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aylor By Regina T the book by m o r f d te p Ada nningham Michael Cu rberry a and Craig M ed horeograph c d n a d te c Dire arris by Patdro H


2008 - 2009 EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SPONSORS STUDENT MATINEE PROGRAM Playwrights Circle ($5,000 - $7,499) National Grid Directors Circle ($1,500 - $2,799) Grandma Brown Foundation Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation

CARRIER BACKSTORY PROGRAM Regents Circle ($7,500 - $13,999) Carrier Corporation Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, funded by the Kauffman Foundation Syracuse University GEAR-UP Playwrights Circle ($5,000 - $7,499) KARE Foundation Directors Circle ($1,500 - $2,799) Time Warner Cable Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund

LOCKHEED MARTIN PROJECT BLUEPRINT Regents Circle ($7,500 - $13,999) Lockheed Martin MS2

BANK OF AMERICA CHILDREN’S TOUR Founders Circle ($14,000 - $24,999) Bank of America Producers Circle ($2,800 - $4,999) Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund Directors Circle ($1,500 - $2,799) Wegmans Benefactors ($1,000 - $1,499) Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

CHASE YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Founders Circle ($14,000 - $24,999) Chase

ARTS EMERGING Founders Circle ($14,000 - $24,999) Partnership for Better Education Regents Circle ($7,500 - $13,999) NYS Assembly through the office of William Magnarelli Directors Circle ($1,500 - $2,799) Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

2008 - 2009 Educational Outreach Corporate Sponsors Since 1849 National Grid and its predecessor companies have been part of the Syracuse community, helping to meet the energy needs of over two million Upstate New York customers. We are proud to contribute to the quality of life through the energy we deliver and through the many ways we give back to the communities we serve.

2008 - 2009 Syracuse Stage Season Sponsors

CROWNS STUDY GUIDE CONTENTS Timothy Bond Producing Artistic Director Jeffrey Woodward Managing Director

__ 820 E. Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 Artistic Office (315) 443 - 4008 Educational Outreach (315) 443 - 1150 (315) 442 - 7755 Box Office (315) 443 - 3275 Group Sales and Matinees (315) 443 - 9844

4. Planning Your Visit 5. Theatre & Education 6. Elements of Theatre 7. General Questions 8. Production Information 9. Plot & Characters 10. From Page to Stage 11. In the Press 12. Activity in Observation 13. Meet the Authors 14. About Educational Outreach © 2008 Syracuse Stage Educational Outreach Chief Editor Lauren Unbekant Edited by Nichole Gantshar and Adam Zurbruegg Interior Design & Layout by Adam Zurbruegg Cover Photo courtesy of Michael Cunningham

___ www.syracusestage.org ___ Syracuse Stage is Central New York’s premiere professional theatre. Founded as a not-for-profit theatre in 1974, Stage has produced more than 220 plays in 34 seasons including numerous world and American premieres. Each season, upwards of 90,000 patrons enjoy an exciting mix of comedies, dramas and musicals featuring the finest professional theatre artists. Stage attracts leading designers, directors, and performers from New York and across the country. These visiting artists are supported by a full-time and seasonal staff of artisans, technicians, and administrators. Syracuse Stage is a member of The League of Resident Theatres (LORT,) Theatre Communications Group (TCG,) the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, the Arts & Cultural Leadership Alliance (ACLA,) the East Genesee Regent Association, and the Partnership for Better Education.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH AT SYRACUSE STAGE Syracuse Stage is committed to providing students with rich theatre experiences that connect to and reveal what it is to be human. Research shows that students who participate in or are exposed to the arts show higher academic achievement, stronger self-esteem, and an improved ability to plan and work toward a future goal. Last season more than 35,000 students from 24 counties attended or participated in in-depth integrated arts partnerships with Syracuse Stage. For more information, call (315) 443-1150 or (315) 442-7755. The Bank of America CHILDREN’S TOUR brings high-energy, interactive, and culturally diverse performances to elementary school audiences. The Carrier BACKSTORY! Program brings history to life, as professional actors portray historical figures in classrooms and other venues. Lockheed Martin PROJECT BLUEPRINT merges scientific discovery and the arts, as an actor portraying a scientist/mathematician introduces students to the connections between scientific discovery and the arts. artsEMERGING takes high school students on an in-depth exploration of a mainstage play using a multi-cultural, multi-arts lens. The Chase YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL challenges high school students to submit original plays for a chance to see their work performed at Syracuse Stage.

