Lab Company

& How to Apply

The Hangar Theatre is currently celebrating its 47th year as a leading regional theatre, located in central New York State. Since 1989, the Hangar Theatre has been home to the Hangar Lab Company, a nationally recognized theatre training program. Designed for college students and theatre artists transitioning into the professional world, the program offers an immersive hands-on experience in a repertory environment, supplemented by classes and workshops taught by career professionals. 

As a Lab Company member, you will spend the summer learning, rehearsing, and performing at and around the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY. With thoughtfully curated tracks for actors, choreographers, directors, and playwright/dramaturgs, Lab Company members will enhance their craft by engaging in a series of professional level rehearsal experiences, workshop explorations, classes, and performances–all taught, led, or directed by guest artists, Hangar staff, and directing fellows selected by the prestigious Drama League Directors Project.

Lab Company video (2017)

2021 Dates:

June 7th to August 1st, 2021

Application Deadline:

March 31, 2021

COVID-19 Safety Measures

As the Hangar adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lab Company will adapt with it. The Hangar is excited to announce that the Lab Company will be in person this summer alongside our outdoor mainstage season. We’re working with local health organizations to set up regular testing procedures to maintain the health and safety of all members of the Hangar Community this summer. Please continue to check in at our website for updates.


The Hangar is committed to making the Lab Company an accessible program regardless of one’s socioeconomic standing, as such, financial aid is available. Please see the application form for details. 

As part of the Hangar’s ongoing efforts to make its spaces more equitable, inclusive, and diverse, two fully-funded tracks each summer will be open for emerging BIPoC artists. 

The Ithaca Area

Located in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York State, Ithaca has been named one of the best small towns and cities in the U.S. by The Guardian. Sitting on the southern tip of Lake Cayuga, Ithaca is home to over 100 waterfalls within 10 miles of downtown, more restaurants per capita than New York City, two major universities, and a thriving arts scene, of which the Hangar is proud to be a part of. As a Lab Company Member, you’ll experience a Finger Lakes summer like no other, living, working, and creating in and around Ithaca, NY. Company members who opt for housing will be housed in apartment-style college housing in Tompkins County. Work-related transportation and regular trips to malls and grocery stores are provided, but Lab Company members able to bring their own cars are encouraged to do so.

LAB COMPANY TRACKS: Different Paths for different artists

ACTORS: Lab Company Actors perform in our Wedge series, which features timely and inventive works in nontraditional spaces; our TYA KIDDSTUFF series; Lab Director showcase projects; and have the opportunity to audition for and understudy mainstage Hangar productions. Each actor in the Lab Company is guaranteed 3 roles onstage during the summer, and has the opportunity to audition and receive feedback for roles in front of industry professionals. In addition, actors are assigned to studio projects throughout the program (i.e. Directors’ projects, movement pieces choreographed by our Lab choreographers, or other opportunities). The Lab provides an extremely rigorous schedule for each actor to practice their craft in rehearsals, director-led projects, professional training workshops, and performances. 

  • Sample Day Lab-Actor*
  • 9-11am: Acting for the Camera workshop
  • 11am-noon: break
  • Noon-6pm: Wedge rehearsal
  • 6-7pm: break
  • 7:30pm: attend mainstage performance
  • 10pm: post-show Q&A

DIRECTOR/DRAMATURGS: Lab Company Directors will serve as an assistant director/dramaturg on several projects, with a range of styles and intended audiences. Those include: one Mainstage show (directed by Hangar artistic staff or a visiting artist), one show in our experimental Wedge series (directed by a Hangar Drama League Directing Fellow), and one show in our KIDDSTUFF series (directed by a Hangar Drama League Directing Fellow). Directors will also create a devised showcase project, under the mentorship of an experienced, professional theatre artist. In addition to classes with the full Lab Company, the directors participate (with the Lab choreographer) in classes specifically geared toward the craft of directing and dramaturgy. The director/dramaturgs are mentored by the Hangar artistic staff and have the opportunity to develop new work with lab company peers. 

  • Sample Day Lab Director/Dramaturg*
  • 9-11am: Devising Techniques workshop
  • 11am-noon: break
  • Noon-6pm: Assistant Director assignment: mainstage rehearsal
  • 6-7pm: break
  • 8-10pm: Rehearsal session: Lab Director showcase project

CHOREOGRAPHER(S): The Lab Company choreographer(s) will serve as an assistant on at least one of our Mainstage musicals, and as lead choreographer on at least one KIDDSTUFF production.  The Lab Choreographers will also create a studio project with Lab Actors, and participate in classes focused specifically on directing, movement, and choreography.

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS: Classes and workshops are designed to supplement the experiential learning that comes with rehearsals and performance runs. While these have run the gamut, depending on the year and the interests of the group, recent sessions have included the following topics: new play development, acting for the camera, audition techniques, building musical theatre repertoire, radical vulnerability with an anti-racist lens, the devising process, and accents & dialects.

*While a sample day will vary for each Lab Company member, depending on the track they pursue and their particular schedule that week, these are ideas of what you might expect. The days are varied and rigorous. 

Applications, Auditions, and Interviews
    • 2021 applications are now closed
    • We will exclusively accept virtual audition tapes for actors; the guidelines for audition submissions can be found at the bottom of the Lab Company Actor application form.

Tuition and Housing

The Lab Company is a tuition-based program. The length of the program (8 weeks) and the tuition and housing costs are the same as our 2019 Lab (Tuition: $3,000; Housing: $900). Lab Company members are also welcome to find their own housing in the Tompkins County area. 

In order to make the Lab Company program as accessible as possible, financial aid is available. Financial aid details are included in the application forms.


2021 Lab Company Flyer