A Gatherin' Place Program

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PRESENT

BASED ON THE POEM “IT’S HARD TO TELL A BLACK WOMAN’S STORY” BY

Dr. Juhanna Rogers WRITTEN, PRODUCED, AND DIRECTED BY

Dr. Juhanna Rogers PERFORMED BY

The Harriet Tubman Troupe FILMED AND

RESIDENT SOUND DESIGNER/

PRODUCTION

LIGHTING BY

AUDIO ENGINEER:

S U P E RV I S O R

EDITED BY

David Bowman

Jacqueline R Herter

Stuart Plymesser

Black Cub Productions

VIDEOGRAPHERS

MAKE-UP BY

S TA G E M A N A G E R

S TA G E M A N A G E R

Eric Derachio Jackson Jr., Mylze Blake

MiKayla Hawkinson

Brian Crotty

Judi Dixon

THE HARRIET TUBMAN TROUPE

Robert Hupp

Jill A. Anderson

Kyle Bass

Joann Yarrow

Artistic Director

Managing Director

Associate Artistic Director

Director of Community Engagement and Education

MADE POSSIBLE BY

SEASON SPONSORS

A Gatherin' Place is presented by Syracuse Stage as a Syracuse Story - performances and events by and for the Central New York community. A Gatherin' Place was originally developed and produced by Auburn Public Theatre. The Harriet Tubman Troupe, founded in 2018 at Auburn Public Theater, is a performing arts group for women of color to celebrate all of who they are through performance. October 15 - 25, 2020 5


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THE CAST (in order of speaking)

Audre Page/Ms. Paulette..........................Juhanna Rogers, PhD. Joy.............................................................Vanessa R. Campbell Michelle................................................Dr. Tanisha M. Jackson Ida.............................................................Dr. Brandiss Pearson Shirley.......................................................................Cari Clark Angela............................................................Nakeia Chambers Zora.......................................................Melody Smith Johnson Maya....................................................................Arlaina Harris Alice......................................................Gwen Webber-McLeod Security Guard/Newscaster Voiceover.........Simeon “Superman” Etta

ADDITIONAL CREDITS Assistant Stage Manager: Esther Banegas Gatica Properties Supervisor: Mara Tunnicliff (Rich) Assistant Stage Manager: Audrey Flynn Light Board Operator: Sydney Curran Sound Board Operator: Daniel McLain Black Cub Production Crew: Michael Sunderlin

ORIGINAL CAST AND CONTRIBUTING MONOLOGUE WRITERS Vanessa Campbell, Cari Clark, Jasmine Freeman, Melody Smith Johnson, Ashley McLeod, Gwen Webber-McLeod, Martina Mitchell, Kizzy Mitchell, and Juhanna Rogers.

A Gatherin' Place is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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A GAT H E R IN' P L ACE

Many Voices Telling a Black Woman’s Story A Gatherin’ Place started as a conversation around a kitchen table and took, in the words of the show’s creator Dr. Juhanna Rogers, a “beautiful journey” to the Archbold Theatre where it was recently filmed as part of Syracuse Stage’s Syracuse Stories series. It is available free at www.syracsusestage.org, October 15 – 25. The show is the work of the Harriet Tubman Troupe, a community theater associated with Auburn Public Theater, where it was originally developed and performed. A Gatherin’ Place is based on a poem, “It’s Hard to Tell a Black Woman’s Story,” written by Rogers and is built on the personal narratives of the Black women who participated in the original production. A live talkback with Rogers and cast members is scheduled for October 18 at 5 p.m. The talkback is also free but advance registration is required. In the interview below, Rogers discusses her inspiration for the play.

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 DR. JUHANNA ROGERS IN A GATHERIN' PLACE. PHOTO: BRENNA MERRITT.

In a written introduction to the play, you pay homage to specific writers: Ntozake Shange, Maya Anjelou, Toni Morrison and Zora Neal Hurston. I always think about their works and their passing for sure has inspired me to tell stories. Over the recent years as I’ve gotten back into theatre, which I’ve just always found to be such a sacred place to tell Black stories, I’ve wanted to do it in a way that builds

a bridge between us and some of our now elder literary figures. Morrison, Angelou, Hurston, Shange—now that they’ve gone—who are going to be the people who tell those stories? We have to produce more. Why is the theater so good for telling these stories? I think of theatre and performance as a space where people can have more

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“Coming together at this moment was powerful because we could strip away the masks at a time when the nation is so focused on race and racial injustices. It was an honor and a privilege for this honest work to speak to that experience. It was a bonding experience. ” –Dr. Juhanna Rogers honest conversations. It’s often been used as a catalyst for conversation, or used to challenge perspective, or used to challenge an audience to go so much deeper into their own personal reflections on various issues. But I think now it’s an opportunity to have audience members, spec-

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tators think about the racial and gendered experiences of folks of color. How we can think about spaces where more folks of color can be represented on stage so we can tell stories that are going to help us move the needle on equity and social change in our country.