Planning Your Visit Teachers! Please speak with your students about the role of the audience in watching a live performance. The following are some helpful suggestions and guidelines to make the day more enjoyable.

GIVE your students plenty of time to arrive, find their seats, and get situated. We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the performance. Our student matinees begin promptly at 10:30AM. Latecomers are seated at the discretion of House Management. BUSSES not staying should load and unload on East Genesee Street, where bagged meters will indicate bus-only parking. Please do not park in the Centro Bus Stop. When you exit the bus, have your group stay together inside the main lobby. USHERS will escort you to your seats - we do not use tickets for our student matinees. Students will be asked to fill in the rows and not move around once seated. We request that teachers and chaperones distribute themselves throughout the students and not sit together. Remember, we need to seat 500 people as quickly as possible, so your help is greatly appreciated. BACKPACKS, cameras, food, and drinks are not allowed into the theatre. We do not have storage facilities for these items, so please leave them at school or on the bus. PHOTOGRAPHS or video taken with a camera or cell phone are illegal, disruptive, and sometimes dangerous to the performers. All cameras or other recording devices are prohibited and will be confiscated. SNACKS and soda will be sold whenever possible during intermission, at a cost of $1. Food and drinks are to be consumed in the lobby, as they are not allowed into the theatre. RESTROOMS are located in the main lobby. We ask that students use the facilities only before the show and during intermission, and not leave during the show.

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The Audience’s Role A performance needs an audience. It is as much a part of the theatre event as actors, designers, technicians, and crew. Each playwright invites you into the world he/she has created - but this world is different than television or movies. The actors need your responses (laughter and applause) but conversations, cell phones, and other distractions will disrupt that world. If any student becomes disruptive to the point of interference with the performers or audience, a chaperone will be asked to remove that student. If you play your part well, the actors can do the same, and all will enjoy the show!

Theatre & Education

“Theatre brings life to life.”

-Zelda Fichandler


hen the first cave-dweller got up to tell a story, theatre began. Almost every culture has some sort of live performance tradition to tell stories. Television and film may have diminished the desire for access to theatre, but they have not diminished the importance. Live theatre gives each audience member an opportunity to connect with the peformers in a way he or she never could with Tom Cruise or Lindsay Lohan. The emotions can be more intense because the events are happening right in front of the audience.


n the classroom, theatre can be used in a variety of ways. In many respects the teacher is much like an actor on stage - with an audience, a script (lesson plan,) props (visual aids,) and scenery (the classroom setting.) Both theatre and teaching rely on the interplay between performer and audience. From this perspective, all of what can be taught can be taught theatrically. Young children can create a pretend bank to learn about money and mathematics. Older students may be asked to act out scenes from a play or novel. Theatre provides both an opportunity to teach , and the means to do so.


ringing your students to productions at Syracuse Stage, and utilizing this study guide to integrate the play into your lesson plans, fulfills elements of the New York State core requirements. We know that as educators, you are more qualified to determine how our plays and study guides blend with your goals and requirements. We hope that we can help you to discover possibilities spanning many disciplines. As you bring your students to the shows, you may want them to examine not merely the thematic elements of the play, but also how production elements explore these themes. Everything you see on the stage has been created specifically for this production. There are no standard sets for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, no rules for costuming Crowns. Our designers meet with our directors months before rehearsals start, and shows are built to their specifications, which are in line with their vision of the work. Exploring design elements with your students is a way of opening the door to the production they will be seeing. We’ll begin with activites and questioning that can be applied to any play, and then move into details regarding specific plays. So, without further ado, welcome to Syracuse Stage... and enjoy the show!

Educational Outreach


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Elements of Theatre Elements of Visual Art: Any piece of visual art (including scenery, costumes, etc.) contain the following ‘elements of art.’

Theatre usually engages many forms of art including: -Writing -Visual/Design • Scenery & Props • Costumes • Sound • Lighting • Casting -Music -Dance/Movement



Line Shape Form

Principles of Design: Art (or any of the elements listed above) can be examined further through the ‘principles of design.’ Balance Proportion Rhythm Emphasis Unity

How have the designers utilized these elements and principles?


