The Hangar Theater is thrilled to announce the first ever Hangar Flight Test, a series of concert stagings of original musicals in development. The 2022 series will consist of two workshop productions which Hangar audiences will be among the first to experience. Writers and artistic teams will invite audiences to give feedback and become part of the development process as they prepare their scripts and scores for full scale production.
Hangar Flight Test aims to expand the diversity of writers being supported and produced in the American musical theatre. All projects in the Hangar Flight Test series will come from creative teams made up of at least 50% artists who are under-represented in the American musical theater canon, including Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPoC) writers, Latine and Hispanic writers, and/or writers who identify as an under-represented gender identity (female, trans, or non-binary).
Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky commented on her reasoning for beginning the Hangar Flight Test series and explained her process selecting the 2022 workshop productions. “If you look back over our nearly fifty years of programming, the Hangar has produced many works from the traditional and contemporary musical theater catalogue. That body of work is over saturated with writers and composers who are white, cis-gendered men. We recognize that the majority of our productions were written by artists of a very similar profile and we are committed to transforming this reality by working towards a producing model that is intentionally inclusive and anti-racist. The Hangar Flight Test series is an important step towards broadening the representation of artists on our stage and in supporting artists creating more diverse musical theater in every respect: the stories being told, the characters being featured, and the musical styles being celebrated. Our first series includes two brilliant new pieces that Hangar audiences are going to love!
Within Elsewhere is a heart-rending new pop musical about a family dealing with loss through the magic of an app that allows the user to relive memories, unpack past trauma, and even spend time with the deceased. Devanand Janki (founder of Live &in Color and frequent Hangar Theater collaborator, director/choreographer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rent, and Xanadu) introduced me to this moving show, and will be directing the workshop this summer.
TransAm, the second production, is a dynamic punk rock musical by artist Lisa Stephen Friday, that sets to music Lisa’s autobiographical journey of discovering her trans identity while fronting Lisa Jackson and Girl Friday, a glam rock band from the early 2000s. Lisa was interested in producing the show in a venue that could support a full band which seemed like a great fit for the Hangar–a frequent music venue.”
Join us at the Hangar this season and be a part of the process of developing new musical theater for the American stage! Hangar Flight Test audiences will be among the first audiences to experience these groundbreaking scripts and songs in their current drafts.
Hangar Flight Test 2022 Productions and Artists
By Lisa Stephen Friday
Featuring the Music of Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday
Directed by Fred Berman
Originally commissioned by The Keegan Theatre, Washington, DC
August 19-August 21, 2022
On the Hangar’s Outdoor Stage
A Ground-Breaking New Rock Musical. Lisa Stephen Friday divulges the heartaches and joys of heading the punk rock band Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday through the 1990s and 2000s. This autobiographical piece featuring the music of the band tells the story of Lisa’s creative and personal journey as a trans rock musician. TransAm is a vulnerable portrait of the struggle to live an authentic life out-loud and the humor necessary to deal with how absurdly society treats otherness.
Trans Am Artists
LISA STEPHEN FRIDAY (Writer and Performer)
Lisa Stephen Friday (she, Her, Hers) is a Singer, Musician and Actor based in Washington, DC. Her most notable work by her is with the New York City rock band Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday. From 2000-2006 Lisa and Girl Friday were a featured act at NYC’s most notorious rock club CBGB’s and one of the headlining acts at the monthly party Homocorp. Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday were also one of the few queer bands at the time that were being featured at pride events around the country where they shared the stage with bands such as The Psychedelic Furs, The Motels, and Pat Benatar. Prior to her years with Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday Lisa worked as an actor and singer in NYC performing in numerous regional productions at theaters such as Goodspeed Opera House, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and The Ordway Theater. In 1999 Lisa toured the country in the National touring company of The Buddy Holly Story. Lisa has an extensive career on the production side of theater as well. She spent 10 years as the foreman of the Stephanie P. McClelland Drama Theater at the Juilliard School in New York and as an associate technical director of the Williamstown Theater Festival in Western Massachusetts and the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. Lisa currently works as a project manager for Barbizon Lighting in Washington, DC, where she manages the installation of performance lighting and rigging systems in new construction and renovations of performing arts venues, museums and television studios. Current projects include Studio Theater in Washington, DC, The College of William and Mary, Maryland Public Television, and the Futures Exhibit (which is currently on display at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall. In her spare time, you can find Lisa at the Washington Ballet where she is dismantling her imposter syndrome of being a dancer one failed pirouette at a time.
