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Syracuse Stage "Plays" it Safe and Shifts Entire Season Online

Syracuse Stage is making some adjustments to its lineup and going all online for the coming season in an effort to provide more community focused programming during the ongoing pandemic.  Artistic director Bob Hupp says technicians, craftsmen, and artists are ready to put together and record full productions for a digital audience. 

He says they’re using three cameras to add to the presentation while also maintaining theatrical elements. 

"You get the different angle perspective that you don't get in live theater.  You also get the close-ups that we aren't able to capture when you're sitting in a theater 40 feet away from the actors.  We think that enhances the story.  But at the same time, this is a theatrical story.  We are creating and recording a theatrical experience.  We're not trying to make a TV show."

Hupp says they’ve dropped three plays in favor of adding what they’re calling “Syracuse Stories.”

"It's what stories are happening in our community that we can lift up and make part of the Syracuse Stage story...issues about justice and equality.  What can theater do, what can Syracuse Stage do, beyond the plays that we're excited about, to be a real thought leader, to be a real marketplace for the exchange of ideas."

Credit Syracuse Stage
Artistic Director Bob Hupp

They’re kicking off the series with a new play called “A Gatherin’ Place.”   It's a new play produced in partnership with Auburn Public Theater about six black women written and performed by members of the Harriet Tubman Troupe.  Hupp says other plays also weave in themes dominating the national conversation.  Access to the Syracuse Stories series will be free; Hupp says there will be a modest online admission fee to see the other plays, or patrons can subscribe to all six. He says they’re trying to add value to the online experiences.

"We're going to create special access events, interviews, background information, behind-the-scenes stories that make subscribing more valuable, give you insights that you couldn't have gotten during a typical season of Syracuse Stage."

Hupp says they’re holding out hope that they can safely let people return to the theater by spring.  More information on their season is at

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at