Syracuse Stage, Department of Drama Celebrate the Magic of Love For the Holidays with ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’

Beauty and the Beast poster.Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts will ring in the holiday season with the family musical “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Donna Drake and choreographed by Anthony Salatino with musical direction by Brian Cimmet. Preview performances begin Nov. 22. Opening night is Nov. 29, with performances scheduled through Jan. 5. Excellent seats remain for many performances and are available through the Box Office (315-443-3275) and at

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” was adapted from the 1991 animated feature film. The musical opened on Broadway in 1994 and closed in 2007 after 5,461 performances. Most recently, a 2017 live action film version starred Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

Director Drake and musical director Cimmet are the creative team behind Syracuse Stage’s last two holiday hits, “The Wizard of Oz” (2017) and “Elf The Musical” (2018). Drake said she expects audiences will be enchanted by the show. “It is magical, heartfelt, and beautiful.”

Cimmet noted that the 12-piece orchestra is the largest ever for a Syracuse Stage show.

The familiar story of “Beauty and the Beast” has its origin in the 1740 French novel “La Belle et la Bete” by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. Sixteen years later, Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont shortened and simplified the tale and established the basis for most future versions. The Brothers Grimm included a similar story “The Singing, Soaring Lark” in early editions of their “Kinder – und Hausmärchen.” Continue Reading

Stage Management Alumna Emma Ettinger ’17 Named Marshall Scholarship Finalist

Emma EttingerEmma Ettinger ’17, an alumna of the Department of Drama’s stage management program, has been named a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship, one of the United States’ most prestigious nationally competitive scholarship awards. She will interview for the scholarship in early November. If selected for the Marshall Scholarship, Ettinger plans to enter a one-year master’s degree program in Shakespeare and Creativity at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. In the second year, she would begin the Ph.D. program in Shakespeare Studies at Birmingham and complete the degree after the Marshall grant period. She is particularly interested in the adaptation and interpretation of Shakespeare’s works and fostering more inclusive productions of the plays. Read full story.


Department of Drama Continues Its 2019-2020 Season with Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’

Crucible PosterThe College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Drama continues its season with Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” directed by faculty member Geri Clark. “The Crucible” previews Nov. 8 and runs through Nov. 17 in the Storch Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St.

Recognized today as a mid-20th century American classic, “The Crucible” is set in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1692 amid a whirl of paranoia and hysteria fed by the winds of unfounded accusations of witchcraft. Miller fictionalized the historic record of the Salem witch trials to explore how fear warps judgment and extremism eradicates truth. In doing so, he created a theatrical world where innocence and guilt are indistinguishable and only fanatics speak with impunity.

Miller wrote “The Crucible” in 1953, prompted by the investigations of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the late 1940s and early ‘50s. The so-called Red hunt, ostensibly initiated to root out communists in the United States government, cast a wide net and eventually ensnared many private citizens, including many academics and artists. Careers and lives were recklessly ruined.

Miller found parallels to the country’s experience of the McCarthy hearings in the record of the Salem witch trials, especially in the way its “terribly serious insanity” obliterated “all nuance, all the shadings that a realistic judgment of reality requires.” This holds true today for director Clark who finds the play especially relevant in a time where false information can spread like wildfire and information must be tempered with care and caution. Clark’s vision for the production is “a response to the dishonesty and lack of honor that has come to light within our political system.” Continue Reading

University Takes Center Stage in Society for New Music Season Opener

Katherine SkafidasSoprano Katherine Skafidas ’20, a voice performance major in the Setnor School, will perform Merryman’s “Elegiac Songs” (2015) with flutist Lana Stafford. Both songs are dedicated to the memory of the composer’s husband and feature text by Louise Glück, the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence at Yale University. Read full story.

Invent@SU Students Win $50,000 First Prize at American Heart Association Business Accelerator Competition

Russell Fearon and Ricardo SanchezWhen mechanical engineering senior Russell Fearon ’20 learned he had diabetes he also learned it meant his life would change.

“When I was first diagnosed it was obviously extremely, extremely difficult,” said Fearon. “The doctors come to you and tell you, you have to do this, this is how your life is now.”

He had to adjust to regular blood sugar testing and carrying testing equipment with him at all times. It was awkward and uncomfortable at times. During the Invent@SU invention accelerator program this past summer he started thinking about ways to improve the testing process. Working with industrial and interaction design major Ricardo Sanchez ’21 in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design, they came up with an idea – what if a wearable device could take a blood sample and test it?

Read the full story

School of Art Students to Exhibit, Sell, Trade Work at New York City’s PRINTFEST

Student artwork.
Shannon Ferguson

Undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Art will exhibit, sell and trade their work at PRINTFEST, a three-day fair hosted by the International Print Center New York. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place Oct. 24-26 at 550 West 29th St. (ground floor) in New York City.

Student artwork.
Chloe Crookall

Students who will participate include Josh Baker G’21, Isabelle Collins ’22, Chloe Crookall ’21, Jocelyn Enriquez ’20, Shannon Ferguson ’20 and Maya Stern G’21.

PRINTFEST provides emerging artists with a professional setting in which to show their work to a broad audience of collectors, publishers, artists and curators visiting Chelsea galleries and the nearby International Fine Art Print Dealers Association and Editions/Artists’ Books fairs. The universities’ booths are complemented by workshops and demos, as well as a panel discussion with artists and art professionals about career paths to pursue after art school.

Supermodel Emme ’85 to Support Women’s Heart Health in Central New York

Supermodel Emme '85The American Heart Association has announced that supermodel Emme, a 1985 graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, will be the keynote speaker at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. with the Festival of Red, and the luncheon program runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. Continue Reading

Design Student, Alumna Honored by American Society of Interior Designers

Susanne Gruening Angarano ’08 and Erin Toy ’20
From left, Susanne Gruening Angarano ’08 and Erin Toy ’20

A student and alumna of the environmental and interior design (EDI) program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design were honored recently by the New York Upstate/Canada East chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for their work. ASID advances the interior design profession and communicates the impact of design on the human experience.

Erin Toy ’20 received first place in the 2019 student design competition’s commercial category for her project “Innovative Office Design: A Collaborative Workspace.” The space was designed for a global commercial real estate firm in Denver, Colorado, and draws inspiration from the city’s environment and culture as well as features of the WELL Building Standard, which relate to health and well-being.

Susanne Gruening Angarano ’08, principal and senior interior designer at Ashley McGraw Architects P.C. in Syracuse, was honored by ASID as one of its 2019 Ones to Watch Award winners in the Design Excellence category. The Ones to Watch program identifies and recognizes rising leaders in the interior design industry who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a willingness to push the boundaries of the profession.

Both Toy and Angarano credit Syracuse University and the EDI program with giving them the tools for success. Continue Reading

New Biblio Gallery Exhibit: Master Copy Drawings on Display Through December

A student drawing.Pieces in this exhibit were selected from three sections of first-year studio students in two courses: Drawing I: Observation and Drawing Nature in the School of Art in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The student drawings represent a range of master artists’ approaches in figurative and landscape works from the Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Rococo and Neo-Classical periods. The pieces on display were selected by School of Art faculty members Susan D’Amato, associate professor and drawing coordinator; Holly Greenberg, associate professor and printmaking coordinator and Sarah McCoubrey, professor and painting coordinator. Read the full story.

By Cristina Hatem