FRED BERMAN (Director)
Fred recently directed the critically acclaimed World Premiere of Lisa Stephen Friday’s Trans Am at The Keegan Theater in Washington, DC. As an actor, Fred has performed the role of “Timon” in Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway for the last ten years. NY Theatre: The Normal Heart (The Public Theatre), Bury the Dead (Transport Group), Room Service (Soho Playhouse), Shockheaded Peter (Little Shubert), The Vocal Lords (Theatre at St. Clements). Nat’l tours: White Christmas, The Buddy Holly Story. Regional: North Shore Music Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, O’Neill Theater, Geva Theatre, Huntington Theatre, New Repertory, Cleveland Play House. Film/TV: Putzel, Twelve Thirty, A Very Special Episode, Goin’ Down, Redirecting Eddie, “New Amsterdam”, “High Maintenance”, “Forever”, “Smash”, “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Daily Pops,” “All My Children.” Podcasts: Opening Weekend (co-host) Fred is an Award-winning narrator of over 300 audio books. For six years, Fred played drums with the NYC rock band, Lisa Jackson & Girl Friday. He is thrilled to be reunited with her good friend, Lisa, in helping to tell her story. Fred lives in New York with his ever-patient wife, Kate, and two amazing kids, Ben and Izzy.
Concept & Book by Joshua Betancourt
Lyrics & Music by Trent Jeffords
Directed by Devanand Janki
In partnership with Live & In Color (a creative incubator for new work that promotes and celebrates diversity)
August 26-August 28, 2022
On the Hangar’s Niederkorn Indoor Stage
A Contemporary Quest for Connection with an Original Pop Score. As siblings Johnathan and Iris Reyes face the tragic loss of their youngest brother Omar, they stumble upon a mysterious app where you can virtually spend time with the people you’ve lost. But this incredible gift comes at a price, and with time ticking quickly away, Johnathan must make a decision that will change his life forever.
Within Elsewhere Artists
JOSHUA OMAR BETANCOURT (Concept & Book) is a NYC creative, writer and performer whose select performing credits include: Originating the role of Arthur “Sepherda” in the NYC workshop lab of Lady Monday: A Pop Rock Opera; “We Kiss Thee” in Godspell; Lowe in Damn Yankees; Cecco in Peter Pan; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Male Swing in the National/International Tour of Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol Live! and more. Joshua studied voice at Hochstein School of Music and completed his studies at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC.
Joshua’s additional written work includes: The Imaginary – Musical, a book to musical adaptation directed by Broadway’s Jeff Whiting and his upcoming new play with music titled Say It Differently. Within Elsewhere®, is his first conceived musical original by him, and was named the 2020 new works winner at Live & In Color.
Betancourt shared, “I would like to thank Devanand Janki and Live & In Color for the work that they do in supporting BIPOC artists/writers like myself as well as the Hangar Theater Company for this incredible opportunity bringing Within Elsewhere® to this community.”
TRENT JEFFORDS (Lyrics & Music) is a performer, singer, composer, and lyricist based in NYC. As a lead vocalist they have performed with Holland America and Carnival Cruise lines as well as with the band New Fashioned. As a composer and lyricist Trent’s shows include Wikimusical (Pearl Theatre, NYMF, Music), The Imaginary(Music and Lyrics, in development), Within Elsewhere(Music and Lyrics, the 2020 winner of the Live & In Color New Works Program), Camp Morning Wood(Asylum Theatre, Music), and How to Repair a Mechanical Heart(Music, in development, concept album available on all platforms).
Subscriptions are available for the Hangar Flight Test and other Hangar Mainstage shows today. The Hangar’s 2022 Mainstage season includes titles Cabaret, Natasha, Pierre and the Comet of 1812, School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play, The Great Leap, and the workshops of TransAm and Within Elsewhere. Choose your seats early and save big with a 2022 subscription!
Hangar Theater Outdoor Stage
Productions on the Outdoor Stage will take place beneath a high-top, 30 foot tall tent above the stage and seating area to provide shade and protection from rain. Adjustable walls on the tent will enable the best possible airflow. The Hangar Outdoor Stage is designed to maximize the comfort and safety of audiences.
Sensory Friendly Performances