Do you write with any anticipation of how the audience might respond? You have to create the piece you want and the audience will take away what they will. I thought about, and I often think about, what would make my ancestors proud. How do we show up in performance and say exactly what it is that’s on our hearts and on our minds. So much of the time in everyday life we, as Black women, have to censor ourselves because of our position or because we play a specific role. I challenged the cast to come onstage and as best as possible to strip away roles or expectations of who they are. Give them permission to be 100% of who they think they are and perform in that light.

What was that experience like for you and for them? Coming together at this moment was powerful because we could strip away the masks at a time when the nation is so focused on race and racial injustices. It was an honor and a privilege for this honest work to speak to that experience. It was a bonding experience. It wasn’t just about putting up theatre. It’s what came together when some women got together and put a show together, an experience where they were sharing their stories, being unapologetically Black women. That in of itself for many of us is very, very powerful. 

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 ENSEMBLE IN A GATHERIN' PLACE. PHOTO: BRENNA MERRITT.


It’s Hard to Tell a Black Woman’s Story BY DR. JUHANNA ROGERS Stories take a sense of completeness and so often Black Women exist in pieces. Telling a Black woman’s story requires us to put the pieces back together again and hope the world sees the beauty in it. It’s hard to tell a Black woman’s story – sharing ourselves, using our voices, our expressions and our views – when the world refuses to see us or pay us our dues? On the screen, our lives are depicted as a national hindrance. We’re hopeless, downtrodden, meek, and full of spite. We’re the female characters dying to be white. We’re mean but we can damn sure clean. It’s hard to tell a Black Woman’s story because our storylines must always be about our pain or better yet, sex. Black Women need help. Sistahs, I am sick of that image We gotta fight. It’s hard to tell a Black girl’s story when you try to tell it in pieces. When I try to tell my story, my words get jumbled, my confidence mumbles, meanings get mangled, and my mind gets tangled because I fear folks get hung up on the wrong thing... you see, there are so many that people who try to tell our stories. they attempt to represent us. Yet they misrepresent us. Stress us. Guess us. And basically continue to oppress us. Y’all, it is hard to tell a Black woman’s story even when given a chance to say this is me,

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I am not a basketball wife, a broken spirit, or the bitter woman on tv. Most audiences won’t believe we are educated, rarely duplicated, often underestimated, beautiful and have high esteem. Hell, what other group of women refers to themselves as queens? It’s hard to tell the Black woman’s story when you have so much you want to say. It takes a lot. Several times it makes my heart stop. My tongue gets lax. I start to lose my tact because it is painful to admit the facts that we are tired. Always feeling like we are on the verge of being fired by our job or our man. Ladies and gentlemen, have you noticed we got sistahs young and old living life in quicksand? We are carrying a lot of weight causing many of us to leave earth at a more rapid rate? It’s hard to tell a Black woman’s story but I am tired of listening to their story about who we are I am going to share my own Dr. Mclean said, “Girl, tell your story!” Momma asked, “Chile, what you going to say?” I went home, cut off the TV, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix, etc. I had to deal with being alone with me, my heart. It is easy to tell a Black girl’s story when you are in your place and the given space to take off the mask Sharing our story is easy when you’re not wearing someone else’s hair or face Telling our story is easier when you understand, appreciate and believe in Womanhood, Sister friends and the Black race. It is easy to tell a Black woman’s story when you take the time to look inside, lift your voice and seek truth through your very own eyes. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell a Black woman’s story.

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 DIRECTOR DR. JUHANNA ROGERS.

A GATHERI N' PLACE

director's note A Gatherin’ Place and the personal journey of each of our cast members showed up in this work. There is a piece of every story that touched our hearts. This work is just the beginning; it has wings and with each opportunity we get to put it in front of an audience it will get better. It has the potential to truly soar as piece of work that is honest and raw and speaks to the Black woman’s experience!

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CAST diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner. She currently serves as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Student Inclusion at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Her role and personal mission is to enhance our educational and work environment by recruiting and cultivating a diverse student body and workforce. She has been recognized locally and statewide for her dedication and commitment to all students. Ms. Chambers is noted for being a tremendous ally in identifying issues faced by historically underrepresented students, and has provided great insight for their potential success beyond their undergraduate experience. In addition, she serves as an advocate and a resource for the Syracuse community. Ms Chambers works closely with various multicultural affinity organizations throughout New York State. She conducts workshops educating the youth in our community on higher education and vocation, and the path it takes to achieve that goal. Through active family and community engagement, she seeks to provide opportunities that work to eliminate achievement and attainment gaps. She has two daughters, a 13-year-old and a 6-year-old who are the center of her life.

