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Study Guide Contents 3.)

Production Information


Introduction & audience etiquette


Letter from Community Engagement and Education Director


Educational Outreach at Syracuse Stage




Meet the Playwright


Meet the Director

10.) Characters 11.)

Glossary: Parts of a ship


Evolution of Storytelling


All about boats


Questions for Discussion

17.) Projects




Elements of Drama


Elements of Design


Director of Community Engagement & Education Joann Yarrow (315) 443-8603

Associate Director of Education Kate Laissle (315) 442-7755

Community Engagement & Education Assistant MiKayla Hawkinson (315) 443-1150

Group Sales & Student Matinees Tracey White (315) 443-9844

Box Office (315) 443-3275

Written and designed by MiKayla Hawkinson

Robert M. Hupp Artistic Director Jill A. Anderson Managing Director

Robert Hupp

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Artistic Director Kyle Bass Associate Artistic Director


Jill A. Anderson

Ralph Zito

Managing Director Chair, Department of Drama



Finegan Kruckemeyer WRITTEN AND D I R Eby CTED BY Directed

Katherine McGerr Lauren Unbekant

Red Beard Ralph JJ Sheehan

Captain Emily Rudolph



t Bass

Cormac Bohan



Anthony Hernandez

Katherine Simmons

Justin Slepicoff



Lindsey Vandevier

Jacqui Herter

Female Swing C O M P ODianne S I T I O N Cervelli


Stage Manager

Emmett Van Slyke

Lia Chapman

Set and Costume Designer Music Director and Composer

Sound Designer

Sailor Maggie Walter


Male Swing ENIC & MitchS CGerding

Carmen Martinez

Conroy Hayden Kerzie

Voice & Dialect Coach Blake Segal

September 19 – December 14, 2017

Zach Pearson

Stage Manager Mentor Stuart Plymesser

Fight Choreographer Alec Barbour Production Manager Dianna Angell


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audience etiquette BE PROMPT Give your students plenty of time to arrive, find their seats, and get situated. Have them visit the restrooms before the show begins. RESPECT OTHERS Please remind your students that their behavior and responses affect the quality of the performance and the enjoyment of the production for the entire audience. Live theatre means the actors and the audience are in the same room, and just as the audience can see and hear the performers, the performers can see and hear the audience. Please ask your students to avoid disturbing those around them. Please no talking or unnecessary or disruptive movement during the performance. Also, please remind students that cell phones should be switched off completely. No texting or tweeting, please. When students give their full attention to the action on the stage, they will be rewarded with the best performance possible.


As you take your students on the exciting journey into the world of live theatre, we hope that you’ll take a moment to help prepare them to make the most of their experience. Unlike movies or television, live theatre offers the thrill of unpredictability.

GOOD NOISE, BAD NOISE Instead of instructing students to remain totally silent, please discuss the difference between appropriate responses (laughter, applause, participation when requested) and inappropriate noise (talking, cell phones, etc).

With the actors present on stage, the audience response becomes an integral part of the performance and the overall experience: the more involved and attentive the audience, the better the show. Please remind your students that they play an important part in the success of the performance.

STAY WITH US Please do not leave or allow students to leave during the performance except in absolute emergencies. Again, reminding them to use the restrooms before the performance will help avoid unnecessary disruption.



Dear Educator, The best way of learning is learning while you’re having fun. When you hear something you can forget it, but when you see something it stays with you forever. Live theatre provides the opporutnity for us to connect with more than just our own story, it allows us to find ourselves in other people’s lives and grow beyond our own boundaries. We’re the only species on the planet who makes stories. It is the stories that we leave behind that define us. Giving students the power to watch stories and create their own is part of our lasting impact on the world. We invite you and your students to engage with the stories we tell as a starting point for you and them to create their own. Sincerely, Joann Yarrow, Kate Laissle and MiKayla Hawkinson Community Engagement and Education

2019/2020 EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SPONSORS Syracuse Stage is committed to providing students with rich theatre experiences that explore and examine 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 toward 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 15,500 students from across New York State attended or participated in the Bank of America Children’s Tour, artsEmerging, the Young Playwrights Festival, Backstory, Young Adult Council, and/or our Student Matinee Program. We gratefully acknowledge the corporations and foundations who support our commitment to in-depth arts education for our community.


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Educational Outreach at Syracuse Stage Children’s Tour


Each fall, the Bank of America Children’s Tour brings high-energy, interactive, and culturally diverse performances to elementary school audiences. Each performance is fully staged with scenery, costumes, and sound. You need only provide the stage, cafeteria, classroom, or any open space. Performances include a talkback with the actors and our helpful study guide for further classroom exploration. Pre- or postshow sessions with our talented teaching artists can be arranged upon request.

