Hangar Theatre’s Pilot Reading Series offers emerging and established playwrights a chance to develop their new works with Hangar alumni directors and actors in New York City. As part of their commitment to nurturing new plays, emerging artists, and the collaborative spirit, the Hangar Theatre brings these new works back to Ithaca during the summer. The series is free and open to the public. All performances take place at the Hangar Theatre and admission is free.
The Stranger Plays
Two Short Plays about Families and Strangers
Written by: Wendy Dann, Directed by: Will Detlefsen
June 17 at 7:30pm
In Brother Love, twelve-year-old Juna plops down “in the battlefield” of her parents’ divorce, and finds herself counseled by the strangest of visitors: is he Neil Diamond? Or Krishna?
The Strangest Thing
In The Strangest Thing, twenty-nine-year-old Clara returns home for the holidays to find her father is forgetting: forgetting how to get home, how to use a comb, even his wife and daughter. When he is “remembered” by the family down the street, Clara kidnaps their boy in hopes of bringing her father back. Waiting for her father in a world that’s filling up with snow, Clara, her mother, and the boy build snow forts, cook a turkey, and finally, face how families forget and re-form.
Wendy Dann is a writer and director based in Ithaca, NY. She is the co-author of Sammy & Me with Eric Jordan Young, which has played the Alliance Theatre, Hangar Theatre, MusicalFare Theatre, National Black Theatre Festival, and with New Vintage Theatricals. Wendy served as associate artistic director under Kevin Moriarty at the Hangar Theatre for seven seasons, and has directed productions for the Dallas Theatre Center, Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Capitol Repertory Theatre, and the Kitchen Theatre Company. The Strangest Thing was a finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center in 2010 and 2012. Her full-length play, The Liberator, is in development with Breaking Bread Theatre.
Will Detlefsen graduated from New York University with a BFA in Drama and trained as a director at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Will is the founder and artistic director of a theatre company called MultiPurposeRoom for which he has directed Televise THIS!, BUILDINGS, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and YEAR of the HIPPO. Additional directing credits include Thorton Wilder’s The Happy Journey…, the world premiere of XIX written by the TEAM’s Jessica Almasy, and Authentic Lesbian Cuisine by Jeremy Hersh. Will has assisted on projects with Rachel Chavkin, Young Jean Lee, Robert Moss, and Sanaz Ghajarrahimi.
A New Play
Written by Andrea Ciannavei, Directed by Louisa Proske
June 24, at 7:30pm
Writer, actor, producer, and activist Andrea Ciannavei has been commissioned by the Hangar to write a new play for the Pilot Reading Series. Andrea will spend a week creating a new play written specifically for members of our Lab Company. Be among the first to witness this new work!
Andrea Ciannavei is a first generation Italian American born in Massachusetts and has lived in New York since 1993. She is a writer, actor, producer and activist. She has produced the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshop and co-founded the Million Hoodies for Trayvon Martin movement. Andrea completed her undergraduate studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program and went on to Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Playwriting Fellowship. Her plays include Deep Trees, The Hard Sell, 7 Captiva Road and Pretty Chin Up which received a development production at LAByrinth Theater Company (Artistic Directors: Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz) at The Public Theater.
Louisa Proske is a director of classics, new plays and opera. Her work includes Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (NYU); Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (Yale Opera); her thesis production of Cymbeline at Yale School of Drama; the world premiere of the opera Invisible Cities (Italian Academy, NYC); Rum 'n Coca Cola in Portof- Spain, Trinidad; an international tour of Macbeth; As You Like It (Yale Summer Cabaret); Pierrot Lunaire (The Wild Project); ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank); A Servant To Two Masters (Edinburgh Fringe Festival); and a tour of Lucy’s Dream through schools in India and Nepal. https://yaledrama.digication.com/louisa_proske
Written by Greg Keller, Directed by Jamila Reddy
July 15, at 7:30pm
Brother and sister Joshua and Elizabeth Miller tackle family issues with humor and love. A newborn baby, a failing marriage, and burdensome parents bring these siblings closer together as they resist repeating their parents’ choices and mistakes. Can the Miller siblings overcome their past and find their way back to being a family?