Vanessa R. Campbell (Joy) is a resident of DeWitt, NY, and works as an Employee Relations Officer for Onondaga County’s Department of Personnel. Vanessa is also an entrepreneur. She is the Director of Photography for Cuse Culture and she owns V. Renee Photography. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Vanessa is passionate about the arts and giving back to her community. A past member of the cast of For Colored Girls . . ., The Tubman Troupe is one of the ways she is demonstrating to young girls how powerful and special they are! She dedicates this performance to her family and friends. Nakeia Chambers (Angela) is a native of Syracuse, having attended McKinley Brighton Elementary, Levy Middle School, and Nottingham High School (Go Bulldogs!). She is a proud product of the Syracuse City School District. She was cultivated by community and educational access programs such as: Dunbar Center, Southwest Community Center, Paul Robeson Performing Arts Co., Liberty Partnership Program, Le Moyne College Upward Bound, Syracuse University STEP, and NSBE. Through the New York State Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), she earned her MSED in Counseling and BA of Journalism and Marketing from St. Bonaventure University. Ms. Chambers has spent close to 20 years as a

Cari Clark (Shirley) is a motivational speaker and poet out of Syracuse, New York, whose love for theatre and writing began in 2006. Her passion has allowed her to do local performances in Little Shop of

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CAST Horrors, The Color Purple, West Side Story, as well as The Christians and To Kill a Mockingbird at Syracuse Stage. As a spoken word artist, she has had platforms at Syracuse City call, AM 620 radio station, opening for musical group Blue Magic and speaking at several women’s conferences. She is currently an Empowerment Speaker with a target of millennial woman of color. With hopes to continue in her path of motivating others, Cari will use her artistry to move, empower, and stimulate the minds of the people that she speaks to.

Arlaina Harris (Maya) was born and raised on the S. Side of Syracuse, where her parents still live. She attended Syracuse City Schools and went on to earn her B.A. of Psychology at the University of Rochester. With an interest in mental health and suicide prevention for underprivileged youth, she returned home after undergraduate school and became a Youth Development Professional at Elmcrest Children’s Center where she worked for 3.5 years. Though she loved direct practice, she decided she wanted to have more of an impact on the systems and structure of human service organizations to improve service delivery and quality of care. She went on to attend Syracuse University Falk College and earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) with a concentration on macro-level social work. She is dedicated to working towards de-stigmatizing mental illness, especially among communities of color, and cultivating safe spaces for people to embrace their truths and accept healing. Arlaina is heavily involved in projects that drive community development and is very keen on relationship-based strategies that promote inclusive growth. She currently is a partner/owner of Our Glass Consulting, LLC which focuses on transforming workplace culture through diversity and inclusion, leadership and fulfillment training. She is also the owner of the newly founded apparel brand, Wear You, LLC, which is aimed to celebrate mental illness by encouraging

Simeon “Superman” Etta (Security Guard/ Newscaster Voiceover) first started performing as a youngster and continues to have a passion for the arts and performance. Simeon’s formal performance career began when he took up roller skating in Savannah, GA, while he was stationed in the United States Army in 1999. After his tour in Georgia, Simeon returned to Newark, NJ, to complete his college education at Kean University (Bachelors in Business Administration) and began to study roller skating with his mentor Mr. Bernard aka “Mr. B” at Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center. Today, Simeon studies acting, teaches skating, models, and writes. In addition, Simeon Etta is CEO of Above the Rest Consulting, LLC, a business consulting firm specializing in financial literacy, project management, risk management, team building, communications, and policy and procedures analysis. 17


CAST people to embrace their truth with vulnerability, acceptance and selflove in a way that spreads empathy, compassion, and awareness. Additionally, Arlaina serves on the board of Café Sankofa, a Black-led culture and wellness cooperative located on the South Side of Syracuse.

she empowers the dreams of young women of color through scholarships, mentorship, and entrepreneurship. (www.blsempower.org). In addition to being a 20+ year HR professional, she is Owner/Lead Designer of Divine Coverings, Inc. an online retail business- where every product design seeks to help women experience bedazzling beauty every day and feel celebrated in their daily lives by “Adding Dazzle to the Details of Life”. Most recently, Melody joined the Auburn Public Theater’s Board of Directors and is equally excited to be the newest member of the Harriet Tubman Troupe. She dedicates this performance to every Black Girl who dares to live, tell, and celebrate their story. #thefuturehasalwaysbeenfemale

Dr. Tanisha M. Jackson (Michelle). A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Jackson recently arrived in Syracuse, NY, at the beginning of 2019. She is an alumna of The Ohio State University with a doctorate degree in Art Education, Policy and Administration. Dr. Jackson is the Executive Director of the Community Folk Art Center and a professor in the department of African American Studies at Syracuse University. Outside of her professional role, Tanisha enjoys engaging with people through community-based arts, traveling, and painting on canvas. She is currently writing a manuscript that highlights the work of contemporary Black women artists whose artwork centers on health, wellness, and social justice.

Dr. Brandiss Pearson (Ida) is a board certified family nurse practitioner, currently working as director of community engagement at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health. Dr. Pearson is eager to offer her talents in her debut stage performance as Ida in A Gatherin’ Place. Her goal is to add depth to her role by tapping into her lived experiences as a Black woman combined with her research related to strategies for well-being for Black women in leadership. Dr. Pearson is grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with the other amazing and inspiring members of the cast. Special thank you to Dr. Juhanna Rogers for bringing this vision to fruition.