Each winter, the Backstory program brings history to life as professional actors portray historical figures in classrooms and other venues. Previous presentations have included historical figures such as Anne Frank, Ace, a Tuskegee Airman, and Annie Easley a human computer for NASA.

YAC: Young Adult Council

Each spring, Syracuse Stage invites Central New York high school students to write original ten-minute plays and other performance pieces for entry in our annual Young Playwrights Festival contest. Our panel of theatrical and literary professionals evaluates each student’s play. Semifinalists are invited to a writing workshop at Syracuse Stage where their plays will be read and critiqued. Finalists will see their plays performed as staged readings by Syracuse University Department of Drama at the annual Young Playwrights Festival. The festival is free and open to the public. 2019 season was our largest year to date with 365 entries.

THE YOUNG ADULT COUNCIL (YAC) at Syracuse Stage seeks to give teens a voice in the programming designed for them while exploring how theatre impacts their lives. The program focuses on peer led discussion and events in addition to advocating for theatre and arts participation to fellow students. The Syracuse Stage Young Adult Council (YAC) is a group of high school students from the Central New York area that meets monthly to create and implement pre-show events that will help inspire the next generation of theatregoers. YAC members can also take advantage of opportunities to learn from professional theatre artists at Syracuse Stage and through workshops, internships, and shadow programs.

Professional Development: Evening Teacher Workshops Professional Development classes for theatre teachers and community members covering a variety of theatre topics and taught by Syracuse Stage professionals. These workshops are designed to increase the skill sets for those working in a theatre setting.




Young Playwrights Festival

Summer Youth Theatre Experience Come and play with professional teaching artists of Syracuse Stage as we dive into the magical world of creativity and performance. This four-week program for middle school students is presented in collaboration with SALTspace & the Near Westside Initiative.

Suzette Who Set to Sea In a small seaside village where men build boats and women do not, young Suzette knows she is different- she longs for the sea and believes she is meant for more than a life on land. When one morning the men of the village are missing, presumed lost at sea, Suzette is faced with the opportunity to break with tradition. Using a boat she built herself in secret, she leads the women of the village on a journey to find the lost men. Along the way Suzette deals with challenges that can only be found at sea. Not even encountering the dreaded ‘Bone Holder’ frightens Suzette. But when it looks as though the women are at the end of their rope, Suzette maintains her level head and is able to guide the women safely home. Much to their surprise, the men had returned while they were away. Suzette’s family is reunited, and the people of the village no longer see why only men do certain things. Suzette shows that anyone can grow up to become anything they want! We learn that sometimes it only takes a single person to change everything.


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Meet the Playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer

Finegan has had 89 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into eight languages. He has received 35 awards (at least one each year since 2002) including the 2017 Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award (for services to international theatre for young audiences), the 2015 David Williamson Award for Excellence in Australian Playwriting, and an inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. To date, Finegan’s plays have had productions in: 200 international festivals; all Australian states/territories; eight US national tours; five UK national tours; and at the Sydney Opera House (six works), Scotland’s Imaginate Festival (four works), New York’s Lincoln Center for the Arts (three works), DC’s Kennedy Center for the Arts (three works), Ireland’s Abbey Theatre (two works) and Shanghai’s Malan Flower Theatre (two works). In addition to the Mickey Miners and David Williamson Awards and Sidney Myer Fellowship, Finegan and his work have received six Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) Awards, an honorary Tasmanian Theatre Award for Exceptional Writing, 2012 Helpmann Award for Children’s Theatre, 2010 Rodney Seaborn Award, 2009 Mystate Young Tasmanian Artist Award, 2006 Jill Blewett Playwrights Award, and 2002 Colin Thiele Scholarship. Photo courtesy of finegankruckenmeyer.com

Finegan has been a keynote speaker at the Ubud Writer’s Festival (Indonesia), the TYA USA National Conference, and the ITAYRN Conference (Argentina), among others. He has delivered papers or sat on panels at conferences/festivals in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Denmark, England, Indonesia, Scotland, Sweden and the US, with papers published. He was one of 21 selected worldwide for the ASSITEJ Next Generation (young leaders in children’s theatre), and has sat on the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, Australian Script Centre board, Australian Writers Guild Playwrights Committee, and Arts Tasmania’s Assistance to Individuals, Tas Literary Awards and Artsbridge panels. He is currently a board member of the Story Island Project board (promoting youth literacy and empowerment through storytelling with the state’s most marginalised young people). Finegan was born in Ireland, and emigrated to Adelaide at eight. In 2004, he moved with his wife Essie to Hobart, Tasmania, from which he now writes for national/ international companies. He is committed to making strong and respectful work for children, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays,and worthy subjects within. His son Moses was born in 2014.