Why have they done so?

- Character WHO are the characters and what is their relationship to each other?

- Plot/Story WHAT is the story line? What happened before the play started? What do the characters want? What will they do to get it? What do they stand to gain or lose? - Setting WHERE does the story take place? How does this affect the characters’ behavior? How does it affect the plot? How does it affect the design? - Time WHEN does the story take place? What year is it? What season? What time of day? How does this affect the characters, plot and design of the play?

Other Elements to Explore: Conflict/Resolution, Action, Improvisation, Non-verbal communication, Staging, Humor, Realism and other styles, Metaphor, Language, Tone, Pattern and repetition, Emotion, Point of view.

What are the trying to convey visually? What would be other options? CREATING QUESTIONS FOR EXPLORATION Creating an open-ended question using an element for exploration (otherwise known as a “line of inquiry”) can help students make discoveries about a piece of theatre and its relevance to their lives. A line of inquiry is also useful for kinesthetic activities (on-your-feet exercises.) Examples of Lines of Inquiry: 1. How does an actor create a character using his/her body? How would you imply setting using your body? 2. How might a director create a sense of realism on stage? Why might you not want to use realism? 3. How does an actor use the language of gesture to convey emotion/feeling? 4. How does the use of music convey the mood of a scene?

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Space Color Texture


General Questions These questions were designed to promote classroom discussion of any play. Use these questions as a model to help you design your own analysis techniques.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

How does the play start? What does the playwright do to set the scene? How are the characters introduced? What other techniques does the play use to help you jump into the story? Who is the main character? What does he/she want? (“Objective”) How will he/she get it? (“Actions/Tactics”) What is stopping him/her? (“Obstacles”) How does the character change throughout the play? Why is the play set in the time period that it is? How would the play be different if the time period were different? Is there a character who helps the main character come to decisions and changes? How? Opposition? Reflection? Is there a villain/antagonist in the play? Does there need to be good character and a bad one? What makes a play relevant? What makes it important? What are the elements that make this piece suited for the stage, as opposed to film, television, or a novel?

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Jeffrey Woodward

Timothy Bond

Producing Artistic Director

Managing Director


s n w o r C BY


Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY




Marjorie Bradley Kellogg

Lydia Tanji




[Not available at time of print]

Jonathan Herter

[Not available at time of print]

Stuart Plymesser

Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Co-produced with Indiana Repertory Theatre.



Plot & Characters THE PLOT


Unlike plays that follow a sequential story or “plot line,” Crowns weaves together a variety of stories from different characters, time periods, and perspectives that, when integrated with music and dance, create a tapestry of voices that transcend time and place.

The essential story of Crowns is that of a young African-American girl trying to figure out her identity, her place in the world, and her place in her own culture. Yolanda is a tough girl from Brooklyn who is proud of her status as a true New Yorker, but when her brother Teddy is shot, Yolanda’s mother sends her to South Carolina to live with her grandmother. Yolanda begins a journey that will link her own experiences to the stories of her relatives, her history and her people. Mother Shaw, Yolanda’s grandmother, welcomes her granddaughter into a circle of female spirits who come to life as Wanda, Mabel, Jeanette, and Velma. As they prepare for church on a Sunday morning, they tell stories of their own connections to hats as a part of the rich African-American heritage, but Yolanda defends her affinity for hats and headwear as “her own thing.” After a dramatically inspiring church service, Yolanda is figuratively baptized into the legacy of these women and all the ancestors who have gone before her.


WANDA is the most ladylike woman of the group. Her stories are full of propriety and decorum as well as fond recollections. The choice of the appropriate hat is very important to Wanda. “I realize, right here and now, that even if I had no hair, I’d glue a wig to my scalp and put a hat on.”

JEANETTE is flirtatious, brassy, fun-loving, and full of the joy of spirituality. Her stories include a memorable gift from a white acquaintance and the memory of her father’s favorite hat. At church, she admires Mother Shaw. “I’d lend my children before I’d lend my hats. I know my children know their way home, but my hats might not.”

VELMA coins the phrase “hattitude” for the way a woman ought to carry herself in a hat. She is tougher than she looks - hard times have offered her many life lessons. Velma, a funeral director, observes how “hattitude” figures into the death ritual. “Sometimes under those hats there’s a lot of pain and a lot of sorrow.”