Melody Smith Johnson (Zora) is a Harlem, NY, native who recently relocated to CNY. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and servant-leader who serves communities of color as a minister, advocate, mentor, life coach, and motivational speaker. As Founder & CEO of The Initiative, a non-profit organization,

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CAST dent/CEO of Gwen, Inc. Gwen, Inc. is a private sector leadership development corporation based in Auburn and serving clients nationally. The company helps leaders achieve business goals by focusing on the competencies of confidence, competence, courage, and calm. www.gweninc.com Gwen is proudly in the legacy building years of her career. She is the founder of You Can’t Fail, Inc. www. youcantfailinc.org. This organization is a nonprofit leadership development organization solely devoted to ensuring new generations of women are prepared for leadership and executive level positions. You Can’t Fail programs focus on the unique leadership journey of emerging women leaders of color.

Gwen Webber-McLeod (Alice) has a deep passion for the arts. Many don’t know she studied modern dance as a minor in college. She took a deep breath and jumped into theatre in 2018. She directed the APT production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. This was life changing for her. This experience sparked the idea for creation of the Harriet Tubman Troupe, a theatre company devoted to celebrating women of color through performance. Gwen is thrilled to be a founding member of this important theatre company. It is her honor to walk in Harriet Tubman’s footsteps. Gwen is the Presi-

PLAYWRIGHT, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, AUDRE PAGE/MS. PAULETTE tistic performances that celebrated Black history and culture. Her work in theatre earned her Central Pennsylvania NAACP Woman of the Year at the age of 20. Dr. Rogers went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University. Dr. Rogers has traveled the world exploring ways to document and highlight the narratives of the Black women through theatre and television. Today, in addition to working as an artist, Dr. Rogers is the Vice President for Racial Equity and Social Impact at CenterState CEO, mother to her son, Nile, and avid seeker of laughter!

Juhanna Rogers, PhD. is a motivational speaker, commentator, artist, and education activist currently residing in Syracuse. She is the creator and host of Behind The Woman, a web series that shares personal stories from diverse women leaders with the goal of empowering women to pursue their dreams. Behind The Woman was recently picked up for TV by WCNY. Dr. Rogers earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Arts from Penn State University– Altoona. While at Penn State, she wrote, directed, and produced ar-

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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Robert Hupp is in his fifth season as artistic director of Syracuse Stage. He recently directed Amadeus, Noises Off, Next to Normal, and The Three Musketeers for Stage. Prior to coming to central New York, Robert spent seventeen seasons as the producing artistic director of Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock. He directed over 30 productions for Arkansas Rep ranging from Hamlet to Les Miserables to The Grapes of Wrath. In New York City, Robert directed the American premieres of Glyn Maxwell’s The Lifeblood and Wolfpit for the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. He also served for nine seasons as the artistic director of the Obie Award-winning Jean Cocteau Repertory. At the Cocteau, Robert’s directing credits include works by Buchner, Wilder, Cocteau, Shaw, Wedekind and the premieres of the

Bentley/Milhaud version of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, and Eduardo de Filippo’s Napoli Millionaria. He has held faculty positions at Pennsylvania’s Dickinson College and, in Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Hendrix College. Robert served as vice president of the Board of Directors of the Theatre Communications Group and has served on funding panels for the New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the Theatre Communications Group, the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. While in Arkansas, Robert was named both Non-Profit Executive of the Year by the Arkansas Business Publishing Group, and Individual Artist of the year by the Arkansas Arts Council. He and his wife Clea ride herd over a blended family of five children, one dog, and two cats.

MANAGING DIRECTOR paign and campus expansion, doubled its operating budget, and was honored with a 2015 National Medal of Arts and the 2010 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Under the O’Neill’s aegis, Jill also developed the Baltic Playwrights Conference, an annual international new play development retreat held in Hiiumaa, Estonia. Previously, Jill spent five years in the production office at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, after working as a stage manager in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. In addition to her work at

Jill A. Anderson has served as managing director of Syracuse Stage since 2016. Jill is responsible for Stage’s nearly $6.5 million operating budget and has oversight of fundraising, marketing, and operational matters within the organization. Prior to joining Stage, Jill spent a decade as general manager at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. During her tenure, the O’Neill completed a $7 million capital cam-

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MANAGING DIRECTOR Stage, Jill is an instructor in the Theater Management program of the Syracuse University Department of Drama, building on her work with high school and college students elsewhere, including at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Jill was recognized as part of the Central New York

Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” awards in 2017 and has served on numerous municipal and non-profit boards. Jill is a proud cheesehead, hailing from Marshfield, Wisconsin. She and her husband Dave Anderson, along with their daughter, are pleased to call Central New York home.

