Syracuse Stage, Department of Drama Celebrate the Holidays with ‘Matilda the Musical’

Two actors on a stage
Drama students Morgan Lewis (Mrs. Phelps) and Emerson Glick (Matilda). Photo by Mike Davis.

Syracuse Stage celebrates the holidays with the multi-award musical treat “Matilda The Musical” Nov. 19 – Jan. 2. The production is co-produced with the Department of Drama.

With music and lyrics by Australian comedian and songwriter Tim Minchin and based on the book by Roald Dahl, “Matilda The Musical” tells the story of a remarkable little girl named Matilda Wormwood and her gallant struggle to create a better life for herself, despite the best efforts of the maliciously misguided adults determined to thwart her. Telekinesis and a caring friend prove valuable assets in her effort. Tickets are on sale now at and at the Box Office: 315.443.3275.

Since its development and world premiere at the Royal Shakespeare Company, “Matilda The Musical” has become a worldwide hit, winning six Olivier Awards in London and four Tony Awards on Broadway.

Veteran director Donna Drake (Syracuse Stage’s “The Wizard of Oz,” “Elf The Musical,” and “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”) leads a cast of 30 performers in Stage’s production, with choreographer Andrea Leigh-Smith, music director Brian Cimmet, scenic designer Czerton Lim, costume designer Ryan J Moller, lighting designer Thomas C. Hase, sound designer Jacqueline R. Herter, projection designer Brian McMullen and wig designer Jason Kyle Estrada.

For Drake, the return to Syracuse Stage for the holiday musical is particularly significant this season.

“In this world turned upside down by a pandemic for the past 18 months, I now find myself back at Syracuse Stage directing ‘Matilda.’ It’s like coming home to a place where I am surrounded by friends, amazing talents and the brilliance of design,” she said. “‘Matilda’ is a child’s journey out of darkness into light, enduring adversity and finding happiness. Like Matilda, we have all been through a lot. May we all reach for light and happiness.”

Composer and lyricist Minchin believes the musical is as relevant today as it was in 2010 when it premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company. In an interview with Bristol Magazine, he said: “‘Matilda’ is a love letter to the power of stories, imagination and kindness in the face of cruelty, greed and superficiality. I think it’s become even more relevant in recent years. On top of that, it tells kids that reading is cool, and that changing your story and standing up to bullies is possible. That’s a timeless message.”

“Matilda The Musical” follows “Eureka Day” in Stage’s 2021-2022 season, which marks the return of live and in-person performance at the theater. The remaining shows are “Yoga Play” (Jan. 19 – Feb. 6), “Somewhere Over the Border” (Feb. 23 – March 13), “The Play that Goes Wrong” (April 13 – May 1) and “salt/city/blues” (June 8 – 26).

Patrons ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of Covid vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test in order to enter the theater, and properly worn masks will be required for everyone regardless of vaccination status. While vaccination or proof of a negative test is strongly encouraged for children under 12, it is not a requirement for entry into the theater.

Stage’s current Covid policy can be found at and provides the following: at the door, audience members, 12 and older, will be required to show proof of full vaccination, or for those not vaccinated, a negative test result from either an antigen-type test within six hours prior to entry or a PCR-type test within 72 hours prior to entry at the theatre. For children under 12, proof of vaccination or negative test is strongly encouraged but not required for entry to the theatre. Masks will be required at all times by everyone regardless of vaccination status, except while eating or drinking in designated areas.

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Olivia Lacie Andrew Mum, Big Kid, Loud Dancer
Samuel Asa Brownstein Dad, Big Kid, Loud Dancer, Henchman
Charlotte Bush Mum, Big Kid
Alessandra Casanova Mum, Big Kid, Judge
Annabel Cole* Matilda Wormwood
Shaun Collins Nigel
Jaemon Crosby Dad, Big Kid, Judge, Henchman
Luke Darnell* Mr. Wormwood
Emily Kate Decker Mum, Big Kid, Judge
Ruthie Evans Amanda
Emerson Glick Matilda Wormwood, Alice
Haley Grogan Alice
Brian Herbert Bruce
Taylor Gary Hendricks Michael Wormwood, Doctor
Rachel Langetieg Mum, Big Kid, Acrobat
Morgan Lewis Mrs. Phelps, Nurse
Thomas Locke Dad, Big Kid, Loud Dancer, Henchman
David Lowenstein* Miss Agatha Trunchbull
Pascal Pastrana* Rudolpho, Big Kid
Kim Sava* Mrs. Wormwood
Stella Schwartz Mum, Big Kid, Loud Dancer, Cook
Blake Segal* Children’s Entertainer, Mechanic, Sergei
Malaika Wanjiku Hortensia
Damon Robert Williams Dad, Big Kid, The Escapologist
Haley Wright° Lavender
Kathleen Wrinn* Miss Honey


Christina DiMare
Maddie Lentz
Rachel Revellese
Blaise Rossmann

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

°Appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

Equity membership candidate.