Loraine O’Donnell has been a staple of the Buffalo arts community since she arrived for her first acting gig right out of a New York City drama school. The Boonville native has appeared on almost every stage in Western New York and has contributed to the theater as writer, director, costumer and singer.
Ms. O’Donnell is an original cast member of Diva by Diva, a long running play that rotates famous cast members, which has helped raise thousands of dollars for women’s and children’s charities. Her recent tour deforce performance in the play Hedwig and the Angry Inch was an eff ort to raise awareness about gender equality. She passionately lends her talent to local charities by volunteering for not-for-profit groups such as Music is Art, the Kenny Awards and Child and Adolescent Treatment Services.
Over the years, Ms. O’Donnell has starred on local television and radio. First, as the co-host of WKBW’s AM Bu¬ffalo and PM Bu¬ffalo and then as morning host for AM radio station WECK. She used both platforms to highlight local artists and the arts, as well as issues that concerned her: from the Family Justice Center to the Buffalo Gay Men’s chorus. In awarding Ms. O’Donnell the Best Voice in Radio Award in 2011, the Buffalo Spree Magazine said, “We sorely need such an outspoken advocate for the arts, women, the LGBT community and the many other folks whose own voices are seldom represented on the AM dial.”
Ms. O’Donnell lives in the heart of the City of Buffalo above the New Phoenix Theater. Her son Declan, 12, attends the Elmwood Village Charter School. Ms. O’Donnell is truly an inspiring woman who continues to address diversity and leadership in her community.