A S S O C I AT E A R T I S T I C D I R E C T O R Kyle Bass is the author of Possessing Harriet, which received its world premiere at Syracuse Stage last season, was produced last summer at Franklin Stage Company, and will be produced at the East Lynn Theater Company in New Jersey this summer and in Connecticut at Hartbeat Ensemble this fall. Kyle was script consultant on Thoughts of a Colored Man and is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (for fiction in 1998 and playwriting in 2010), a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, and Pushcart Prize nominee. His other full-length plays include Tender Rain, Baldwin vs. Buckley: The Faith of Our Fathers, Bleecker Street, and Separated, a piece of documentary theatre about the student military veterans at Syracuse University, which was presented at Syracuse Stage and at the Paley Center in New York, directed by Robert Hupp. Kyle is the co-author (with Ping Chong) of Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, which had its world premiere at Syracuse Stage

and was subsequently produced at La MaMaExperimental Theatre in New York. His current projects include a new play titled salt/city/ blues, which will have its world premiere in Syracuse Stage’s 20/21 season, and the libretto for an opera based on the life and music of legendary folk singer and guitarist Libba Cotten, commissioned by the Society for New Music. As dramaturg, Kyle worked with acclaimed visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on her theatre piece Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, subsequently produced at Yale Rep and the Kennedy Center. As a screenwriter, Kyle is the coauthor of the original screenplay for the film Day of Days (Broad Green Pictures, 2017), which stars awardwinning veteran actor Tom Skerritt, and he is the author of the screenplay adaptation of the novel Milk by Darcy Steinke. His plays and other writings have appeared in the journals Callaloo, Folio, and Stone Canoe, among others, and in the essay anthology Alchemy of the Word:

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A S S O C I AT E A R T I S T I C D I R E C T O R Writers Talk about Writing. He is also the drama editor for the journal Stone Canoe. Kyle has taught in the Colgate Writers Conference, has been guest lecturer in playwriting at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, was faculty in the M.F.A. Creative Writing program at Goddard College from 2006 to 2018, and from 2005 to 2018 he taught playwriting in Syracuse University’s Department of Drama and theatre courses in the Department of African American

Studies. Kyle is now full-time faculty as assistant professor in the Department of Theater at Colgate University where he previously served as the Burke Endowed Chair for Regional Studies, and is the 2019/20 Susan P. Stroman Visiting Playwright at the University of Delaware. Kyle holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Goddard College, is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and is represented by The Barbara Hogenson Agency.

WHO WE ARE Syracuse Stage is the non-profit, professional theatre company in residence at Syracuse University. We are nationally recognized for creating stimulating theatrical work that engages Central New York, and for our significant contribution to the artistic life of Syracuse University, where we are a vital partner in achieving the educational mission of the University’s Department of Drama.

OUR MISSION Syracuse Stage tells stories that engage, entertain, and inspire us to see life beyond our own experience.

OUR VISION Reimagining what's possible for regional theatre–through active inclusion, innovative outreach, and bold productions–Syracuse Stage shapes the culture and social vitality of Central New York, enriches the Syracuse University student experience, and fosters change in ourselves, our communities, and our world.

O U R C O R E VA L U E S People - Actively including diverse individuals, communities, ideas, and perspectives. Passion - Commitment to integrity, excellence, and enthusiasm in our work. Curiosity - Fostering an innovative and adaptive environment that elicits wonder.

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A B O U T S Y R A C U S E S TA G E Originally constructed as the Regent Movie House in 1914, the physical space of Syracuse Stage has seen many films, musicians, actors, and artists pass through its doors over the course of the past century. The Syracuse Stage that exists today is a nonfor-profit professional theatre company founded in 1974, and a longstanding League of Resident Theatres (LORT) member. Since its inception, Stage has produced over 300 shows, both plays and musicals, within its walls. Now, Stage produces six to seven shows per season, while also offering educational programs to students, various pre- and post-show events, and fundraising events each year. Stage is Central New York’s only LORT theatre and one of the largest performing arts organizations in the area. Stage has a strong commitment to giving the community access to a range of high-quality productions; it is equally committed to bringing in actors, designers, and directors who are among the leading theatre professionals, both locally and across the nation.

B L A C K L I V E S M AT T E R We stand in solidarity with those who protest today for justice. We condemn racism. We are horrified by the murder of George Floyd and the cycle of violence perpetrated against Black Americans. We stand with our neighbors in Syracuse who gather in the hope of a better tomorrow. As an institution, we acknowledge that we need to listen, to learn, to be more effective allies in this cause. In this moment in time, we must use our power as storytellers to shift the narrative, we must lead by example to combat racism. We must lift up the many voices in our community. We will do better.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Syracuse Stage respectfully acknowledges the Onondaga Nation, firekeepers of the Haudenosaunee, the indigenous people on whose ancestral lands we now stand.

