From an early age, fairy tales enter our lives and shape our view of the world. The classics like “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel” and “Beauty and the Beast” help to build literacy and expand our imagination. But young children aren’t the only…
Additional Access to Live Theater at Syracuse Stage Made Possible by New Gift From M&T Bank
Central New Yorkers now have more opportunities to access live theater at Syracuse Stage thanks to support from M&T Bank.
With a $20,000 grant, the theater will be able to substantially increase the number of pay-what-you-will performances for each show remaining in its 2022/2023 season and will also bring back the Stage for All program. The two programs help ensure all community members have access to high quality live theater while removing cost as a barrier.
“There’s nothing like the joy that live entertainment brings. It’s a chance to join with family and friends, to unplug from our screens and to celebrate our vibrant arts community. We are proud to help bring that shared experience to as many members of our community as possible,” says Steve Gorczynski, Central New York regional president, M&T Bank.
According to Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing arts and arts education, improving access to the arts not only provides benefits to the individual, such as decreased stress levels and social isolation, but research shows that the arts have benefits for communities as a whole.
Art consumption provides a common bridge that increases friendship, empathy and mutual trust by bringing generations together, encouraging partnerships and intercultural understanding. A five-year study of low-income Chicago neighborhoods by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation showed that access to the arts brought 5-10% increases in housing, population and school test scores, along with decreases in crime.
The M&T Bank Pay-What-You-Will Performance Program allows 76 tickets over the course of five days for each production to be available for whatever price patrons wish to pay. The pay-what-you-will performances are available on the following dates:
- “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”: Nov. 30-Dec. 4
- “Espejos: Clean”: Feb. 15-19
- “Our Town”: March 29-April 2
- “Tender Rain”: May 3-7
- “Clue”: June 7-11
Since the pay-what-you-will program’s inception in the 2017/2018 season, more than 1,100 tickets have been purchased at a price point that community members are able to pay. The grant from M&T Bank subsidizes the gap between the actual ticket price and the amount paid for a pay-what-you-will ticket, which averages between $7 and $8.
“At Syracuse Stage, we believe theater should be accessible to all,” says Bob Hupp, artistic director, Syracuse Stage. “Regardless of the barrier to attendance, each of us should be able to enjoy the communal and transformational experience of sharing the intimacy of live theatre. This grant goes a long way in breaking down the barrier of price to our neighbors, and we’re grateful to M&T Bank for its generosity.”
Pay-what-you-will tickets must be claimed in person at the Box Office, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, or by phone, 315.443.3275, on the day of the desired performance. The box office opens at 10 a.m. and remains open through the start of the show. There is a limit of two tickets per person, and they are subject to availability.
In addition to the pay-what-you-will performances, the M&T Bank Stage for All program connects Syracuse Stage to local community organizations. Deeply reduced ticket vouchers are provided to other local nonprofits to distribute to community members they serve. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.