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Hangar Theatre and The Cherry Arts Co-Production Of AN ODYSSEY Opens August 27

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An Odyssey celebrates the skills and talents of Ithaca's diverse community, working alongside professional theatre artists.

Hangar Theatre and The Cherry Arts Co-Production Of AN ODYSSEY Opens August 27

The Hangar Theatre's first ever outdoor summer season closes with An Odyssey, a co-production with The Cherry Arts, running August 27-September 4, 2021.

The opening performance of An Odyssey adapted and directed by Samuel Buggeln (he/his) will begin Friday, August 27 at 7:30 PM. A preview performance will precede the opening on August 26 at 7:30 PM; matinee and evening performances will run through Saturday, September 4. An epic new piece of theatre created by our town, for our town, An Odyssey celebrates the skills and talents of Ithaca's diverse community, working alongside professional theatre artists, to create a fresh and unexpected adaptation of Homer's unforgettable tale. With music, magic, and adventure, it reflects the myriad journeys we have all been taking, and must continue to take, during this extraordinary time in our lives.

Buggeln states, "In this moment in our lives, we decided to reach into the wisdom and talents of Ithaca's great variety of people, to discover how the stories of our lives might speak to one of the oldest and most famous stories of the western world. What is The Odyssey, if it's not the story of one heroic man on a journey, but the story of a whole community finding its way through crisis?"

An Odyssey breaks down barriers to access and participation in the creation of theatre while uniting people with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to create a story together. To engage partner organizations in the play development process, Hangar Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky (she/hers) and Buggeln held workshops with organizations including Community Arts Partnership, Circus Culture, Racker, Lifelong, and Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC).

An Odyssey stars Cynthia Henderson as A Muse/A Fate. Henderson has performed professionally in the United States, Europe, and Africa. She has appeared in performances at the Lincoln Center, the Hangar Theatre, the Ithaca Fringe Festival, and numerous off-Broadway and regional theatres. She received the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical at the European Tournament of Plays for Little Shop of Horrors. Cynthia is the founder of Performing Arts for Social Change (PASC), a director, author, Professor of Acting in the Department of Theatre Arts at Ithaca College, and a member of Actors' Equity Association.

Joining Henderson is a large group of local actors with a diverse range of experience. In addition to Henderson, remaining cast members include Marissa Accordino, Maxwel Anderson, Adara Alston, Ri Bornstein, Jack Damien, Tessa Danner, K. Foula Dimopoulos, Jessica Dreiling, Madison Hertel, Francine Jasper, Seth Koproski, Vito Longo, Kayla Lyon, Luciana Parr, Derek Powell, Hayden Sheley, Sylvie Yntema, and Stacia Zabusky.

Buggeln is also the founding Artistic Director of Ithaca's Cherry Arts, a multidisciplinary arts creator and presenter. Buggeln is adapting, writing, and directing An Odyssey. Pre-Cherry, Buggeln directed over 20 productions at regional theaters and extensively off- and off-off-broadway, and developed new work extensively in NYC and regionally. He is an Artistic Associate at NYC's New/Ohio Theatre where he directed the Drama Desk-nominated Cressida Among the Greeks and adapted novels by Queneau and Duras. For the Cherry Sam has commissioned and/or produced over 20 full productions, almost all world or English-language premières, serving as director and/or translator on most. His theater translations have been published by Oberon, Seagull, and the Mercurian.

Buggeln states, "For a long time, folks have talked about how great it would be if Ithaca's different theatre companies could work together, combining our strengths to create something that none of us could do on our own. And now, thanks to Shirley Serotsky and RJ Lavine, it's happening! The Cherry Arts could not be more excited to be joining forces with the Hangar to forge something truly new to both of us." He continues, "All art is a bit of a leap into the dark. But the more of it you make, the more you come to trust. With An Odyssey we're making an exciting gamble: that the most vital ingredient of theater is not training, not even professional theater experience- but life, in all its variety."

Joining Buggeln, the creative and production team includes Sound Designer Don Tindall, Scenic Designer Czerton Lim, Lighting Designer Elizabeth M. Stewart, Costume Designer Glenna Ryer, Production Stage Manager Amanda Spooner, Assistant Director Rafael López, Composer Emma Plotkin, Movement Director Elizabeth Mozer, Character Coach Susannah Berryman, Puppetry Consultant Linda Wingerter, Production Assistants Dani Berman and Elaina Kaehler, Production Crew Jennifer Heath and Eliza Anastacio, and Mask builder Rose Howard.

The Hangar thanks additional production staff Jake Neighbors, Baaqir Salaam, Christopher "Toast" Dinapoli, Olivia Kirschbaum, Sage Hughes, Joshua Letton, Mia Allee Jumbo, and Sarah Bechtel.

As part of the community partnership, The Senior Troupe of Lifelong will present a free event, Wednesday, September 1 at 2:30 PM on the set of An Odyssey, on the outdoor Tompkins Trust Company Stage at the Hangar. The Journey Home: An Epic Simile, in collaboration with the Hangar Theatre and The Cherry Arts, will explore themes of our journey home. Watch troupe members perform stories from their lives based on The Odyssey!

The Hangar thanks Premier Performance Partner Tompkins Trust Company, Mainstage Media Sponsor Cayuga Radio Group, Partner In The Arts Ithaca College, Partner In Health Be Sure Testing, Premier Show Sponsors Odyssey Bookstore and Travis Hyde Properties, and Media Show Sponsor Tompkins Weekly.

An Odyssey runs from August 26-September 4. Seats are limited, and available while supplies last. Student discounts and Pay What You Will tickets are available at every performance in 2021. Learn more or buy now at hangartheatre.org/odyssey or by phone at 607.273.ARTS(2787).


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