We believe that our programs help children learn to collaborate, communicate, and create. We make a commitment to youth programming and arts education, including using theatre as a tool to teach. We strive to base our educational programming on renowned studies on the essential role of imagination and creative play in a child’s cognitive development, and hire state of the art teachers to facilitate this with the youth of our community. Our programs require no auditions as our focus is to apply theatre technique to the natural talents of each individual child.
Since 1995, the Hangar’s Project 4 has been bringing teaching artists into fourth-grade classrooms throughout Tompkins County to facilitate the creation and performance of original plays and musicals. Teachers and artists collaborate to decide the focus of the residency based on a topic from the NYS curriculum. The artists then work directly with the class to help them develop their own play that they perform on the Hangar Theatre stage.
Each summer, the Hangar offers theatre arts classes for young people through its Next Generation School of Theatre. Kids entering grades 3-12 study with theatre professionals in classes devoted to storytelling, acting, dancing, singing and more. A special three-week session is devoted to helping students prepare for and perform on the Hangar stage as part of the KIDDSTUFF series. Next Generation School of Theatre is an opportunity for kids to work with theatre professionals and helps them build life skills, self-awareness, and confidence that reach beyond the stage.
Professional Training Programs
For the last 25 years, the Hangar has committed to nurturing the next generation of great theatre artists through our Hangar Lab Company, comprised of actors, playwrights, choreographers, assistant directors, and dramaturgs. This nationally recognized pre-professional program provides a safe space for young artists to flex their creative muscles in the most hands-on way possible.
In 1988, the Drama League of New York and the Hangar Theater joined together to create a summer directors’ laboratory, which has evolved into the Hangar Directing Program of the Drama League Directors Project. This program provides early and mid- career directors with opportunities to direct, train, develop a professional network, and prepare for further career opportunities.
Each summer the Hangar selects four design fellows, one in each of the following areas: scenic, lighting, sound, and costume design. The fellows design the KIDDSTUFF and Wedge productions, working with the four Drama League Directors and the Hangar Lab Company, in addition to assisting on the Mainstage productions. This intense summer prepares emerging designers for the rigors of t he real world, providing them the time, space, and resources to practice as designers.
The Drama League Directors, Hangar Design Fellows, and Hangar Lab Company work together on all of the productions in the Hangar's popular KIDDSTUFF season and in our edgy late-night Wedge series. These artists spend the summer in what our alumni have called "artistic boot camp" and leave the Hangar with numerous professional experiences and production credits upon which to build their careers.
Partner in Education
Associate Partner in Education
Education Program Sponsors
These programs made possible in part by the Park Foundation.