IN THE COMMUNITY Stage has collaborated with a myriad of institutions in the Syracuse area. Community partners include AccessCNY, ARC of Onondaga, ARISE, ArtRage, CNY Reads, Interfaith Works of Central New York, La Casita, McMahon / Ryan Child Advocacy Center, Onondaga Historical Association, Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, SUNY Upstate Medical University, the VA Medical Center, and Vera House. Additionally, the educational department collaborates with many CNY schools.

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S Y R A C U S E S TA G E B O A R D O F T R U S T E E S CHAIR

Nancy Green Managing Member Edward S. Green & Associates PRESIDENT

Herman R. Frazier* Senior Deputy Athletics Director Syracuse University IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR/VICE CHAIR

Rick Shirtz Regional President NBT Bank TREASURER

Amir Rahnamay-Azar* Chief Financial Officer Syracuse University SECRETARY

Sharon Sullivan Community Volunteer AT-LARGE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER

Phil Turner Pastor Bethany Baptist Church Jill Anderson** Managing Director Syracuse Stage Janet Audunson Assistant General Counsel National Grid George S. Bain Freelance Editor and Writer Barbara Beckos Retired Syracuse Stage Nancy Byrne Community Volunteer Steve Chase Senior Vice President BPAS Dr. Ruth Chen* Professor of Practice Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science Robin Curtis NYS Lic. RE Asso. Broker Hunt Real Estate ERA Zellar Homes Rep. Richard Driscoll Sr. Commercial Banking Relationship Manager Commercial Banking Division NBT Bank Denise Dyce* Director of Labor Relations Syracuse University Helene Gold Private Voice & Piano Instructor

Neil Gold Retired VP Gold Pure Food Products Jacki Goldberg Community Volunteer

Molly Mulvihill VP, Market Manager Enterprise Business & Community Engagement Bank of America

Bea González Retired - Vice President for Community Engagement Syracuse University

TeNesha Murphy Research and Communications Officer Office of the County Executive, Onondaga County

Larry Harris EVP and CFO Saab, Inc.

Fran Nichols Chair Emeritus, Syracuse Stage Eric Mower + Associates

John Huhtala Relationship Manager Middle Market Commercial Banking Chase

Marc Nichols Executive VP & General Counsel Saab, Inc.

Robert Hupp** Artistic Director Syracuse Stage Cydney Johnson* Vice President for Community Engagement and Government Relations Syracuse University Rebecca Karpoff* Professor of Practice, Musical Theater/Coordinator of Vocal Instruction, Musical Theater Syracuse University Department of Drama Kathy Kelly Health Educator, PNP, retired Larry Leatherman Retired Bristol-Myers Squibb, MOST Dan Lent Vice President Citizens Bank

Mona Paradis Stadium International Trucks Virginia Parker Retired Educator Annette Peters Marketing Director Advance Media New York Molly Ryan Partner, Goldberg Segalla LLP Robert Sarason Retired Lawyer, Organizer, Fundraiser L. John Steigerwald IV Marketing and Sales Representative Cathedral Candle Company Melvin T. Stith Dean Emeritus, Whitman School of Management Syracuse University Cora Thomas Radio Host and Office Manager, WAER

Anthony Malavenda Retired - Duke’s Root Control Rocco Mangano Partner Mangano Law Office, PLLC Julia Martin Partner Bousquet Holstein Kevin R. McAuliffe Partner Barclay Damon Suzanne McAuliffe Retired Educator Rod McDonald Bond, Schoeneck & King Samantha Millier Associate Attorney Mackenzie Hughes LLP

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Michael S. Tick* Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts Syracuse University Dr. Amy Tucker Chief Medical Officer SUNY Upstate Medical University Mel Williams US Department of Transportation Ralph Zito** Chair Syracuse University Department of Drama Michael Zoanetti VP Senior Wealth Advisor Tompkins Financial Advisors *University Trustee **Ex-Officio


S Y R A C U S E S TA G E E M E R I T U S C I R C L E We are grateful to the following individuals who have served as Members of the Stage Board of Trustees and continue to support Syracuse Stage at the Circle level. Jim Breuer Mary Beth Carmen Joan Green

