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Tony-Winning Musical ONCE Presented Outdoors At The Hangar Theatre, July 1-17


In Once, audiences travel to the streets of Dublin to follow Guy and Girl becoming entwined in each other's stories.

Tony-Winning Musical ONCE Presented Outdoors At The Hangar Theatre, July 1-17

The Hangar's opening performance of Once by Enda Walsh with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová will begin July 2th at 7:30 pm, continuing the Hangar's 2021 Outdoor Mainstage season! A preview performance will precede the opening on July 1 at 7:30 pm; matinee and evening performances will run through Saturday, July 17.

Hangar Artistic Director Shirley Serotsky (she/her) will direct the show. Serotsky shares, "Each of the characters in Once is a bit stuck--in different ways--when we first meet them, and music, art, inspiration, and creation pulls each of them out of their stasis. This speaks so much to the current moment for me; creating art is a joy and a privilege after this incredibly challenging year."

Taking on multiple roles, Musical Director Chris "Red" Blisset (he/him) will also be an actor-musician in the show, playing the Bank Manager. Blisset shared, "If a version of Once needs staff, I come running! I have played Billy four times, directed the music twice, directed the show, and served as associate director. It is more than my sheer love of the show and the music. Once surrenders itself to each ensemble/artistic staff/company that encounters it. If they want to explore love, there is a love story to be committed to. If they want to explore a fairy tale, there is one to swim in...great art reflects us individually and collectively, and we can easily see ourselves in this piece."

Heath Saunders (they/he) will star as "Guy," a young busker in Dublin, Ireland. They are an actor, composer, multi-instrumentalist, director, teacher, producer, and diversity dramaturg. They previously appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC Live!, Chicago Lyric, Alice By Heart at MCC Theater, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. Heath also produced musical hits including their 2020 EP "Does Not Play Well With Others (I Hope You're Not 'Others')." Julie Benko (she/her) stars as "Girl," a Czech musician who crosses paths with Guy, seemingly by fate. She has a BFA in drama and an MFA in acting from NYU-Tisch, and her Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof and Les Miserables, as well as the National Tour of Spring Awakening. Her debut jazz album, Introducing Julie Benko, is now streaming and will be available for purchase at the Hangar concession stand through the run of the show.

In Once, audiences travel to the streets of Dublin to follow Guy and Girl becoming entwined in each other's stories, helping Guy to discover the inspiration he needs to create and dream again. The musical score will be performed entirely by actors in the show, and features hits like the Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly." Each production will start with a pre-show jam session of traditional Irish music and more contemporary songs, featuring the actors on their respective instruments!

In addition to Serotsky and Blisset, the creative and production teams include Sound Designer Sun Hee Kil, Scenic Designer Steve TenEyck (who designed the Hangar's new outdoor venue), Lighting Designer John D. Alexander, Costume Designer Debra Kim Sivigny, AEA Production Stage Manager Stuart Plymesser, Choreographer/Movement Director (and Ithaca High School alumn) Fatima Sowe, Accent and Dialect Consultant Robin Christian-McNair, Casting Director Michael Cassara, Assistant Choreographer (and Hangar alumn) Imri Leshed, and Assistant Directors/Hangar Lab Company members Kate Thorvick and Abigail Klipfel.

The Hangar's 47th Mainstage season will continue with live, in-person outdoor productions of Sweeney Todd, Queens Girl in the World, and An Odyssey. Serotsky states, "Ithaca is so beautiful in the summer, and I loved being able to select a season of shows that would be enhanced by an outdoor setting, rather than limited by this. It's thrilling to be a part of this new adventure for the Hangar."

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, Associate Sponsor M&T Bank, and Media Sponsor What's Hot CNY.

Once runs from July 1-17. Seats are limited, and available while supplies last. All tickets must be purchased in advance. Student discounts and Pay What You Will tickets are available at every performance in 2021. Buy now at

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