The Stage Door Canteen

“ ‘Girls and Music’: That’s our slogan. And, believe me, that’s what the boys on leave are after.”

Brock Pemberton, producer, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing

“I hereby pledge to uphold and further all principles of the American Theatre Wing Stage Door Canteen in my capacity as a Canteen worker. I will not pass on any military information and I will not practice nor permit any discrimination as to race, color or creed.”

Pledge card signed by junior hostesses

“The purpose of the Stage Door Canteen was to provide ‘soul service.’”

Natalie J. Biro, Canteen News, March 8, 1945


Get a sneak peek inside the new movie HELLO AGAIN based on the celebrated off-Broadway musical by Michael John LaChiusa of the same name.

HELLO AGAIN – 1944 – Stage Door Canteen from SPEAKproductions on Vimeo.

A few words about the clip from the director of the film Hello Again, Tom Gustafson:
Throughout the film the title song, “Hello Again,” is transformed for the era – here in 1944, performed at the Stage Door Canteen®, sung by Karen Marie Richardson. In Michael John’s original piece, written for a 1993/94 Lincoln Center Theater production, he didn’t specify exactly where the 1940s chapter took place. But as soon as Cory Krueckeberg (Screenwriter/Producer) began the adaptation he set the action in and outside of the Stage Door CanteenTM.

During production of the film finding the right locations to stand in was tricky but we were lucky to scout a church in Harlem whose basement looked a lot like the research photos we had of the Stage Door Canteen. It had a stage, hallways and an almost period-correct kitchen. For the exteriors, we used the back side of the Apollo Theatre nearby – which had the kind of exterior stairways that the Stage Door Canteen® had – albeit without the decorative ironwork. And also the actual stage door for the United Palace theatre was used.

Creating the feel of the props and costumes relied heavily on research photos. Our costume designer had aprons made in a similar striped pattern to the ones in the photos. And the props team assembled the kinds of food seen in the research.

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