YOLANDA is the youngest of the group, the outsider who resists the other women in their attempts to welcome her into their family. Yolanda asserts herself as a rebellious spirit and bucks the traditions that the others hold sacred. “Don’t want to be / Boxes in / By some dead or dying traditions / And I don’t know how to be one of them.”

MOTHER SHAW is Yolanda’s grandmother and the matriarch of the play. She remembers the days before the civil rights movement and signs proclaiming “Whites Only.” She is a leader in her community and recognized for her fiesty nature and her power to “usher in the Spirit.” “If you get to shoutin’ hard and that hat comes off, it’s mine.”

MABEL is a minister’s wife who confesses to owning about 200 hats. Mabel believes in setting an example of dress and behavior for younger girls and exercises her influence with a sharp and sassy tell-it-like-it-is attitude. “Listen - never touch my hat. Admire it from a distance, honey.”

The MAN, the spirit of the crossroads, is a vital part of the women’s histories and appears in different roles throughout the play. He serves the stories that the women tell, often bringing momentary life to the fathers, brothers, husbands, and preachers who have touched the lives of the other characters. “You don’t need another hat. You don’t have but one head.” Educational Outreach

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Courtesy of the McCarter Theatre Education Dept. and Laurie Sales


From Page to Stage

Talking Hats by Janice Paran In her forward to the book Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, Maya Angelou describes the ritual that an African American woman is likely to follow in getting ready for church on Sunday morning, a routine that more often than not culminates in selecting THE HAT. The phenomenon of The Hat, or more precisely, of black women in church hats, is what prompted photographer Michael Cunningham and journalist Craig Marberry to become collaborators on Crowns (Doubleday, 2000), their loving homage to the cherished African American custom that fuses faith and fashion. The book’s stunning black-and-white portraiture and riveting oral histories, spiked with a generous dose of “hattitude,” inspired the playwright Regina Taylor, in turn, to adapt the material to the stage. Crowns, directed by Taylor and co-produced by the McCarter Theatre and New York’s Second Stage Theatre, [received] its world premiere [in] October, 2002. For nearly everyone involved in Crowns’ journey from page to stage, the process has been a particularly joyous, not to mention personal, undertaking. Both Cunningham and Marberry are based in North Carolina, where church hats are taken seriously, and where Cunningham had no trouble finding willing subjects to photograph. Two months into his project, he showed some of the portraits to his journalist friend Craig Marberry, who suspected that beneath the hats lay a gold mine of oral histories, and signed on to the undertaking. “I saw that my challenge,” Marberry later said, “was to elicit from these hat queens stories as individual and compelling as the hats they wear.” Before the pair had even found a publisher, Marberry slipped some of the material to McCarter’s Artistic Director Emily Mann [...] on the hunch that it might translate well to the stage. Mann agreed, and in short order approached the versatile Regina Taylor [...] to do the adaptation. Taylor didn’t hesitate for a moment. “When I first looked at the photographs and read the stories,” she recalled, “I felt a deep sense of recognition - a sense of where I came from, a sense of the women who helped raise me, a sense of the community that was provided by aunts and neighbors and by the women who worshipped in the church I grew up in. There was very much a feeling of knowing all of these women at different points in my life. That was very exciting to me.” [...] Crowns is full of hilarious “hat queen” testimonials from women who own 30 or 50 or 100 hats and don’t care who knows it, but for every bravura hat queen turn, there’s an intimate story of a childhood memory, a personal turning point, a private grief. In giving voice to such experiences, in recounting the truths the hats trumpet or translate or hide, Crowns never loses sight of two essentials. The first is that for African American women, hats are more than a fashion statement (though they are also defiantly that): they are outward expressions of faith, symbols of cultural continuity, badges of honor. “Our crowns have already been bought and paid for,” James Baldwin wrote. “All we have to do is wear them.” The second core value in Taylor’s approach to the material is that Crowns, for all its culture-specific detail, is not a private party. “What I hope audiences will take away from Crowns,” Taylor noted early in her work on it, “is the experience of people from different backgrounds coming into the theatre as a community and being touched by their own recollections. I hope the piece will open up other doors of experience, doors people don’t expect to walk through.” Hats need not be removed before entering. Educational Outreach

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Janice Paran is the Resident Dramaturg and Director of Play Development for the McCarter Theatre. Article courtesy of the McCarter Theatre Education Dept.