Elizabeth Hartnett Margaret Martin Eric Mower

Judy Mower Michael Shende Jack Webb

SYRACUSE STAGE EDUCATION ADVOCACY BOARD Sara Bambino

Elizabeth Defurio

Linda Ponza

CICERO-NORTH SYRACUSE

NOTTINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL

SOLVAY HIGH SCHOOL

David Fisselbrand

Jennifer Sabatino

AUBURN HIGH SCHOOL

CATO-MERIDIAN MIDDLE SCHOOL

HIGH SCHOOL

Todd Benware CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

Melissa Morgan

Jordan Berger

BAKER HIGH SCHOOL

JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HIGH SCHOOL

Matthew Phillips

Rhiannon Berry

JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HIGH SCHOOL

LIVERPOOL HIGH SCHOOL

Y O U N G A D U LT C O U N C I L Lily Beckman

ESM CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL

Sofia Benderski

WESTHILL HIGH SCHOOL

Sadie Broderick

EAST SYRACUSE MINOA

Alyssa Brown

MORAVIA HIGH SCHOOL

Anka Chiorini

JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HIGH SCHOOL

Rachel Colucci

WESTHILL HIGH SCHOOL

Kaitlyn Coomes

CHARLES W. BAKER HIGH SCHOOL

Luke V. DeLorenzo

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

Isabel Dickinson-Cominolli WESTHILL HIGH SCHOOL

Ryan Dunn

HOMESCHOOLED

Emilee Elizabeth Edick

Jacob Garofalo

Rachael Rowe

Patrick Kraft

Sophia Rubino

Kayla Lee

Tori Sayre

Abby McGrath

Kimberly Seipio

Kaitlyn Olson

Alethea Shirilan-Howlett

Keniel Ortiz

Dreyvon Simmons

Elizabeth Ouimette-Garza

Aiden Southworth

Lydia Pevarnik

Shannon Williams

Sariyah Richards

Sydney Wright

CICERO-NORTH SYRACUSE HIGH SCHOOL

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

LIVERPOOL HIGH SCHOOL

WEST GENESEE HIGH SCHOOL

FAYETTEVILLE-MANLIUS HIGH SCHOOL

PSLA@FOWLER

NORTH SYRACUSE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

WESTHILL HIGH SCHOOL

MARCELLUS HIGH SCHOOL

HENNINGER HIGH SCHOOL

JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HIGH SCHOOL

MANLIUS PEBBLE HILL SCHOOL

MANLIUS PEBBLE HILL SCHOOL

BAKER HIGH SCHOOL

SYRACUSE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE CHARTER SCHOOL

Angela Rotunno BISHOP LUDDEN

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

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JCB HIGHSCHOOL (PHOENIX)

NOTTINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL

CICERO NORTH SYRACUSE HIGH SCHOOL


N E X T AT S Y R A C U S E S TA G E

IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE

TALLEY'S FOLLY

BY TONY TACCONE AND BENNETT S. COHEN, ADAPTED FROM THE NOVEL BY SINCLAIR LEWIS SOUND DESIGN AND MUSIC BY PAUL JAMES PRENDERGAST DIRECTED BY LISA PETERSON | PROVIDED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE AVAILABLE ON DEMAND OCTOBER 13 - NOVEMBER 8 FREE - NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED

BY LANFORD WILSON | DIRECTED BY ROBERT HUPP NOVEMBER 11 - NOVEMBER 22

Kate Hamill (playwright and actor Pride & Prejudice) and Jason O’Connell (Salieri in Amadeus) star in Lanford Wilson’s 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning Valentine of a play. On July 4, 1944, Matt Friedman, a 40+ accountant and in love for the first time in his life, drives 200 miles to the heart of Missouri Christian farm country to propose to Sally Talley, ten years younger and seemingly not interested. Having been met at the door by Sally’s shotgun toting brother—Jews not welcome here—Matt takes refuge in a Victorian folly of a boathouse on the nearby river, where Sally finds him. Cue moonlight and music (waltz, please), willows and woods. Can one enchanted evening change the course of two lives? Once upon a time—there was hope in the land.

Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel, one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. Berkeley Rep is delighted to welcome back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip, and to have Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup. 26


A GATHERIN' PLACE SPONSOR

M&T Bank. “This year, with the challenges we’ve faced, community is more important than ever. When confronted by crisis, we rely on those around us for solidarity, support, guidance and empathy. The Syracuse Stories Series creates a space where we can safely come together and explore topics that impact our community. Even during these most challenging of times, the ingenuity and relentless hard work of the team at Syracuse Stage to reimagine programing like Syracuse Stories makes our region stronger and more resilient. We’re proud to support them in this initiative, and encourage others to join the conversation.” – Allen Naples, M&T Bank Regional President.

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SYRACUSE STAGE ANNUAL GIFTS Syracuse Stage depends on the generosity of contributions from individuals, corporations, businesses, foundations, and government agencies. It is with much gratitude that we recognize the following donors to our annual campaign. For information regarding levels of contribution and benefits of each please contact the Development office at 315-443-3931 or visit syracusestage.org.

CORPORATE, FOUNDATION, AND GOVERNMENT SPONSORS

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CORPORATE, FOUNDATION, AND GOVERNMENT SPONSORS

Richard Mather Fund

Contributions listed above are current as of October 7, 2020 and reflect operating support of $2,800+ and in-kind donations of $10,000+.

