Syracuse Stage Productions go Coast-to-Coast
During the month of February, Syracuse Stage will have four productions appearing coast-to-coast. Here locally, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play will completed its run on February 15. Sizwe Banzi is Dead recently completed a run in Princeton, NJ and will start up in Syracuse on February 25. Other Desert Cities will start performing in Portland, OR on February 21 where it will run several weeks before moving to Syracuse Stage in April. Stage’s fall production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson had a second run in Seattle, WA that ended February 8.
All except In the Next Room are co-productions, which join together the artistic efforts of two or more theaters. Each participating theater has oversight in casting, direction, and design including scenic, costume, lighting, and sound. In addition to sharing production costs, participating theaters can benefit from a wider pool of artistic collaborators, ensuring top-notch productions.
Sizwe Banzi is Dead is a co-production with McCarter theater Center (Princeton, NJ) and the Market theater (Johannesburg, South Africa.) The production has been called “extraordinary” (BroadwayWorld.com), with performances that “make this penetrating play all the more compelling” (The New York Times). The funny and poignant drama explores freedom and identity in apartheid-era South Africa. It is directed by John Kani, one of the co-creators of the script and actors in the original cast. His performance received the 1975 Tony Award for Best Actor. Syracuse Stage welcomes Sizwe Banze is Dead to the Archbold theater February 25 through March 15.
After Sizwe, Syracuse Stage will close its 2014–15 season with Other Desert Cities, directed by Syracuse Stage’s Producing Artistic Director, Timothy Bond, and co-produced with Portland Center Stage in Portland, OR. Other Desert Cities is by Jon Robin Baitz, the creator of TV’s hit drama Brothers & Sisters. This seriocomedy depicts a family drama between a liberal middle-aged writer and her conservative parents. The Broadway play was a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The play will run at Syracuse Stage April 8–26.
Also directed by Bond, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson performed at Seattle Repertory theater from January 16 through February 8, after appearing this past fall at Syracuse Stage. The Piano Lesson depicts a conflict between family members over whether or not to sell an antique piano. Reviews praised, “the show comes alive with a rich and stirring history only made more poignant through the stunning direction and performances.” (Broadway World)