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Syracuse Stage Announces New Season Lineup and Return to Live Audiences in the Fall

Syracuse Stage officials felt comfortable enough with pandemic restrictions easing to announce live audiences for its fall season.
Provided by Syracuse Stage
Syracuse Stage officials felt comfortable enough with pandemic restrictions easing to announce live audiences for its fall season.

Syracuse Stage is announcing its new 2021-22 season … but the biggest news might be that the playhouse is welcoming audiences back into the theater.

Artistic Director Bob Hupp says they looked at national trends, Broadway’s plans to reopen in the fall, and how other local cultural institutions were reacting to the declining pandemic when deciding to have patrons in the theater starting with the fall lineup. He came up with some specific – and unique – criteria.

“… welcoming back our community, the folks who come regularly; also finding ways to engage folks who don’t come or who aren’t here regularly. One of the things we wanted to do was put together a season that was hopeful, that was optimistic, that was fun, but that also got at issues that we thought were relevant for our community to talk about today.”

The season includes three comedies, two musicals and a premier.

It starts with “Eureka Day” that examines vaccinations in elementary schools … but is actually a comedy.

There will be a family holiday play, “Matilda the Musical” by Roald Dahl. And “Somewhere over the Border” tells the immigration tale of a woman who came to the US from El Salvador … through the lens of the Wizard of Oz.
(full season details below)

Theater officials hope the COVID pandemic stays away so they don't have to stare at these empty seats any longer.
Syracuse Stage Facebook
Theater officials hope the COVID pandemic stays away so they don't have to stare at these empty seats any longer.

Hupp says his staff is more than excited to be able to share the experiences with an audience once again. But he learned a lot as the shutdown forced theater works to be produced virtually.

“Our audience has stuck with us. We’ve produced six virtual, online productions and people have been very enthusiastic about it, even though I know people would prefer to be in the theater experiencing our art together. But people have been incredible in terms of supporting us with contributions, with seeing our work, with sticking with us as subscribers.”

Hupp has no fears that audiences will be content staying home for their culture. he’s already seen evidence that they’ll be back, and the actors will hear real applause when the season opens this fall.

“We’ve seen around the county, when theaters start to reopen, when they put tickets back on sale, subscriptions back on sale, that people picked up where they left off. We were on a great upward trajectory before the pandemic in terms of the growth of our audience. And we are optimistic that we will continue that trend.”

And as excited as audiences might be to see live theater in person again, the same may be more true in the theater community.

“This is what we do; this is our life’s work and we’ve taken a needed and inescapable hiatus for the last year, year-and-a-half. Our art happens when artists and audience come into a common space and share a common experience. And so to be able to think about doing that again, to be able to start to plan, to start to gear up, is incredibly exciting.”

Information about the upcoming season can befound here.

Syracuse stage is currently running Master Harold and the Boys as an online, virtual play, through July 4th.


“Eureka Day”
October 13 – 31, 2021

A mumps outbreak at a private school in Berkeley, California called Eureka Day, becomes a microcosm of our larger society as Jonathan Spector’s comedy plunges headlong into the knotty issues of vaccines and who decides public health issues. Written pre-COVID, the topic is prescient, as Spector mines laughter from our foibles and our sometimes valiant and sometimes valiantly-misguided efforts.

“Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical”
November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, this Tony Award-winning musical is a captivating treat that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs, and featuring an unforgettable a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic power, “Matilda” is a joyous girl power romp.

“Yoga Play” East Coast premiere
January 19 – February 6, 2022

Joan has a big problem. Recently named CEO of an athletic-wear giant, she fnds out a story is about to expose her Bangladeshi manufacturer of lavender scented yoga pants as an exploiter of child labor. Only a reclusive and revered yogi to serve as a spokesman can restore the company’s image. A fun-filled new comedy by Dipika Guha, a talent to watch and recipient of a Venturous Playwright Fellowship by The Lark.

“Somewhere Over the Border” New musical
February 23 – March 13, 2022

Inspired by the real life journey of the author’s mother from El Salvador to the US and by L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” “Somewhere Over the Border” embraces the factual and the fantastical in its depiction of one young girl’s pursuit of the American dream. Set in the 1970s and propelled by Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi Boleros, American Rock and Hip Hop, this new musical is both fable and family history—and a testament to the determination born of love.

“The Play That Goes Wrong”
April 13 – May 1, 2022

Winner of London’s Olivier Award for Best Comedy and a New York Times best pick for comedies, “The Play That Goes Wrong” follows in the grand tradition of plays that go farcically awry. AbDrama Society attempts to perform a 1920s murder mystery, but sets malfunction, lines are dropped, and corpses won’t stay still. Such fun. Laughter for the sheer joy of laughter.

“salt/city/blues” World premiere
June 8 – 26, 2022

How does a fractured family heal when unresolved emotions of the past color the present? Can a city reshape itself if it means tearing open old, still-tender wounds? And where in a diverse but segregated community can people find common ground, mutual dignity and a true sense of home? 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.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.