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The Hangar Theatre

A pit-stop before Broadway.

Story by Maggie Gilroy | Artwork by Kelly O'neill

This venue demonstrates a creative approach to space. The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York, transformed another unlikely structure: an airplane hangar. Its mainstage programming takes place in the summer; however, it produces a variety of shows throughout the year, including cabarets, solo artists, concerts, and even a burlesque festival. The Hangar’s 2012 production of Titanic: The Musical earned another production in Toronto and is currently en route to Broadway. In the summer, guests watch the Hangar’s lab company at work. It produces world premieres from budding playwrights and directors. Some of those former newbies include playwrights Michael Mayer, who directed Spring Awakening on Broadway and Mark Brokaw, director the recent Cinderella revival on Broadway. Some plays are presented 15 minutes after the mainstage productions under a tent in the Hangar’s parking lot; Ithaca High School serves as the venue for others, which seems perfectly fitting for this town. Known as a mecca for modern-day hippies, Ithaca houses everything from the cult-owned Maté Factor Cafe to an Ivy League college. But a devotion to culture fuels this place. “It’s interesting that so many nonprofits, including people in our theaters, members in our chamber of commerce here, they see that the cultural economy is part of our economy,” Bunge says.

Behind the Curtain:

  • Address: 801 Taughannock Blvd. Ithaca, N.Y. 14850
  • Student tickets: Students can receive discounts through the Hangar Aces Program
  • Mainstage season: June-August
  • Distance from Syracuse University: 57 miles; 1 hour 8 minutes by car
  • More info: