Lab Company



The Hangar Theatre is currently celebrating its 43rd year as a leading regional theatre in New York State. Since 1989 the Hangar Theatre has been home to the Hangar Lab Company, a nationally recognized theatre training program. Designed for advanced college students and early–career professionals, the program offers intensive hands-on training in a repertory environment.

As a Lab Company member, you will spend the summer at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY (and the newly built Cherry Artspace, which will be the Lab’s home space in 2017). With meticulously curated tracks for actors, choreographers, directors, and playwrights, Lab Company members will enhance their craft through classes, rehearsals, projects, and performances taught, led, and directed by guest artists, Hangar staff, and a quartet of directing fellows selected by the prestigious Drama League Directors Project.


 View testimonials from former Lab Company members

The 2016 Hangar Lab Company

In addition to time spent in rehearsal and performance, all Lab Company members participate in multiple master classes throughout the summer. Class offerings change each year and are determined by the specialties of the Drama League Directors and visiting master teachers. 


Perhaps the most unique and valuable aspect of the Hangar Lab Company is the opportunity to collaborate, learn from, observe, and assist the four visiting Drama League Directing Fellows. The alumni of the Drama League Directing Fellowship includes such names as Diane Paulus, Sam Gold, Michael Mayer, and Moritz von Stuelpnagel as well as the Artistic Directors or Associate Artistic Directors of over 60 theatres nationwide (including Hangar Theatre Artistic Director Michael Barakiva and Associate Artistic Director Brad Raimondo). Hangar Lab Company members get to meet and work with these directors very early in their careers – an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with the artists who will help shape the future of the American theatre. 

2015 Drama League Fellow Annesha Kudtarkar directing Lab Company actors


Each actor in the Lab Company is guaranteed three roles in a fully-designed production during the summer. All Lab Company Actors perform in both our experimental second stage theatre, known as “The Wedge” (which will perform this summer in the brand-new Cherry Artspace!) and our Theatre for Young Audiences “KIDDSTUFF” series (under the direction of the four Drama League Directing Fellows). Some 2017 Lab Company members will even have the opportunity to perform on the Hangar Mainstage.

In addition, actors are assigned to Studio Projects throughout the program (Directors’ projects, dance pieces choreographed by our Lab Choreographer, etc.).

While other summer training programs expect actors to spend hours backstage or perform other crew responsibilities such as working the box office, the Hangar Lab Company takes a wholly different approach. We believe that the best training is hands-on, so as a Lab Company member, all you will do is act all day, everyday. The Lab provides an extremely rigorous schedule under which actors can expect to be in classes, rehearsals, projects or performances all day long, six days a week. Many former Lab Company members have described the experience as “Acting Boot Camp!”

2016 Lab Company member Xavier Burek Clark  performing in WEDGE production of Salome



Lab Company Directors each serve as an Assistant Director  on one Mainstage show, as well as assisting the Drama League Directors on one show in our experimental Wedge series and  one show in our KIDDSTUFF season.  In addition, the Lab Company Directors direct a Studio Project of their own choosing featuring Lab actors.

The Lab Company Choreographer will serve as an apprentice choreographer on a pair of Mainstage productions (including our Mainstage musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum), and assistant choreographer on our Next Generation musical (featuring young actors from the local community).  They will also choreograph an original Studio Project of their own choosing.

In addition to classes with the full Lab Company, the assistant directors and choreographers participate in separate classes specifically geared toward directing and choreography. The assistant directors and choreographers are mentored by the Hangar artistic staff. These artists are encouraged to play, experiment, work, and take risks all summer long. 


Members of the 2015 Lab Company working on a Director’s Studio Project


A pair of playwright/dramaturgs will work alongside the Lab Company Actors, Directors, and Choreographers, as well as collaborating with and learning from the Drama League Directors, actors and directors from the Hangar’s mainstage season and the Hangar’s artistic leadership.

Because we believe that there is no form of feedback more useful for a playwright than hearing their work read by great actors and rehearsed by great directors, the Hangar Lab Company Playwriting and Dramaturgy track focuses on the exploring the role of the playwright/dramaturg as a collaborative artist. Lab Company Playwrights will serve as dramaturgs on Mainstage, Lab Company, and Wedge productions.  In addition, they will collaborate with both the Drama League Fellows and the Hangar’s Associate artistic Director on developing their own original plays, culminating in a reading that utilizes both Lab Company and professional actors.  


The Lab Company is a tuition-based program. Tuition is $3,000 for the entire summer program (not including the cost of housing). Lab members may elect to find their own housing however housing is provided on the campus of Ithaca College and/or the historic Cornell campus for an additional fee of ($850). Both Campuses are located within walking distance from downtown Ithaca. Transportation is provided although Lab members who are able to bring their own cars are encouraged to do so. A limited amount of Financial Aid is available to qualified applicants. The Company is very selective and will include about 24 artists in residence in Ithaca over the summer.

*Scholarship support provided in part by the J.M. McDonald Foundation and the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust



2015 Lab Company members performing in a KIDDSTUFF production: Red Riding Hood 


Click Here to Apply 

Applications are processed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until March 26th. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than April 10.

COST: TUITION - $3,000

          HOUSING - $850 (optional but strongly recommended)

DATES: Applicants must be available June 5th – July 30th, 2017

EMC: The Hangar Theatre is part of the Actors’ Equity Association Membership Candidate Program (EMC), and Lab Company are able to obtain EMC points for some of their work at the Hangar.


In Ithaca: Sunday, March 5 (email for more info)

In New York City: Saturday and Sunday, March 25 (10am -2pm) & 26 (11am - 6pm) - email for more info

Auditions are strictly by appointment only - we will not be able to accommodate walk-ins.

Online: video applications accepted thru March 26th.

Click HERE for more info or to view our 2016 video including testimonials from former Lab Company members

 If you have any questions, please email

Members of the 2015 Lab Company in rehearsal with 2015 Drama League Fellow Austin Regan


The designers of Red Riding Hood were from the Hangar's 2015 Design Fellowship Program. Sets by Dan Daly, Sound by Garrett H. Hood, Costumes by Camilla Morrison, and Lights by Topher Stumreiter.

The designers of Salome were from the Hangar's 2016 Design Fellowship Program. Sets by Matthew S. Crane, Sound by Almeda Beynon, Costumes by Danita Lee, and Lights by Emily Clarkson. 

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