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Syracuse Stage expands accessibility to tickets for performances

Cast members in the Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama presentation of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” Nov. 25, 2022 through Jan. 8, 2023.
Mike Davis
Syracuse Stage
Cast members in the Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama presentation of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” Nov. 25, 2022 through Jan. 8, 2023.

Syracuse Stage recently expanded its pay-what-you-will ticket program. The theatre company is working to eliminate barriers to access.

Syracuse Stage’s pay-what-you-will ticket program allows theatregoers to pay whatever price they want for a ticket whether it be $2 or $75 – patrons can choose the price they’re most comfortable with.

Joann Yarrow, the director of community engagement and education at Syracuse Stage, says the program is aimed at inviting audiences in.

“We want you to be included in what we're doing here,” Yarrow said. “It's so important to be able to offer something like this because it just opens the door to more people in the community being able to come and see our show.”

A $20,000 grant from M&T Bank allowed Syracuse Stage to expand their program designating about 70 tickets over five days of each production in their season as pay-what-you-will tickets. Yarrow says the number could fluctuate as any pay-what-you-will tickets not used for a show will rollover to the next production.

She says a lot of families with children tend to use the program as well as young adults on a budget. Yarrow says Syracuse Stage understands there are many obstacles to the arts and hopes this program can alleviate some of them.

“It's a big deal to come to the theater, so we want to make it as wonderful an experience they can have,” Yarrow said.

The M&T Bank grant also funds the Stage-For-All program giving discounted ticket vouchers for shows to different community groups.

Yarrow says ultimately, accessible theatre is about voice and programs to increase accessibility can help create a more diverse community. She says while theatre companies can choose to create diverse seasons of shows which reflect a variety of voices, there needs to be a pathway to allow everyone in the community to see those voices on stage.

“The theatre gives you a sense of feeling validated in the community," said Yarrow, "of feeling your voice is out there in [the] community, but it also gives you a new community so that you're not just in your isolated community. You meet other people.”

Syracuse Stage’s production of “The Little Mermaid” has pay-what-you-will tickets available between November 30 and December 4. For the remaining productions, those tickets will be available between February 15 to February 19 for “Espejos: Clean,” March 29 to April 2 for "Our Town," May 3 to May 7 for "Tender Rain," and June 7 to June 11 for "Clue."

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.