Bio adapted from finegankruckemeyer.com




Meet the Director Katherine McGerr

Photo Credit: Brenna Merritt

Katherine McGerr is in her fifth year on the Performance Faculty with the Syracuse University Department of Drama. Previous Department of Drama credits include The Wild Party,The Baltimore Waltz, Laura and the Sea, and The Second Shepherds’ Play. Other directing credits include Building the Wall and An Incident (Chautauqua Theater Company New Play Workshop Series); Measure for Measure (PlayMakers Rep); The Second Shepherds’ Play (Colgate University and Indiana University); A Dream Play (Allegheny College); Seagulls (Long Wharf NextStage); Hedda Gabler,The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bird Fire Fly, No More Sad Things (Yale School of Drama), Dutchman, Christie in Love, Chamber Music (Yale Cabaret).

Other credits include the world premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s Listen To Me (script assistant, Long Wharf), the East coast premiere of Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked!.... (production dramaturg, Long Wharf) and the Broadway revival of South Pacific (dramaturgical assistant). Katherine is in her sixth year as director of the Chautauqua Young Playwrights Project, which serves over 500 elementary schoolers in Western New York each year. She has held artistic staff positions at Chautauqua Theater Company, Playwrights Realm, and Yale Repertory Theater, as well as assistant-directing fellowships at Shakespeare Theatre Company and Long Wharf. Katherine is a graduate of Columbia University and the Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute; she holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Yale School of Drama.


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Characters :


at agin

me ostu a c r o e iece Set to S p Use t e ho as eate uzette W why? r c S d d coul cter in it be an u o a y If char ould for a what w m

ri you

Renderings by Carmen Martinez

Captain- A female ship’s captain - not the first, and certainly not the last. The Captain has never failed to bring her crew back safe and sound even after perilous adventure on the sea. She loves to tell stories to anyone who will listen. As a young girl she conformed to expectations, but she was inspired by her older sister Suzette to learn how to sail and find her own path. Confident and brave, the Captain is a force to be reckoned with. Red Beard Ralph- The Captain’s not-at-all-red-bearded first mate. A man of few words, but always eager to share and communicate – so much so that he discovers he can speak up! Loyal, enthusiastic, and experienced, Ralph is always ready for the next adventure and, when the spirit of storytelling strikes, he is first at the ready to embody the characters he plays. Conroy- The newest member of the crew, who has a lot to learn about sailing as well as about the rest of the world. Conroy is inquisitive and bright, but he doesn’t always think before he speaks - which may get him into fights with the Captain. Nonetheless he means well and is willing to jump right in and embrace the story of Suzette. Sailor- An eager team player on the Captain’s ship. Younger than the captain and looks up to her. Having grown up in a world where Suzette paved the way, the Sailor didn’t feel pressured to conform as strongly to older-fashioned gender norms. 10




Parts of a ship

Bow- Front of the ship Bowsprit- A long pole that sticks out from the front of the ship Captain’s Cabin- located on the stern of the vessel, the captain’s cabin (or quarters) is where the captain dines and sleeps on voyages Chains- connection of metal links used for steering and dropping the anchor of the ship for docking Fo’c’sle- A superstructure at the bow of a merchant ship where the crew is housed. Foremast- the mast, a tall pole that supports the sail and nearest to the front of the ship Forepeak- the extreme forward lower compartment or tank usually used for trimming or storage in a ship Figurehead- A carved wooden decoration found at the bow of ships, generally of a design related to the name or role of a ship Gunport- an opening in the side of the hull of a ship, above the waterline, which allows the muzzle of artillery pieces mouted on the gun deck to fire outside

Hull- Body of a vessel Jibboom- A jibboom is a spar used to extend the length of a bowsprit on sailing ships. Keel- Very bottom of the hull, runs entire length of the ship Main Mast- The middle, primary mast on a ship or any other sailing vessel Mizzen- The largest and, perhaps, most important mast. It is the third mast or the mast aft of a mainmast on a ship having three or more masts. Quarterdeck-a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship Shrouds- pieces of standing rigging used to hold the mast up from side to side Top- The platform at the upper end of each mast SYRACUSE STAGE EDUCATION

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The Evolution of Storytelling Folk tales

Stories and accounts passed down by generations through word of mouth are known as folk tales. Often through story or song. Oral accounts are most commonly known amongst Native American tribes.

