake Lipman, producing artistic director of Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions ( and

Buffalo Heights presented by Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions

Deported from France, expatriate Fran, a lesbian, attempts to start a new life in the land of opportunity, Buffalo, NY. Her new career as a high school French teacher, gets sidetracked after getting on the bad side of a congresswoman’s power-hungry daughter.

BUFFALO_HEIGHTS_3627Born of a idea producing artistic director Jake Lipman had  to combine comedy with the dark conflicts in the classic plays, The Children’s Hour and Rhinoceros, Buffalo Heights explores – through absurdist comedy – the ultimate victories of pride and justice. The play received a Puffin Foundation grant in 2014.

June 15 @ 7:00 PM; June 17 @ 1:15 PM; June 19 @ 9:00 PM; June 24 @ 3:30 PM; June 25 @ 9:30 PM; June 30 @ 7:15 PM; LATEA Theater, 107 Suffolk Street, 2nd Floor, LES

 We asked the lady with the guy’s name our favorite two questions: 

What inspires you as an artist?

So many people inspire me as an artist. I can’t really quantify or qualify why they inspire me, except to say that I am riveted by their work, and yearn to work with them.

BUFFALO_HEIGHTS_3918I have a lot of creative heroes, from actors whose work touches me and makes me laugh (Laurie Metcalf, Shirley McLaine, Cynthia Nixon, Allison Janey), directors whose shows make me think (Trip Cullman, Rachel Chavkin), to theaters putting on shows I want to see, be in, and produce myself (Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick, Huntington Theatre).

I am also inspired as an artist by my parents. My mother was a travel writer, who found her voice later in life, and tackled new stories and traveled to new places even when she wasn’t entirely confident she could do it. My father is a lawyer by profession, and now an amateur painter, but the reason why he inspires me is his avid appreciation of the arts. He’s an avid reader, music lover, museum goer, and who took me to see just about every movie that came out when I was a kid. I learned so much about storytelling from their love of it, and its many forms.



BUFFALO_HEIGHTS_3920 (1)… and why independent theater?

For me, indie theater is synonymous with ingenuity, telling the best story you can with modest production values, yet making a huge impact as a result.

In 2006, I founded Tongue in Cheek Theater, my production company, to produce and create thought-provoking comedies. Our goal in creating Buffalo Heights was to do just that – infuse serious themes (political scandal, isolation, misunderstanding) with humor. I’m so excited to have the Planet Connections Theatre Fest’s audiences see our show and connect to our production.











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