About The Department of Drama

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The Department of Drama in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (SU:VPA) offers conservatory-style training combined with a level of integration with a professional theatre company that is unparalleled among undergraduate programs. Each season Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama co-produce a show, and during that process students have the opportunity to work with professional actors, directors and designers, and earn points toward membership in Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers. Information on the current season can also be found on the SU:VPA website.

Announcing the 18/19 Department of Drama Season


Into the Woods

Book by James Lapine | Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim | Directed and Choreographed by David Lowenstein | Music Direction by Brian Cimmet | October 12 - 21 | Opening Night: October 13

A stunningly fresh take on one of Stephen Sondheim’s most popular works, this production nudges the familiar characters of Into the Woods a little further into the fearful, dark forest. Sondheim based his sophisticated musical on the unsettling tales of the Brothers Grimm, populated it with slightly skewed versions of storybook favorites, and set them on a course wherein having wishes granted is not the same as having wishes come true. Good storytellers know unforeseen consequences are always lurking deep in the narrative. 

Read the program here.


Next Fall

By Geoffrey Nauffts | Directed by Ralph Zito | November 9 – 17
Opening Night: November 10

There are stories we tell about ourselves and stories others tell about us. Can both perspectives yield truth? A car accident places a young man named Luke in critical condition. As he lies comatose, suspended between life and death, his family and friends slowly begin reckoning with the conflicting stories of his life, the silences and secrets that have kept Luke from integrating his present and his past. Will Luke be given a chance to knit the story of his life into a satisfying whole? In this deeply moving and surprisingly funny play, Geoffrey Nauffts takes the measure of a painful passage and shapes a drama that speaks in a quiet voice of momentous things.

Read the program here.


Elf The Musical *

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin | Music by Matthew Sklar | Lyrics by Chad Beguelin | Directed by Donna Drake | Choreography by Brian J. Marcum | Music Direction by Brian Cimmet | Based on the New Line Cinema film by David Berenbaum | Co-produced with Syracuse Stage | November 23 – January 6 | Opening Night: November 30

This holiday season channel you inner elf and join Buddy on his journey from the North Pole to New York City to find his real family. For this journey you’ll need provisions (four food groups recommended: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup), snowballs, and an ability to sing very loud (but maybe wait for the ride home).  Most of all, you’ll need family and friends and a desire to spread holiday cheer.  Donna Drake (The Wizard of Oz) returns to direct this delightful holiday show.

*Drama subscribers will receive vouchers redeemable for tickets to Elf The Musical.

Read the program here.


We Are Proud to Present a Presentation
About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884 - 1915

By Jackie Sibblies Drury | Directed by Gilbert McCauley | February 22 – March 3 | Opening Night: February 23

Ever wonder what it would be like to be in the rehearsal room when actors are digging ferociously into their psyches to discover a moment of revelation, or arguing heatedly over a character’s motivation? In We Are Proud to Present …, a company of six actors gathers in a rehearsal room to tell the little-known story of the first genocide of the 20th century—the extinction of the Herero tribe at the hands of their German colonizers. Along the way, they test the limits of empathy as their own stories, subjectivities, assumptions and prejudices catalyze their theatrical process. Eventually the full force of a horrific past crashes into the good intentions of the present, and what seemed a faraway place and time comes all too close to home in this exceptional play about the sensitivities and difficulties inherent in the act of storytelling itself.

Read the program here.


The Wild Party

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa | Based on the Poem by Joseph Moncure March | Directed by Katherine McGerr | Associate Directed and Choreographed by Andrea Leigh-Smith | Music Direction by Brian Cimmet | March 29 – April 7 | Opening Night: March 30

You’re invited to a party—a wild Hollywood party set in the Roaring 20s. Queenie and Burrs are your hosts. An intoxicating array of beverages will be served , music and dancing will raise the roof, and trouble will most certainly make an appearance. What’s a party without at least a little trouble? Based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem, The Wild Party is a steamy prohibition tale driven by one of the most exciting, pulse-racing scores ever written. When you need to cut loose, how far is too far?


Good Kids

By Naomi Iizuka | Directed by Holly Thuma | May 3 -11 | Opening Night: May 4

A hard-hitting and clear-eyed look at the troubling aftermath of the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl by members of a high school football team. Based on actual events, Good Kids examines how social media makes private lives public in ways we don’t always anticipate and can’t always control. At the same time, it sheds light on issues that are often treated as isolated incidents – but which, in truth, reflect attitudes and beliefs prevalent in the culture at large.


Past Shows