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Austin Playhouse's Threepenny Opera - Spring 2008

History...

Producing Artistic Director Don Toner-in conjunction with over fifty of Austin’s leading theatre artists, administrators, and volunteers-founded Austin Playhouse in 2000. The company previously worked together to build the State Theater Company (formerly Live Oak Theatre) into one of Austin’s leading arts organizations. Its inaugural season was comprised of three plays, Light Up the Sky, Mahalia, and The Fantasticks, and was produced on the campus of Concordia University under a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association.

On October 4, 2002, Austin Playhouse settled into a new home at Penn Field on South Congress Avenue.  The company renovated the warehouse into a comfortable 150-seat theatre featuring a large lobby with an art gallery.  Following two very successful seasons, Austin Playhouse opened a second performance space at Penn Field in February of 2004.

This second, 70-seat performance space and was named the Larry L. King Theatre in October of 2006 in honor of the esteemed playwright and Playhouse supporter, Mr. King. The Larry L. King Theatre was dedicated to producing new works by local and national playwrights. Its seasons included many works by female playwrights including the world premiere of local playwright Cyndi Williams’ Dug Up (David Mark Cohen Award for Best New Play), Stones in His Pockets by Irish playwright Marie Jones, and the southwest regional premiere of Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths (Austin Critics Table Best Comedy Winner).

Austin Playhouse does Threepenny OperaHistorically, Austin Playhouse has been committed to building strong ties in the community. Throughout its past, the Playhouse has collaborated with other companies and worked extensively with local universities through co-productions, sponsored projects, internships, and student employment opportunities. Austin Playhouse also created a successful benefit performance program that has raised funds and awareness for over twenty Austin charities.

In 2011, after a decade of successfully producing theatre and in the face of astronomically rising rents, Austin Playhouse decided to leave their rented space at Penn Field in order to pursue building a new, fully-owned, state-of-the-art venue.  While fundraising continues for this permanent home, Austin Playhouse has continued to serve the Austin theatre community, currently producing in a temporary facility at Austin Community College-owned Highland Mall.

Over the past thirteen years, Austin Playhouse has produced over seventy professional productions including seventeen world or regional premieres.  Austin Playhouse has expanded its annual subscriber base from its original 350 members to almost 2,000 annual subscribers today. The company remains dedicated to hosting play readings, fostering new play development, and providing production space for emerging companies.

With the promise of a permanent, new home, Austin Playhouse will continue to serve as a hub of artistic activity for Austin’s diverse cultural scene—increasing the Playhouse’s ability to incorporate more educational and outreach opportunities, as well as provide much needed rehearsal and performance space to other arts organizations in the area.  As before, Austin Playhouse will remain committed to a long, enriching, and sustainable future in Austin.

 

Austin Playhouse is dedicated to providing opportunities for Austin artists and audiences to celebrate the human experience. Austin Playhouse will nourish your mind, delight your spirit, and enrich your life through professional productions of classic, contemporary and musical plays.

 

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