Hangar Theatre virtual

Rehearsing Hangar Theatre's production of Mary Poppins, Jr. in 2019.

For theatres and performance arenas, which depend almost entirely on large gatherings for profit, the impact of COVID-19 on summer plans is proving to be especially devastating now that any gathering of 10 or more is prohibited and chances of organizing a live-performance before summer seems less likely with each passing day. Still, the Hangar Theatre hasn’t given up looking for ways to entertain and connect the community. 

Starting May 4 through June 25, the Hangar Theatre will offer its second round of virtual classes exploring storytelling methods through a variety of mediums. Students will have the opportunity to learn techniques for voice acting, workshop their own plays with other students, and/or learn to make films from home in a course titled “Advanced Filmmaking.” Classes are available Grade 2-Adult. Adult classes include a contemporary scene study and a course titled “Directing for the Stage.” One-on-one coaching is also available to any student.

“Creating connections is what theatre has always done best,” said Hangar Theatre Associate Artistic Director/Education Director Shirley Serotsky. “We need that sense of connection now more than ever.”

Tuition for the courses are  $75 for the children’s classes and  $125 for the adult’s classes. per session, with one-on-one coaching priced at $50 per 45-minute session. All classes offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities that can cover up to the full cost of the course.

“The second round was created based on the success of the (somewhat experimental) first round and offers even more options for a wider variety of ages,” said Hangar Theatre Marketing Director Thena Gitlin. “The advanced film class was created after the Intro to Filmmaking class received such positive praise. We wanted an option for more experienced children, or for the first group to continue learning more.”

In April, the Hangar Theatre began offering its first round of classes open to “students around the country experiencing at home learning.” The classes offered students virtual lectures on techniques for auditioning, play discussion and an Introduction to Filmmaking course. In the first session, students ranged from as young as 7 to 70 and joined the class from as far away as Denmark, inspiring the theatre to expand its vision into the summer.

Jill Loop, whose daughter was enrolled in the Introduction to Filmmaking course, said that the virtual classes have been an appreciated break from the traditional homeschooling her daughter’s received this year. 

“Now that homeschooling really means being at home, the quarantine classes offered by the Hangar have been a much-welcomed option,” Loop said.

For more information about the Hangar Theatre’s “Virtual Classes” and their scholarship/financial aid opportunities visit https://hangartheatre.org/education/school-age/virtual/

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