Redhouse Arts Center’s new executive director begins

The Redhouse Center for the Arts in downtown Syracuse is not only gearing up for the grand opening of its new location on Salina Street, but it is also welcoming its next executive director, Franklin Frye. While finishing touches to the building, such as the marquee, continue to go up, the venue continues to offer performances and programs.

Fry, who is leaving the local Syracuse chapter of the American Heart Association for the new role, said he now has a front-row seat to the transformation of the old Sibley building. Fry joined WAER arts and culture reporter John Smith to discuss his love of theater.

John Smith: I hear you are also a member of Actors Equity Association and have previous 10 years experience in stage management.

Franklin Frye: Yeah, it’s interesting. For those who only know my time at Syracuse, my roots are actually in theater. This is what I first discovered when I was growing up. That’s what I did in junior high in high school community theater. And then when I went to college, I got a degree in theater with a major in acting, but then I was lucky enough to work in a regional theater where I was able to get my equity card, which is the union card for actors and stage managers. And it was stage management, which is actually part of theater, that I fell into and had the longest tenure before moving on to other opportunities. So this is very much a homecoming.

JS: How many years have you lived here now?

FF: Full time, comes around 13.

JS: Okay, have you been in any productions over the years?

FF: No, no, no. Although this was my training, I found that my skills were much better suited to stage management behind the scenes. So stage management is a skill set that I think has informed me in everything I’ve done over the course of my career, whether it’s in the theater or outside of the theater.

JS: I can’t think of a more exciting time that it must be for you to make this move, just as the Red House, you know, is really settling into its new location downtown.

FF: Yeah, you know, it’s fascinating. The Red House was founded in 2004 with the mission of encouraging our community to embrace the arts, especially for those underserved, underresourced parts of our community. So we’re about to hit the 20th anniversary of the Red House. And the timing couldn’t be better, because this new space on Solana Street is truly modern, ready for the best weather. And I think the Syracuse community will be pleasantly surprised by how much is going on there. And what is available there for community groups and corporations to use the space in many different ways. It’s a huge space with multiple theaters, multiple rehearsal spaces,

JS: And how is all the construction going?

I’ve been in and out of there for the past few months. And every time I pass by, it gets closer and closer and the marquis is finalized. And this is being prepared. We’re expecting to officially, you know, open the entire space later this summer.

JS: Are there any other ideas already floating around in your mind?

FF: There are some things going over my head. But I will tell you that the spectacular staff that runs it, the artistic director and the program director, not to mention the volunteer board of directors, somehow got the theater to where it is today. It’s an amazing group of people. So I’m going to spend the first month or so really diving into their brains to see what their visions are so I can see where I might fit in. But for me the biggest message right now is Syracuse, there’s such a jewel in the red house. And if you are not familiar with it, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the red house, visit the website red See the different aspects that are happening and learn about this amazing resource that is located right in the center of the city.

JS: Well Franklin Fry, I appreciate talking to you and all the best as it officially begins with the red house just around the corner.

FF: May 8th! Coming soon!

JS Well, very well. I hope to talk to you in the future.

FF: Okay, thank you very much.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *