Playbill Songwriter Series: The Multi-Lingual Artistry of Spring Awakening's Robi Hager | Playbill

Songwriter Series Playbill Songwriter Series: The Multi-Lingual Artistry of Spring Awakening's Robi Hager

The Broadway vet is using his writing talents to craft an artistic voice for immigrants and refugees.

Philadelphia-based composer and performer Robi Hager is the latest member of the Playbill Songwriter Series, proving the power of a multi-disciplinary theatre artist. 

A Broadway vet, Hager was a member of the original Broadway company of Spring Awakening, with additional Broadway credits in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Bye Bye Birdie, and Doctor Zhivago (performing under the name Robert Hager). When he is not performing onstage, however, he is carefully crafting musicals offstage, including the pair Hager chose to share with the world through the Songwriter Series.

For the last five years, Hager has been hard at work on two musicals: Little Duende and Siluetas. Watch the video below to hear four songs from the emotionally affecting musicals, which provide both metaphorical and literal voice for immigrants and refugees.

Little Duende, which features music and lyrics by Hager and book and lyrics by Georgina Escobar, centers on a curious young elf named Adelita who is thrust into a terrifying adventure when an evil spirit kidnaps her mother and destroys her home. Using fairy tales to comment on real-world issues such as the border crisis, dual citizenship, and the consequences of a dark family secret, the piece was one of two musicals accepted for the 2021 NMTC at The O'Neill Center and was also featured as one of eight musicals in the 2021 NAMT festival in NYC. 

Hager presented two songs from Little Duende for the Songwriter Series, including "Where To Next," performed by Naomi Serrano; and "Mi Amor," performed by Florencia Cuenca and Serrano.

Inspired by the art of Ana Mendieta, Siluetas is about the tumultuous friendship between Dinora, a Cuban-American immigrant, and Khalilah, a Syrian refugee, who move in together during the 2016 presidential campaign, the lifting of the Cuban embargo, and the escalation of the Syrian civil war. Co-written with Erlina OrtizSiluetas will receive a full production June 2024, produced by Power Street Theatre in Philadelphia.

From Siluetas, Hager presented the songs "Habibti Stay," performed by Angel Alzeidan and Cuenca; and "These Days," performed by Hager himself. Simply orchestrated, Hager played the Sing for Hope piano for the episode, with previous Songwriter Series member Jaime Lozano joining him on the guitar for the material from Little Duende.

Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Our creative programs bring hope, healing, and connection to millions of people in hospitals, schools, care facilities, refugee camps, transit hubs, and community spaces worldwide. A non-profit organization founded in New York City in response to the events of 9/11, Sing for Hope partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, mobilizes thousands of artists in creative service, and produces artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos across the US and around the world. The official Cultural Partner of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Sing for Hope champions art for all because we believe the arts have an unmatched capacity to uplift, unite, and heal. Learn more at

For more information on Hager, visit

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!