At this time, the health and safety of our community, our audience, and our artists and staff come first. With this in mind, we have fashioned a season of six plays, exciting new work, insightful discussions, and much more, all of which can be enjoyed from the safety and comfort of home. Live performance may be paused for now, but our commitment is to entertain and engage the Central New York community and we will do our best to fulfill that commitment. You matter to us and we will be here for you.
Read a letter from Artistic Director Bob Hupp and Managing Director Jill Anderson outlining the exciting opportunities for you to engage with Syracuse Stage in the 2020/2021 season.
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.
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
Directed by Robert Hupp
Lizzy and Darcy. Jane and Bingley. Lydia and Wickham. But whither poor Mary, the bookish, oft-neglected middle sister of the Bennet clan? In this delightful sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mary takes her turn at center stage and possibly even love as a Christmas celebration at Pemberley brings together beloved characters in a droll and delicious new holiday story. There are some new faces (one in particular) and a confounding new tradition that involves dragging an evergreen tree from out of doors and standing it in the middle of a room. How jolly.
By Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
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 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.
By Dipika Guha
Directed by Melissa Crespo
Joan has a big problem. Recently named CEO of athletic-wear giant Jojomon—think high end brand that’s part 60s one-hit wonder and part citrus fruit—she even more recently learned that a BBC investigative team is about to expose her Bangladeshi manufacturer of lavender scented yoga pants as an exploiter of child labor. Suddenly, Jojomon’s family of customers is all atwitter with accusations of inauthenticity. Only one solution will do—find a reclusive and revered yogi to serve as a spokesman and restore the company’s all-important claim to authenticity. They find him all right. The rest is 90 minutes of side-splitting comedy. The East Coast premiere of a timely new comedy by Dipika Guha, a talent to watch who was recently awarded a Venturous Playwright Fellowship by The Lark.
By Thornton Wilder
Directed by Robert Hupp
“The life of a village against the life of the stars” is how Thornton Wilder described his heralded masterpiece Our Town. “It is an attempt,” he wrote, “to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life.” He succeeded with this graceful and poetic play—a heartfelt call to cherish every unimportant moment we’re together and to embrace the true wonder and brevity of being alive. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Whether in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire at the turn of the 20th century, or Syracuse, New York in 2021, Wilder’s enduring classic asks us to stop and ponder what truly matters, and to consider that for a great many of us the answers will be the same. Bob Hupp directs one of his favorite plays.
By Kyle Bass
Directed by Tazewell Thompson
How does a fractured family heal when unresolved emotions of the past color the present? How can a city reshape itself if it means tearing open old, still-tender wounds? And where in a diverse but segregated city can communities find common ground, mutual dignity, and a true sense of home? These questions collide into Yolonda Mourning, an independent consultant on a vast project to take down a span of highway that has long divided Salt City. When she leaves her husband and teenage son and moves to the heart of trendy downtown, a diverse cast of characters forces Yolonda to confront Salt City’s complicated history around race, class, and urban renewal, and to reckon with her role as architect of the broken bridges in her own family. Moving, funny, poignant, and current, salt/city/blues is a fresh, contemporary, new play set in a fictionalized Syracuse and to the music of the blues. A Cold Read world premiere production from the author of Possessing Harriet.
Free for Subscribers
Cold Read Festival of New Plays
Curated by Kyle Bass
Playwright in Residence: Kate Hamill
Solo Artists in Residence: Chesney Snow
Write Here Featured Artist: Evan Starling-Davis
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.
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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