The Hangar Theatre has announced its summer 2021 Outdoor Mainstage Season! The 47th season will include five live, in-person productions performed on an outdoor stage located on the grounds of the Hangar Theatre property. Recently appointed Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky selected shows that will embrace the outdoor surroundings. Serotsky says, “We cannot wait to reunite artists and live audiences with a shared in-person theatrical experience, while maintaining the health and safety of all as our first priority.”
This summer’s Mainstage offerings share a common theme of the healing power of music. Hip-hop music drives the season opener The Realness. Two major musicals, Once and Sweeney Todd, follow. Next will be Queens Girl in the World, a Motown-infused work the Hangar previewed virtually last summer. The season will close with a community-created theatrical spectacular, An Odyssey, in partnership with The Cherry Arts.
Hangar Theatre Managing Director R.J. Lavine says, “This year, more than ever, music is a way to connect us all, even at a distance.” Serotsky adds, “Live music is an integral part of the Ithaca community, and will be central to our season.
The Hangar staff is working with local designer and Ithaca College professor Steve TenEyck to create a welcoming space where social distancing measures can be followed, as well as all local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to the performing arts. Says Serotsky, “In 2021, we plan to create art and all of the joy, wonder, and thought that comes with experiencing that art in person, safely. We are constantly adapting to changing circumstances and will continue to do so with the support of our incredible community!”
Hangar Theatre Summer 2021 Outdoor Mainstage Season
The REALNESS: another break beat play
By Idris Goodwin
In 1996, T.O. graduates from his high school in the suburbs and jumps into the vibrant culture of his true passion, hip-hop. Enter Prima, a dazzling MC with Lauryn Hill vibes, who takes his breath away. T.O. poses as a music journalist to get close to her, but when his story catches up to him, he must decide, in the words of his idol Biggie, is it “all a dream”? The Realness tackles history and class collision in a humorous and real way, with unique rhythm and beats.
Book by Edna Walsh. Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Travel to the streets of Dublin for one fateful week in the life of a young busker who has all but given up on music. After meeting a young Czech woman, he becomes entwined in her story and discovers the inspiration he needs to create and dream again. With a cast that doubles as the orchestra, and hits like the Oscar-winning song “Falling-Slowly”, this uplifting and unexpected tale will have audiences wanting to see it more than Once. Arrive early for a pre-show jam!
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
July 23 – August 7
Book by Hugh Wheeler. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
The macabre tale of a wronged barber in 19th-century London who returns from exile with his blade, and a vengeance. He opens up a barbershop, conveniently located above a carnivorous meat-pie shop, and finds a memorable way to enact revenge. This award-winning musical tackles societal issues of power and class with dark humor and wit, and features one of the most stunning scores ever written for the stage.
Queens Girl In The World
By Caleen Sinnette Jennings
The Motown-infused story of Jacqueline Marie Butler, a Black teenager coming of age in the 1960s. Her joys, challenges, and heartbreak play out against the backdrop of the civil rights movement as she journeys from her familiar Queens neighborhood to a progressive, predominantly-Jewish private school in Greenwich Village. This funny, heartfelt, and entirely relatable solo show was performed virtually in the Hangar’s 2020 Virtual Season.
August 26 – September 4
A community-created theatrical spectacular.
Co-production with The Cherry Arts.
An epic new piece of theatre created by our town, for our town. An Odyssey will celebrate the extraordinary skills and talents of Ithaca’s diverse communities, working alongside professional theatre artists, to create a fresh and unexpected adaptation of Homer’s unforgettable tale. With music, magic, and adventure for all ages, it will reflect the myriad journeys we have all been taking, and must continue to take, during this extraordinary time in our lives.
The Hangar also hopes to produce its full roster of summer programming live and in-person in the summer of 2021, but on a smaller scale for safety concerns. This will include the Hangar Lab Company, an outdoor KIDDSTUFF season, The Wedge, and Next Generation School of Theatre classes.
About the Hangar Theatre
The Hangar Theatre is located at 801 Taughannock Blvd., north of Ithaca on Route 89 on the shores of Cayuga Lake. Originally opened as a summer theatre in 1975, the Hangar is home to the Hangar Theatre Company and serves as a venue for a variety of performing artists and community organizations. The Hangar Theatre Company offers professional theatrical productions throughout the year and a renowned education program.