Greg's first play, The Young Left, was produced at the Cherry Lane Theater as part of the Mentor Project. His second play, Dutch Masters was produced by LAByrinth Theater Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and will be produced by Azuka Theater in Philadelphia in September. His third play, The Seduction Community, was produced at The Juilliard School where Greg was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrighting Fellow, and two-time recipient of the Lecomte Du Nouy prize. His fourth play, Tripolitania, was produced at Williamstown Theater Festival, as part of The Foeller Fellowship. His oneact, Plant Play, was commissioned by The Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and will be produced there this August. Greg was born and raised in New York City. He has a BA in Philosophy from Connecticut College and an MFA in acting from NYU.
Jamila Reddy is director, poet, dramaturg, and teaching artist hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. She was the 2012 Artistic Apprentice at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. Directing: Stopgap by Danielle Mohlman, Kind of Blue by Kuamel Stewart, for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf. Assistant Directing: David Muse, Leah C. Gardiner, Susan Fenichell, Serge Seiden, Tom Quaintance. She is the proud coach of Woodrow Wilson High School spoken word poetry slam team in Washington, D.C. BA: Dramatic Art and Sociology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Death & Venice
Book by Anton Dudley, Music & Lyrics by Jonatha Brooke, Directed by Lian Walden
July 29, at 7:30pm
Disparate sisters Hazel and Prudence travel from Missouri to Venice to release themselves from tragedy and open themselves to life. In the first musical developed by the Hangar Pilot Reading Series, Anton Dudley and folk-singer Jonatha Brooke employ Carnival, gondoliers, and Greco-Roman Mythology to teach these sisters that fear and courage could be one and the same.
Anton Dudley's Off-Broadway productions include Substitution (Playwrights Realm featuring Jan Maxwell), Getting Home (Secondstage Theatre directed by David Schweizer), and Slag Heap (Cherry Lane Theatre featuring Vincent Kartheiser). Other productions include A Dram of Drummhicit [co-written with Arthur Kopit] (LaJolla Playhouse directed by Christopher Ashley), Honor and the River (Walnut Street Theatre, Luna Stage, SPF featuring Jan Maxwell, New York Stage & Film), Cold Hard Cash (Williamstown Theatre Festival directed by May Adrales), The Empty Ocean (Harold Clurman Lab Company directed by Stephen Brackett), Letters to the End of the World (At Hand Theatre Company), Circumvention (Keen Company), Davy & Stu (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Lake’s End (Adirondack Theatre Festival featuring Jason Butler Harner), BOB (NYSAF directed by Leigh Silverman), and Pleaching the Coffin Sisters (EST). His work has been developed by the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, the Lark Play Development Center, and MCC Theater's Playwrights Coalition, and is published by Playscripts, Heuer Publishing, Heinemann Press, Backstage Books, Vintage, and Sam French. The award-winning short film of Davy & Stu, directed by Soman Chainani, appears on Strand Releasing's Boys Life 6.
Jonatha Brooke has been writing songs, making records and touring since her early days in Boston with her band The Story, which released two albums, Grace in Gravity and The Angel in the House, on Elektra Records. In 1995, Ms. Brooke released the first of two solo albums on MCA/Universal, Plumb, followed by Ten Cent Wings in 1997. In 1999 she started her own independent label, Bad Dog Records and has since released six more albums. Her most recent release, The Works, combined previously unheard, unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics with her own music and arrangements. Ms. Brooke has written for three Disney films, has had songs included in many television shows and composed the theme song for Joss Whedon's television series Dollhouse. Currently she is working on four theatrical musical projects - Quadroon, with legendary contemporary jazz pianist Joe Sample; My Mother Has Four Noses, a multi-media solo musical play that is an intimate account of her experience caring for her mother who endured dementia; Hopper, with Anton Dudley, book, and Charlie Sohne, lyrics; and Death and Venice, with Anton Dudley.
Lian Walden is a creative instigator seeking to infuse the everyday with spontaneity and play. She spent the last several years running a community theater program and developing new work in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While there, she directed an international cast in Benjamin Kunkel’s Intruders, which was the first English language play to premiere in Argentina in its original language. As a director, Lian enjoys merging multiple forms of storytelling onstage. She recently work-shopped The Precipice, a dark fairytale narrated through live jazz music, dance and aerial silks, produced by Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir. She is currently developing an interdisciplinary stage adaptation of Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors. Recent productions include Jose Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (OBT, New Haven), Edwin Sanchez’ Icarus (University Theater), and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Yale Opera Playhouse). She has assistant directed at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, the American Conservatory Theater, and the Yale Repertory Theater. She is a 2013 Drama League Directing Fellow and a Yale University alum.