List of well known folk and fairy tales: The Pied Piper Jack and the Beanstalk Hansel and Gretel Goldilocks and the Three Bears Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs The Elves and the Shoemaker Rumpelstiltskin The Golden Touch of King Midas Rapunzel The Princess and the Pea The Emperor’s New Clothes

Difference between folk tales and fairytales: Both rooting from oral tradition folk tales depict “real life” scenarios in a traditional narrative form. Fairy tales are fictional or made up. Often involving magical elements such as mythical creatures and otherwordly scenarios.

y? a stor ? e e s r ro ing to hea or storytell y a w ng rite r favo a book, so u o y ’s What tre, reading hea Live t




The Evolution of Storytelling


Puppetry Puppets have been used in theatre and storytelling for hundreds of years and are seen in different styles across the world. There are many different styles of puppets; here is some information on a few of the most common types.



Glove puppets are worn on the hands. The middle finger and thumb can move the hands of the puppet while the index finger moves the head. If the puppet has a moveable mouth, the thumb moves the lower jaw while the other four fingers move the upper jaw.

One of the most difficult forms of puppetry to manipulate effectively, marionettes are made of wood or cloth and hang on strings. Usually there are eight basic strings to a well-designed marionette. However, some marionettes can have thirty or more.

Sticks or wire rods manipulate rod puppets attached to the neck and hands. In most cases, these controls come from below. Rod puppets may also be worked with rods from above, or any direction necessary for good movement and performance.

SHADOW: Mostly rod puppets, they are made flat and cast a shadow when the puppeteer manipulates them between a light source and a screen (often a piece of muslin stretched like a canvas). A shadow puppeteer learns to move the puppet in and out of the light so its shadow grows and shrinks and goes in and out of sharp focus. Traditionally, these are made from animal hides that are painted and perforated with decorative designs.


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All about boats

Dinghy boats

Fishing boats : me s a g g on chin escripti t a d M ? Fun itles and vered oats b t o e c e h t e If th wer e all of m u na d yo l u o c


Created for rowing, fresh water rescuing or assistance in navigating in smaller streams where larger boats cannot go. These boats are usually inflatable and made out of extremely durable rubber.

Built just for fishing in both fresh and saltwater. Often created for deep sea fishing adventures to better catch larger fish.


A lightweight and narrow vessel that is pointed on both ends. The canoe is propelled by people using paddles. They are most used for touring, sporting events and camping.

Uniquely crafted with two parallel hulls on each side this boat is often used for sailing excursions, leisurly cruising and excellent for fishing.





Houseboats are created for a life out on the water. Featuring all of the amentities you would find in a home these boats are a great way to spend a holiday or living arrangements for traveling.

Pontoon Boat

This flat shaped boat is often used in shallow parts of water for tours and relaxed excursions. It is held up by evenly placed alumnum tubes making it very sturdy and well balanced.

Traditional Junk Scooner

You will often find these sailboats on the pacific coast or in the mediterranean. These boats are use for deep sea net fishing.


A luxurious, often grand boat. The yacht is often used for vacationing and water activities. https://www.marineinsight.com/types-of-ships/a-guide-to-different-types-of-boats/ SYRACUSE STAGE EDUCATION

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There’s Space All Over the Place “ People of all backgrounds and identities can be anything they choose to be. It’s important that they can learn and participate in sharing each other’s stories, too. That’s why we have males playing females and vice versa, too.” - Katherine McGerr, Director There are many roles that women enjoy that can be perceived as masculine such as professional sports players, construction workers and doctors. On the other hand there are many wonderful male musicians, painters and dancers as well. These roles we often assume are for women. Gender roles can hinder the opportunity to become whatever you want to be. Society is making a change to break down these stereotypes and teach our youth that it is acceptable to become whatever it is you are truly passionate about. There is no right or wrong career path or hobby.

Gender identity noun a person’s perception of having a particular gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex. masculine adjective having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men, especially strength and aggressiveness. feminine adjective having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.

In Shakespearean times women were not allowed to act in the theatre. Men portrayed all ?! characters on the stage. Over time society has allowed for roles to be shared amongst all who w o enjoy acting and theatre. Even women have taken on some of the great roles such as Julius u kn o y d i D Cesar and Hamlet. 16



Pre show discussions: 1.) Hopes, wishes and dreams. Throughout our lives we have wishes and dreams of traveling to a far away place, adopting an animal, writing a book, starring in a show or a movie, or getting a really awesome job as a grown up. As a group discuss what some of your hopes and dreams are, what is a dream you hope to achieve one day and how can you get there? Now remember there is no right or wrong answer, just enjoy the opportunity to explore and discuss with your classmates. It’s always fun to learn something new about one another.