In the Press


Big Hats and Black-Church Tradition by Terry Mattingly WASHINGTON - Viewed from their balconies, the pews in traditional black churches looked like waves of polished wood curving down to the pulpit and, through decades of Sundays, the crests were topped by graceful rows of women’s hats. Before the sea change of the 1960’s, it was much more common for women to cover their heads in congregations of all kinds. Nevertheless, visitors would have to have been blind not to see that there was more to the hats in black churches than mere fashion. “This is part of a distinction between the work-day world and that whole Sunday-go-to-meeting tradition,” said Gail S. Lowe, curator and principal researcher for a new Smithsonian Institution exhibit on African-American faith. “If your whole week was ruled by uniforms and aprons and work clothes and boots, then you kept one good suit and you kept one really nice dress. “And if the culture says that ladies are supposed to cover their heads, and the culture certainly said that the Bible said you were supposed to do that, then that meant you needed a hat. And if you needed a hat and it was Sunday, then you needed a SUNDAY hat. So the hats became more and more elaborate, to say the least.” On one level, this symbolized reverence for God, said Lowe. It also displayed respect for the church and for the authority of elders. But there was one more level to this tradition: a hunger for beauty and self-respect in the generations leading up to the Civil Rights Movement [...] While black church-life has certainly changed in recent decades, it’s impossible to predict which changes are permanent and which traditions will simply evolve into new forms, said Lowe. The key is that black Americans are, like to many others in this culture, picking and choosing which spiritual rites and symbols speak to them on a highly personal level. “My generation doesn’t wear hats. Why? Because we hated all of that,” said Lowe, who attends a progressive Christian Methodist Episcopal congregation. “We understood that women wore hats because of modesty and because of the traditional values of the community. So we all said, ‘That has to go. We’re not going to do it.’” But most of the pastors’ wives, or “first ladies” of the congregations, kept the tradition alive, along with the revered older women often known as the “mothers of the church.” And then the cultural search for African traditions led some women to try wearing forms of headdresses. Many Muslim women continued to wear simple head coverings. A few younger women simply decided gloves and hats were fashionable. “Today, you may see hats or you may not see hats,” said Lowe. “The key is that this is all a matter of personal choice. The theology is no longer there to back up the tradition. The links to the past are almost gone. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your point of view.” Terry Mattingly writes the nationally syndicated “On Religion” column for the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, DC. The exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute was entitled “Speak to My Heart: Communities of Faith and Contemporary African American Life.” It was presented through the Anacostia Community Museum (http://anacostia.si.edu)


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Activity in Observation Activity adapted from TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA

BACKGROUND INFO - THE YORUBA CULTURE Yoruba people are one of the largest cultural groups on the [African] continent, numbering over 20 million. Many Yoruba peoples were brought to the Americas forcibly through the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In the Americas, Yoruba culture has contributed to many traditions in the United States, Cuba, Haiti, and Brazil. As is typical of many divine kingship traditions, kings and queens [in Yoruba culture] are not only political leaders but also play important religious roles as well. [Today] as in the past, each royal court commssions artists to create beautiful art works that are symbols of power and prestige for each royal lineage. Especially important to any king or queen are his/her regalia, which are all the accessories and costumes that a king or queen wears on official occasions.

“The more I study Africa, the more I see that African Americans do very African things without even knowing it. Adorning the heads is one of those things... whether it’s the intricate briads or the distinct hairstyles or the beautiful hats we wear on Sundays. We just know inside that we’re queens. And these are the crowns we wear.” -Yolanda

THE ACTIVITY This activity focuses on Yoruba royal regalia. Students will investigate how art forms can actively project priviledge and power. Students will identify the symbolic meaning of visual signs and consider how these images can be ‘read’ as messages that connect kingship to the divine. Connect this activity to Crowns by comparing the traditions of royal regalia with hats in church. It may be helpful to refer to the ‘Elements of Visual Art’ on page 7 of this guide. Look at Photo #1 (Yoruba culture) How is the man in the center presenting himself? What is he wearing? How is he sitting? What attitude does he project? Can you guess what kind of occasion this is? What symbols of power and importance do you see? Describe his regalia: its texture, material, shape, etc. What do these elements communicate about the man?