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S Y R A C U S E S TA G E S TA F F

Artistic Director.............................................................................................................Robert Hupp Managing Director.....................................................................................................Jill A. Anderson Associate Artistic Director....................................................................................................Kyle Bass P R O D U C T I O N S TA F F

Director of Production Operations...........................................................................Don Buschmann Associate Director of Production Operations..........................................................Dianna Angell Company Manager and Production Management Associate......................................Brian Crotty Events Manager and Production Management Assistant......................................Audrey Flynn Facilities Student Assistant.............................................................................Marilyn Wechsler Technical Director..................................................................................................Randall Steffen Assistant Technical Director............................................................................Rebecca Schuetz Scene Shop Foreman...........................................................................................Michael King Carpenters................................................................................Brian McBurney, John Gamble Student Employee..............................................................................................Mehak Saroha Scenic Charge Artist..............................................................................................Emily C. Holm Assistant Scenic Artist...........................................................................................Phillip Dyke Props Supervisor............................................................................................................Mara Rich Props Carpenter...............................................................................................Jordan Michaud Props Artisan....................................................................................................Jessica Culligan Props Apprentice.............................................................................................Andrew Morgan Props Overhire.......................................................................................................Chad Healy Student Assistants............................................................................Drew Davis, Allison Turlo Costume Shop Manager..........................................................................Gretchen Darrow-Crotty Assistant Costume Shop Manager.....................................................................Amanda Moore Cutter-Drapers.................................................................Catherine Hennessy, Kathryn Rauch First Hand.........................................................................................................Victoria Lillich Stitchers.......................................................................................Emily King, Katelyn Yonkers Craftsperson/Shopper.........................................................................................Sandra Knapp Wardrobe and Wig Supervisor...............................................................................Jaylene Ogle Student Assistants.......................................................................................Christina Forestiere Lighting and Projection Supervisor..................................................................David M. Bowman Electrician…….......................................................................................................Jed Daniels Electrics Apprentices...............................................................Sydney E. Curran, Susan Pipolo Student Assistants...........................Shannon Bagoly, Garett Pembrook, Genevieve Phanhthaly Resident Sound Designer/Audio Engineer......................................................Jacqueline R Herter Assistant Audio Engineer/A1..........................................................................Kevin O’Connor Sound Apprentice/A2........................................................................................Daniel McLain Production Stage Manager....................................................................................Stuart Plymesser Stage Manager..............................................................................................Laura Jane Collins Stage Management Journeymen........................................................Erin C Brett, Em Piraino

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S Y R A C U S E S TA G E S TA F F

A D M I N I S T R AT I V E S TA F F

General Manager....................................................................................................Michael McCurdy Comptroller..............................................................................................Mary Kennett Morreale Human Resources Manager/Business Associate.......................................................Kathy Zappala Director of Information Management & Technology...................................Garrett Wheeler-Diaz Box Office Managers...............................................................Courtney Richardson, A'Isha Shanes Box Office Staff.........................................................................Cara Christian, Jordan McKey Box Office Intern.............................................................................................Anabella Kalish Audience Services Manager........................................................................................Jacob Ellison Audience Services Assistant.................................................................................Ella Lafontant Audiences Services Intern................................................................................Jackson Norman House Managers...............................................Patricia Condello, Adam Secor Donna Stuccio Student Assistant House Managers.........................Calvin Keener, Claire Kenney John Macleod, Kerri McAneney, Jackson Norman, Claire St. Marie, Marilyn Wechsler Student Front of House Associates........Sofia Aguirre, Haley Ayers, Alana Barker, Ben Bauder, Anju Cloud, Ashley Collado, Avery Curcio, Emily Decker, Trevor Hart, Ellie Kallay, Suhail Kumar, Maria Polanco, Alyeska Reimer, Brandon Richards, Eli Schwartz, Stella Schwartz, Gabriel Vazquez-Arbelo, Marilyn Wechsler Bartenders..............Michelle Cannizzo, Kristian Elderbroom, Leah Knapp, Meg Pusey-Anthis Director of Development............................................................................................Wendy Rhodes Development Manager............................................................................................Stefania Ianno Development Assistant..............................................................................Ryan Duncan-Ayala Director of Education & Community Engagement.......................................................Joann Yarrow Associate Director of Education.............................................................................Kate Laissle Community Engagement and Education Specialist..................................MiKayla Hawkinson Education Assistant...................................................................................................Len Fonte Education Interns......................................................Margot Correa, Grace Hyde, Alex Keane Director of Marketing and Communications..............................................................Joseph Whelan Group/Corporate Sales Manager..........................................................................Tracey White Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications......................................Joanna Penalva Patron Campaign Specialist.........................................................................Nori Gartner-Baca Senior Designer, Creative Content....................................................................Brenna Merritt Graphic Designer............................................................................................Jonathan Hudak Marketing Interns.....................................................Matthew James Nerber, Soumya Tadepali Executive Assistant...........................................................................................................Wallis Dean Artistic Student Intern................................................................................................Beruk Teshome Sign Language Interpreters..............................Brenda Brown, Jim Brown, Jessie Falke, Sue Freeman, Mae Harrington, Joanne Jackowski, Zenna Preli, Trisha Schwartz, Tessa Wall Open Captioning...................................................................................................Michael McCurdy Audio Description...................................................................................Kate Laissle, Joseph Whelan Community Services Officers.......................................................Stacey Emmons, Joseph O'Connor Custodian........................................................................................................................Tony Rogers

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