Post Show discussions: 1.) Elements of design and theatre. What was your favorite aspect of the show and why? Costumes, acting, set and/or props? If you had the opportunity to change one of these elements which one would it be and why? How would you attempt to make the show your own? 2.) Suzette becomes a hero in her hometown after standing up and having the courage to make a change. Who has inspired you? Pair off in teams of 2 or 3 and share who your heroes are. Why are these people heroes to you?


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Juice Box Sailboat Races Materials needed: • Large bin or tub of water • Juice boxes • Construction paper • Tape • Scissors • Extra straws for blowing and guiding your boat during the race Step 1: Drink the juice box. Make sure it is empty of all contents. Save the straw. Step 2: Seal the side from the straw hole with a piece of tape Step 3: Cut out two triangles in varying colors from the construction pape, one slightly larger than the other to use as your sail. Step 4: With the scissors and the help of an adult cut a tiny hole in the top of the juice box for your mast and sail. Step 5: Tape your triangles together, centering your smaller triangle on top of your larger triangle, then tape the entire flag to make it waterproof then tape the flag to the to the straw. Step 6: Place straw in the hole on top of the juice box Step 7: Place juice boxes in one end of the water and with your extra straws race your boat by giving wind to your sails. Have Fun! 18



elements of drama PLOT

What is the story line? What happened before the play started? What do the characters want? What do they do to achieve their goals? What do they stand to gain/lose? THEME

What ideas are wrestled with in the play? What questions does the play pose? Does it present an opinion? CHARACTER

Who are the people in the story? What are their relationships? Why do they do what they do? How does age/status/etc. effect them? LANGUAGE

What do the characters say? How do they say it? When do they say it? MUSIC

How do music and sound help to tell the story? SPECTACLE

Any piece of theatre comprises multiple art forms. As you explore this production with your students, examine the use of:



At its core, drama is about characters working toward goals and overcoming obstacles. Ask students to use their bodies and voices to create characters who are: very old, very young, very strong, very weak, very tired, very energetic, very cold, very warm. Have their characters interact with others. Give them an objective to fulfill despite environmental obstacles. Later, recap by asking how these obstacles affected their characters and the pursuit of their objectives.

How do the elements come together to create the whole performance?

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


How are each of these art forms used in this production? Why are they used? How do they help to tell the story?


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elements of design LINE can have length, width, texture, direction,

and curve. There are five basic varieties: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, and zig-zag. SHAPE is two-dimensional and encloses space.

It can be geometric (e.g. squares and circles), man-made, or free-form. FORM is three-dimensional. It encloses space

and fills space. It can be geometric (e.g. cubes and cylinders), man-made, or free-form. COLOR has three basic properties:

HUE is the name of the color (e.g. red, blue, green), INTENSITY is the strength of the color (bright or dull), VALUE is the range of lightness to darkness.

TEXTURE refers

to the “feel” of an object’s surface. It can be smooth, rough, soft, etc. Textures may be ACTUAL (able to be felt) or IMPLIED (suggested visually through the artist’s technique).





defined and determined by shapes and forms. Positive space is enclosed by shapes and forms, while negative space exists around them.

MAR 11 - 29

By Reginald Rose | Directed by James Still Co-Produced with Indiana Repertory Theatre

By Peter Shaffer | Directed by Robert Hupp Co-Produced with the Syracuse University Department of Drama


NOV 22 - JAN 5



Music by Alan Menken | Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice | Book by Linda Woolverton | Directed by Donna Drake Co-Produced with the Syracuse University Department of Drama

JAN 22 - FEB 16


By Sarah DeLappe | Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson | Co-Produced with the Syracuse University Department of Drama



Book by Enda Walsh | Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová | Based on the Motion Picture Written and Directed by John Carney | Directed by Mark Cuddy Co-Produced with Geva Theatre Center

MAY 27 - JUN 14



OCT 9 - 27

SEP 4 - 22


By Keenan Scott II | In association with Brian Moreland and Ron Simons | Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III | Co-Produced with Baltimore Center Stage

APR 1 - 5



Playwright-In-Residence Octavio Solis Solo Performer-In-Residence Bill Bowers Featured Local Playwright Charles Martin Curated by Kyle Bass

By Dipika Guha Directed by Robert Hupp




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Profile for Syracuse Stage

Suzette Study Guide  

Suzette Study Guide  

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