Deji of Akure with young attendants holding ceremonial swords. 1959. Photo by Eliot Elisofson, Museum of African Art, Eliot Elisofson Photographic Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Look at Photo #2 (Modern culture) How is this woman presenting herself? What is she wearing? How is her head positioned? What attitude is this woman projecting? What occasions could this hat be worn on? Describe her hat: its texture, material, shape, etc. What do these elements communicate about her? What comparisons/differences can you find between these two photos?


Cover of Crowns by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. Doubleday Publishing Group, 2000. Photo by Michael Cunningham.

Meet the Authors



played the pivotal role of Lilly Harper in the critically acclaimed series I’ll Fly Away, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series and an NAACP Image Award. She recently received the Women in Film Gracie Allen Award for her portrayal of Anita Hill in the television film Strange Justice. While attending Southern Methodist University, Taylor made her professional acting debut in the CBS television film Crisis at Central High. Her additional television credits include the series Law & Order, the films Cora Unashamed and Making the Case for Murder: The Howard Beach Story and, on CBS, the mini-series Children of Dust. Her feature film credits include The Negotiator, Courage Under Fire, A Family Thing, Lean on Me, Losing Isaiah, and Clockers. Taylor was the first black woman to play Juliet in Romeo & Juliet on Broadway. Her other Broadway credits include As You Like It and Macbeth. She has appeared off-Broadway and regionally in numerous productions including Machinal and A Map of the World at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, The Illusion at the New York Theatre Workshop, and The Tempest, for which she received a Dramalogue Award. Taylor also starred in the off-Broadway production Jar the Floor at the Second Stage Theatre in New York. A Distinguished Artistic Associate of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Taylor collaborated on and appeared in the play Millenium Mambo, which premiered at New York’s Signature Theatre in early 2001. As a playwright, Taylor was honored by the American Critics’ Association for Oo-Bla-Dee. Drowning Crow, Taylor’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, was produced at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ.


CRAIG MARBERRY is a native of Chicago who now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. For nine years, he has owned Info Video, an award-winning video production company with clients including American Express and USDA. Prior to starting his business, Marberry was a television reporter for six years. In addition, he has written articles for publications including the Washington Post and Essence Magazine. A graduate of Morehouse College, Marberry studied abroad in Scotland and Jamaica before attending Columbia University, where he received a Master’s Degree in Journalism. Marberry is also the grandson of the late Louis Henry Ford, former Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ. MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM was born in Landover, Maryland, and fell in love with photography at the age of 12. A commercial photographer for over 10 years, his clients include advertising agencies, banks, public relations firms, magazines, and book publishers throughout the southeast. His personal projects are all done in black and white; this allows him to express what is in his soul. “Black and white photography is very personal,” he says, “and reaches deep inside of the viewer, making them study the photograph for what it is outside of pretty colors.” Two of his photographs are currently on loan to the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum, and his works have been featured in the New York Times and Ebony. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Educational Outreach

Courtesy of the McCarter Theatre Education Dept. and Laurie Sales


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Additional Resources

CROWNS “A Teacher Resource Guide” by Laurie Sales, McCarter Theatre. http://www.mccarter.org/Education/crowns/crownsstudyguide.html#introduction “Performance Guide” from Theatreworks. http://www.theatreworks.org/images/Crowns%20Study%20Guide.pdf “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats” by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. http://www.amazon.com/Crowns-Portraits-Black-Women-Church/dp/0385500866/ref=sr_1_1/105- 9387301-2916467?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216664358&sr=1-1 “Crowns: A Curtain Up Review” http://www.curtainup.com/crowns.html HATS & RELIGION “Church Hats: Sisters Step Out in Style” by Angela Bronner, Blackvoices.com http://www.blackvoices.com/blogs/2008/03/21/church-hats-sisters-step-out-in-style/ “The History of Hats” The Hat Site http://www.thehatsite.com/historyofhats.html “Harlem’s Heaven Hat Boutique” http://www.harlemsheaven.com/church-hats A Collection of New York Times Articles http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/b/black_culture_and_history/index. html?query=HATS%20AND%20CAPS&field=des&match=exact Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution Exhibit on ‘Crowns’ http://anacostia.si.edu/docs/press_room/crowns_exhibition_press_release.pdf AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE & TRADITION “Archives of African-American Music & Culture” Indiana University http://www.indiana.edu/~aaamc/index.html “America’s Jazz Heritage” Smithsonian Institute Internet Exhibit http://www.si.edu/ajazzh/ “African Genesis Presents: African-American Music” http://afgen.com/music.html

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yracuse Stage is committed to providing students with rich theatre experiences that connect to and reveal what it is to be human. Research shows that children who participate in or are exposed to the arts show higher academic achievement, stronger self-esteem, and improved ability to plan and work towards a future goal.

