Syracuse Stage celebrates the holidays with ‘Matilda The Musical’


Syracuse, NY – 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 Syracuse University 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 on sale now at www.syracusestage.org 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 https://syracusestage.org/covid.php 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.

“Matilda The Musical”

Book by Dennis Kelly
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Based on the book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl
Directed by Donna Drake
Music direction by Brian Cimmet
Choreography by Andrea Leigh-Smith

Special Events

November 24

  • Pay-What-You-Will Performance @ 7:30 p.m.

There will be 76 tickets available for whatever price patrons wish to pay. Pay-what-you-will tickets must be claimed in person at the Box Office or by phone on the day of the performance, subject to availability. The Box Office opens at 10 a.m. and will remain open until the start of the show. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

November 28

  • Prologue at 1 p.m. (free for ticket holders at 2 p.m. performance)

A pre-show discussion with Syracuse Stage Artistic Director Bob Hupp who will share behind-the-scenes information about “Matilda The Musical” one hour prior to curtain. Prologue will be held in the Archbold Theatre.

  • Actor Talkback (free for ticket holders at 7:30 p.m. performance)

A Q&A session with the actors following the 7:30 p.m. performance. The talkback will be held in the Archbold Theatre.

December 1

  • Open Captioning at 2 p.m. Performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

December 4

  • Prologue at 1 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

A pre-show discussion with Syracuse Stage Artistic Director Bob Hupp who will share behind-the-scenes information about “Matilda The Musical” one hour prior to curtain. Prologue will be held in the Archbold Theatre.

  • ASL Interpreted Performance at 2 p.m. for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

December 9

  • Prologue at 6:30 p.m. (free for ticket holders)

A pre-show discussion with Syracuse Stage Artistic Director Bob Hupp who will share behind-the-scenes information about “Matilda The Musical” one hour prior to curtain. Prologue will be held in the Archbold Theatre.

December 11

  • Audio Described Performance at 2 p.m. for patrons who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Open Captioning at 7:30 p.m. performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

December 12

  • Open Captioning at 2 p.m. performance for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

December 18

  • Sensory Friendly Performance at 2 p.m.

The Relaxed / Sensory Friendly performance provides a welcoming environment that lets all patrons express themselves freely without judgment or inhibition. This live theatre experience invites and encourages individuals with autism, ADD, ADHD, dementia, and  sensory sensitivities to enjoy the performance in a “shush-free” zone.

All tickets for the Relaxed / Sensory Friendly performance are $25 and include a 100% refund right up to the start of the show.


Syracuse Stage – Founded in 1974, Syracuse Stage is the non-profit, professional theatre company in residence at Syracuse University. It is nationally recognized for creating stimulating theatrical work that engages Central New York and significantly contributes to the artistic life of Syracuse University, where it is a vital partner in achieving the educational mission of the University’s Department of Drama. Syracuse Stage’s mission is to tell stories that engage, entertain and inspire people to see life beyond their own experience. Each season 70,000 patrons enjoy an adventurous mix of new plays, and bold interpretations of classics and musicals, featuring the finest theatre artists. In addition, Stage maintains a vital educational outreach program that annually serves more than 15,000 students from 14 counties. Syracuse Stage is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Arts and Cultural Leadership Alliance (ACLA), the University Hill Corporation and the East Genesee Regent Association. Syracuse Stage is a member of The League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the largest professional theatre association in the country.