Syracuse Stage premieres 50th season, makes commitment to new work
Syracuse Stage kicks off its 50th season with the opening of "What the Constitution Means to Me," running through October 1. The 50th season features four plays and two musicals.
The rest of the season includes "Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill", "A Christmas Carol", "Clyde’s", "Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express", and "Once". Syracuse Stage was set to perform "Once" in the 2019/2020 season but that season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill" features the music of Billie Holiday.
Bob Hupp, artistic director of Syracuse Stage, said Syracuse Stage is engaged in a strategic planning process to determine how to best move forward, emerging from a pandemic which devastated the field of nonprofit theatre across the country.
"We think we're on probably a 3 to 5 year runway to reemerge from the pandemic," Hupp said. "We're trying to be very smart and deliberate about that, but it is a big change that we continue to wrestle with and and plan for."
Hupp also shared the theatre company launched a new initiative to focus on new work. Syracuse Stage received a $1 million gift which establishes the Julie Lutz New Play Development Fund.
"It allows us to commission new work, which is something we rarely, rarely do which we can then premiere specifically for our audiences here in central New York," Hupp said. "We anticipate the inclusion of at least a new work in in all of our seasons moving forward."
Another change for the 50th season: every show will have a sensory friendly performance. A recording booth is also in the Syracuse Stage lobby inviting people to share how they first came to a performance. Every production has a community partner attached to it which Hupp said helps Syracuse Stage be responsive of the various communities within Syracuse.
"To make sure that we're breaking down cost barriers," Hupp said. "That we're breaking down language barriers. That we're breaking down just the barriers of coming to our theater here on Irving and Genesee"
Hupp also mentioned a pilot program for Spanish open captioning for "A Christmas Carol" and if it goes well it could expand to more shows in the future.