Many students in our community have their first taste of live theatre through Syracuse Stage’s outreach programs. Last season more than 35,000 students from across New York State attended or participated in the Bank of America Children’s Tour, Carrier Backstory, Lockheed Martin Project Blueprint, artsEMERGING, the Chase Young Playwrights Festival, and our Student Matinee Program. We gratefully acknowledge the many corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose donations support our commitment to in-depth arts education for our community. The listing below respresents support towards last season’s 2007-2008 programming. Bank of America - Bank of America Children’s Tour Bristol-Myers Squibb Company - artsEMERGING Carrier Corporation - Carrier Backstory Chase - Chase Young Playwrights Festival Excellus BlueCross BlueShield - Bank of America Children’s Tour Grandma Brown Foundation - Student Matinee Program KARE Foundation - Carrier Backstory Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund - Carrier Backstory, Bank of America Children’s Tour Lockheed Martin MS2 - Lockheed Martin Project Blueprint National Grid - Student Matinee Program NYS Assembly through the office of William Magnarelli - artsEMERGING Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office - artsEMERGING Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation - Student Matinee Program Syracuse Police Department - artsEMERGING Syracuse University Division of Student Affairs - Student Matinee Program Syracuse University GEAR-UP - Carrier Backstory Target - Student Matinee Program Time Warner Cable - Carrier Backstory US Department of Justice - artsEMERGING Wegmans - Bank of America Children’s Tour

Actor Rob North signing autographs after a performance of The Mischief Makers.

Teachers from the Syracuse City School District receiving professional development from teaching artist Reenah Golden.

1,500 students from the Syracuse City School District attended matinee performances of The Bomb-itty of Errors.


come dream with uS

August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Directed by Timothy Bond September 9 – October 4

The award-winning music-filled play that captured the attention of the theatre world and launched August Wilson’s remarkable career.

Up By Bridget Carpenter Directed by Penny Metropulos February 25 – March 15 East Coast Premiere

A soaring new play about family and following your dreams . . . even if it takes 42 balloons tied to a lawn chair.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Music and Mischief for the Holidays

Godspell The Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Family Holiday Series; A collaboration between Syracuse Stage and SU Drama

Conceived and Directed by Ping Chong October 14 - November 2 World Premiere

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett Newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman Directed by Timothy Bond March 31 – May 3

Conceived and Originally Directed by John-Michael Tebelak Music and New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz Directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj Choreographed by Anthony Salatino November 25 – December 28

Life stories of real Syracuse residents carry us around the globe and bring us home with a more complete understanding of how we’re all connected.

A 13-year-old girl finds hope in the in face evil and teaches us all an unforgettable lesson in courage. A new adaptation of an American classic.

Filled with popular hit songs and based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, this energetic musical is a celebration of worldwide community.

Putting it Together


A Musical Review Concept by Stephen Sondheim & Julia McKenzie Book, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Directed & Choreographed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj January 27 - February 15

The Santaland Diaries

By Regina Taylor Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry Directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris May 13 – June 7

By David Sedaris Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello Directed by Wendy Knox December 2 – January 4

Tales from the Salt City

At a Manhattan cocktail party, a cast of five uses Sondheim’s exquisite songs to examine the ups and downs of two relationships.

A troubled young woman journeys to her ancestral home and finds healing in the warm embrace of family, church, gospel music and tradition

Meet Crumpet, a 33-year-old starving artist turn cranky (but cute) Macy’s elf, in humorist David Sedaris’ witty gem of a lump of coal. For mature elves only. All plays and players subject to change.

SeASon SponSorS:


Box office: 315.443.3275

Group Sales:

Profile for Syracuse Stage

Crowns Study Guide  

Crowns Study Guide

Crowns Study Guide  

Crowns Study Guide

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