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Look ahead at Austin's theater season, new venues

Michael Barnes
Kirk Lynn performs his project titled "The Cold Record" at the Rude Mechs' temporary venue, called Crashbox. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Compared with some of the miniaturized entertainment we enjoy these days, live theater takes up space. Not necessarily a lot of space, but, to qualify as theater, enough for at least one performer and at least one audience member. An iPhone can’t quite fix that.

While Austin has steadily added spaces since the 1980s, it has also lost some of its liveliest venues, especially funky and inexpensive “warehouse theaters” that defined a big chunk of the scene in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. And just last week, the City Theatre Austin announced it was leaving its longtime home on Airport Boulevard.

It’s been wrenching, yet spaces are coming back, not just for theater, but for all the arts. Powered by a $1 million gift, Austin Playhouse has acquired a 2.8-acre site on East Anderson Lane for its next theater. The Rude Mechs have found a temporary refuge in Crashbox on Bolm Road.

The Georgetown Palace Theater is adding the Doug Smith Performance Center to its busy-bee complex, which already boasts two performance venues. The City of Austin approved a resolution to move the stricken Dougherty Arts Center to a new building on Butler Shores, a step in the right direction.

Here’s a bit of arts trivia: As recorded in one of my first columns in 1989, the general complaint was the lack of venues and one source offered: “If only we could fix up Dougherty …”

Austin Playhouse

(6001 Airport Blvd.; 512-476-0084,

The troupe expects to move into new, permanent quarters in Northeast Austin next year.

Sept. 6-29: “Holmes and Watson”

Nov. 22-Dec. 21: “She Loves Me”

Jan. 10-Feb. 2: “Tiny Beautiful Things”

April 3-26: “Indecent”

May 29-June 28, 2020: “Arcadia”

June 4-28: “Ada and the Engine”

Austin Shakespeare

(Various locations; 512-470-4505,

This is Austin’s classic theater company.

Oct. 13: “A Little Night Music” (songs)

Nov. 22-Dec. 8: “As You Like It”

Feb. 10-March 2: “Hedda Gabler”

April 30-May 24: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

“June 19-28: “Two Gentlemen of Verona”

Different Stages

(Various locations;

Nov. 22-Dec. 14: "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"

Feb. 8-Feb. 29: "Gliders"

March 27-April 18: "Shining City"

June 27-July 18: "Heartbreak House"

Georgetown Palace Theatre — Mainstage

(810 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown; 512-869-7469,

Theater thrives in this vintage movie venue.

Oct. 11-Nov. 10: “The Buddy Holly Story”

Nov. 22-Dec. 29: “A Christmas Story”

Jan. 17-19: "An Evening with Tenors Unlimited"

Jan. 31-March 1: “Peter Pan”

March 13-April 5: “Sweet Charity”

April 17-May 17: “Mamma Mia!”

June 5-July 5: “Carousel”

“July 17-Aug. 16, 2020: “Wizard of Oz”

Aug. 28-Sept 27, 2020: “Grease”

Georgetown Palace Theatre — Playhouse

(817 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown: 512-869-7469,

The rapidly expanding company’s smaller second venue is just as busy as its palace.

Sept. 27-Oct. 20: “Red, White and Tuna”

Nov. 8-24: “Come Fly with Me”

Dec. 6-29: “Dashing Through the Snow”

Jan. 24-Feb. 16: “Laughter on the 23rd Floor”

Feb. 21-March 8: “Patsy Cline, One More Time”

March 27-April 19: “Boeing Boeing”

Ground Floor Theatre

(979 Springdale Road No. 122; 512-840-1804,

A black box for works by and for underrepresented communities and others.

Through Aug. 31: “Transom (The Trans Project)”

Dec. 5-21: “Next to Normal”

Hyde Park Theatre

(511 W. 43rd St.; 512-479-7529,

Sometimes partnering with Capital T Theatre, Hyde Park is home to hard-hitting comedy and drama.

Through Aug. 31: “Robert Mueller’s Greatest Hits: Vols. 1 & 2”

Sept. 5-Oct. 5: “Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower”

Long Center for the Performing Arts

(701 W. Riverside Drive; 512-474-5664,

Symphony, opera, dance and theater all in one spot.

Nov. 9-10: “The Texas Chili Queens”

Nov. 22-Dec. 8: “As You Like It”

Feb. 10-March 2: “Hedda Gabler”

Mary Moody Northen Theatre

(St. Edward's University, 3001 S. Congress Ave.; 512-448-8484,

Students and guest talents collaborate for four major shows.

Sept. 26-Oct. 6: “A Flea In Her Ear”

Nov. 14-24: “Marisol”

Feb. 13-23: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

April 16-26: “Pippin”

Penfold Theatre Company

(Various locations; 512-850-4849,

Theater not just for Williamson and northern Travis counties.

Oct. 11-Nov. 1: “Ghost Quartet”

Nov. 29-Dec. 21: “It’s a Wonderful Life Classic Radiocast”

March 26-April 11: “Vincent”

May 28-June 20: “The Tempest”

Pollyanna Theatre Company

(Various locations;

Sept. 25-27: “How Miss Lady Bird Changed America”

Oct. 3-12: “Dinosaur Roar”

Nov. 9-17: “The Texas Chili Queens”

Jan. 25-Feb. 1: “Through the Slumber-Glass”

March 26-April 4: “Ants Go Marching”

June 20-28: “Luna”

Rude Mechs

(Various locations;

Now settling into its temporary home at Crashbox.

