New guidelines from Actors' Equity Association in response to steady increases in COVID-19 cases have prompted us to reconsider our best way forward. For the health and safety of our artists, staff, and patrons, we have decided to make changes to the remainder of the 2020/2021 season. With this in mind, we challenged ourselves to find plays that we could produce that would be exciting discoveries for you, speak to our lives right now, and work well in a streaming on demand format for you to enjoy from the safety and comfort of home. Our commitment remains to entertain and engage the Central New York community during this time and we will do our best to fulfill that commitment. You matter to us and we will be here for you.
Here’s what you need to know:
Read a letter from Artistic Director Bob Hupp explaining the exciting new changes and opportunities for you to engage with Syracuse Stage for the remainder of the 2020/2021 season.
By Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
February 3 - 14, 2021
Created and originally performed in 1993 by Anna Deveare Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a stunning and insightful work of documentary theatre and a tour de force experience. On March 3, 1991, a 26-year-old Black man named Rodney King was brutally beaten by officers of the Los Angeles police department. The incident was caught on tape, the first of a long line of disturbingly similar videos to go viral. The four officers involved were charged with assault and excessive use of force. A year later they were acquitted by a mostly white jury in the nearby suburb of Simi Valley where the trial had been moved. News of the acquittal set off five days of unrest in South Central Los Angeles, which left 63 dead, 2000 injured, 9,500 arrested, and $1 billion in property damages. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is Smith’s artistic response to these traumatic events. Using more than 300 interviews, Smith creates a mosaic of four dozen characters to ruthlessly probe issues of race and class that set Los Angeles ablaze almost 30 years ago and continue to plague our nation today.
With razor-sharp wit and bare-knuckled grit, playwright Sharr White unfolds a story that affirms love as the most powerful and enduring human emotion. After 25 years apart, Emma has tracked her ex-husband Ulysses to a trailer park high in the Colorado Rockies. He’s strapped to an oxygen canister; she’s toting a mountain of luggage. After so long a separation what can they say to each other? “Holy crap,” for starters; from there it’s an uphill climb through loss and love that might just end in a summit of forgiveness. Stephan Wolfert (Pride and Prejudice) and Dawn Stern star in this comic and profoundly moving duet of a play, performed and video recorded in a trailer, somewhere, perhaps the middle of nowhere.
Isolated due to a life-threatening illness, Caroline hasn't been to school in months. Confined to her room, she relies on Instagram, Facebook and a stuffed turtle for company. That is until classmate Anthony bursts in—unexpectedly and bearing waffle fries, some Walt Whitman poetry and a literature project due the next day. He’s enthusiastic, athletic, and charming in a nerdy sort of way, but Caroline is wary. Still, an unlikely friendship develops as a run of the mill homework assignment reveals the pair's hopes and dreams, and they come to realize that Whitman’s sense of interconnectedness means more to their lives than they could have imagined. This sharp, funny and tender-hearted play won the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award in 2014.
Written in 1982, "Master Harold" . . . and the Boys ranks among the very best of the great South African playwright Athol Fugard’s work. Set in 1950 in Port Elizabeth, this remarkable play exposes the corrosiveness of systemic racism with raw, unsentimental honesty. The play is autobiographical (“the most intensely personal thing I have ever written” - Fugard) and originates in a friendship between a white teenager and a Black man, who is a kind of surrogate father and an employee of the family’s struggling tea room. When stressful circumstances overwhelm the teen, he lashes out in misdirected and emotionally devastating fury that in an instant threatens to undermine years of affection. Heartfelt, revelatory and a lasting tribute from the playwright to “the most beautiful friend I ever had.”
Free for Subscribers
Curated by Kyle Bass
Playwright in Residence: Kate Hamill
Solo Artists in Residence: Chesney Snow
Write Here Featured Artist: Evan Starling-Davis
MARCH 23 - 28
Returns for a fourth season and includes five exciting events featuring new work hot from the imaginations of some of the freshest voices writing for theatre today.
By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Robert Hupp
Kate Hamill (playwright and actor Pride & Prejudice) and Jason O’Connell (Salieri in Amadeus) star in Lanford Wilson’s 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning Valentine of a play. On July 4, 1944, Matt Friedman, a 40+ accountant and in love for the first time in his life, drives 200 miles to the heart of Missouri farm country to propose to Sally Talley, ten years younger and seemingly not interested. Having been met at the door by Sally’s shotgun toting brother—Jews not welcome here—Matt takes refuge in a Victorian folly of a boathouse on the nearby river, where Sally finds him. Cue moonlight and music (waltz, please), willows and woods. Can one enchanted evening change the course of two lives? Once upon a time—there was hope in the land.
Devised and Directed by Ricky Pak
Musical Direction by Brian Cimmet
Choreography by Joshua Keen
Heartwarming stories and the comforts of home have long been part of our holiday traditions. Add to them some favorite holiday songs, charming instrumentals, and lively dance and you have Home for the Holidays, a celebration that captures the spirit of the holidays. The stories—all true—come from some friends and neighbors in Central New York, from performers who have appeared in past holiday productions, and from students in the Department of Drama at Syracuse University. The music, songs, and dance come courtesy of talented cast, including some familiar faces from holidays past. They are all intertwined in one delightful and singular production you can enjoy by your very own fireside. Home for the Holidays for a heartwarming holiday at home.
Lead support for programs in the Syracuse Stage 2020-2021 season generously provided by Syracuse University, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, M&T Bank, The Shubert Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, the County of Onondaga administered by CNY Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Wegmans, Bank of America, The Jon Ben Snow Foundation, Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, SU Humanities Center and The William and Eva Fox Foundation.
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