SYRACUSE, N.Y.: Syracuse Stage has announced its reimagined 2020-21 season, featuring an entirely online slate of plays and events. The season’s changes include removing Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Matilda The Musical, and Once on this Island from the 2020-21 lineup and replacing them with three alternatives. Syracuse Stage is planning on presenting the replaced shows in the future, potentially as soon as 2021-22. The theatre will also present Syracuse Stories, a series of free online conversations and performances that will complement the plays and focus on issues pertaining to Central New York.
“While we’re saddened by the fact that we can’t create the season we had planned,” said artistic director Robert Hupp in a statement, “we are thrilled to announce our ideas for a newly reimagined Syracuse Stage season. Especially now, in this time of national reckoning, we need the transformative power of theatre more than ever. We’ll create fully realized virtual work, and with ‘Syracuse Stories’ we’ll put our community front and center through a series of exciting multi-discipline projects.”
The season will now open in November with Lanford Wilson’s Talley’s Folly, a romantic comedy set in 1944 about a Jewish man who drives 200 miles to the heart of Christian Missouri farm country to propose. Hupp will direct.
Next up will be Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (December), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Hupp will direct this sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that gives Mary a turn at center stage and a shot at love.
Following will be Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (January/February 2021). Smith creates a mosaic of four dozen characters in this play composed from 300 interviews about the 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers and the unrest that followed. Steve H. Broadnax III will direct.
The season will continue with Yoga Play (March 2021), by Dipika Guha, which had originally been scheduled for the 2019-20 season. Melissa Crespo will direct this comedy about the CEO of an athleisure brand accused of using child labor for its clothing.
The season will still conclude with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (April/May 2021), directed by Hupp, and the world premiere of salt/city/blues (June 2021), by Kyle Bass and directed by Tazewell Thompson.
Additionally, Syracuse Stage’s season will include the return of its Cold Read Festival of New Plays in March 2021, featuring playwright in residence Kate Hamill and artist, poet, and songwriter Chesney Snow as the featured solo performer. The festival will also include a series of community focused performances and conversations.
Founded in 1974, Syracuse Stage is the non-profit, professional theatre company in residence at Syracuse University. It is nationally recognized for creating stimulating theatrical work that engages Central New York and significantly contributes to the artistic life of Syracuse University.
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