Sept. 10-11: “High Crimes: The Impeachment of the Worst President in U.S. History” (open rehearsals)

Oct. 4-5: “The Method Gun”

Nov. 1-24: “Fixing the Last Henry”

March: “Suga”

March: “High Crimes: The Impeachment of the Worst President in U.S. History”

April: “Action Bike”

Salvage Vanguard Theater

(Various locations;

The troupe lives up to its motto: “Accessible, affordable, artistic exchange.”

Aug. 31: “Works Progress Austin: High Art (Expletive)”

October-November: "Three Headed Fest"

Dec. 20: "Works Progress Austin: Fumbling for the Knob"

Dec. 22: "Works Progress Austin: "Casta"

Shrewd Productions

(Various locations;

Award-winning producer of sharply considered performances.

Sept. 13-29: “Jump”

November: "Broken Bone Bathub"

Feb. 21-March 7: “Alabaster”

Spectrum Theatre Company

(Various locations;

Austin’s leading African-American theater company. Season to be announced soon.

Teatro Vivo

(600 River St.;

Austin’s top producer of high-quality bilingual shows. Season to be announced.

TexArts Association

(2300 Lohman's Spur, Lakeway; 512-634-8589,

Top-notch musicals in Lakeway.

Oct. 4-20: “Little Shop of Horrors”

Feb. 14-March 1: “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On”

Texas Performing Arts

(Various locations on UT campus; 512-477-6060,

Always an eclectic mix from UT’s big performing arts presenter.

Sept. 20: “Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)”

Feb. 7, 2020: John Cameron Mitchell: “The Origin of Love: The Songs and Stories of Hedwig”

March 26-27: Lisa Lampanelli: "Losin' It"

April 8-19, 2020: Texas Theatre and Dance presents “Sense and Sensibility.”

Texas Performing Arts — Broadway in Austin

(Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive; 800-731-7469,

The national tours of Broadway musicals stop here in Austin.

Sept. 10-15: “Les Misérables”

Oct. 8-13: “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Dec. 10-15: “Dear Evan Hansen”

Jan. 21-26: “Hello, Dolly!”

Feb. 18-23: “Come From Away”

March 11-22: “Disney’s Aladdin”

May 5-10: “A Bronx Tale”

Texas State University Theatre and Dance

(Various locations at San Marcos campus;

They serious about theater in San Marcos.

Sept. 2-8: Black and Latino Playwrights Celebration

Oct. 1-6: “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”

Oct. 10-13: “The Harvest”

Oct. 29-Nov. 3: “The Survivors”

Nov. 14-17: “Lydia”

Nov. 19-24: “Little Women”

Feb. 6-9: “Blu”

Feb. 11-16: “Measure for Measure”

March 5-8: “Men on Boats”

March 31-April 5: “The Other Shore”

April 21-26: “Guys and Dolls”

UT Theatre and Dance

(Various locations on UT campus; 512-477-6060,

Much of what makes Austin theater Austin theater is born here.

Oct. 4-5: “The Method Gun”

Oct. 2-13: “12 Ophelias (A Play with Broken Songs)”

Nov 6-24: “Spring Awakening”

Feb. 26-March 8: “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet”

April 8-19: “Sense and Sensibility”

The Vortex

(2307 Manor Road; 512-478-5282,

Performances of all kinds include compelling theater.

Through Sept. 2: “The Mamalogues”

Oct. 11-20: "Dionysus in America"

Sept. 29: "Regulated"

Nov. 1-16: "Más Cara"

No. 6-10: FuturX Festival

Nov. 22-Dec. 14: "Mary Shelly's Frankenstein"

Dec. 19-Jan. 5: "The Muttcracker (Sweet)"

Jan. 17-Feb. 8: "Click"

Feb. 13-15: "Salvaging Utopia"

Feb. 28-March 14: "Good Friday"

March 26-April 4: "Selfie!"

April 11-May 2: "Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven"

May 6-9: "Inappropriate"

May 22-June 6: "Bite Me"

July 24-Aug. 1, 2020: "Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play"

Aug. 7-15, 2020: "Romeo and Katrina"

Zach Theatre — Mainstage Series

(202 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-476-0541,

Austin’s primary professional theater draws a wide range of audiences.

Through Sept. 8: “Ann”

Sept. 25-Nov. 3: “Dracula”

Jan. 29-March 8: “A Night with Janis Joplin”

Feb. 5-March 29: “Every Brilliant Thing”

April 8-May 3: “Roe”

May 27-June 28: “Reunion '85”

July 15-Sept. 6, 2020: “The Sound of Music”

Zach Theatre — Moody Foundation Family Series

(202 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-476-0541,

There’s nothing second-rate about Zach’s theater for families.

Sept. 7-Dec. 14: “Jungalbook”

Jan. 18-April 26: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show"

Feb. 29-April 4: “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch"

Zach Theatre — Holiday Add-Ons

(202 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-476-0541,

These shows have brightened up the season with reliable regularity.

Nov. 20-Dec. 29: “A Christmas Carol”

Nov. 27-Dec. 29: “The Santaland Diaries”

Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: “Holiday Heroes”


We’re doing our fall arts preview a little differently this year, making it easier to digest by splitting it up into five stories. Here’s the schedule:

Aug. 9: Dance

Aug. 16: Classical

Aug. 23: Art

Aug. 30: Theater

Sept. 6: Culture