Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Austin Playhouse building a new theatre?
After eleven successful seasons, we need to increase our capacity and improve our long-term financial sustainability. Additionally, the rent at our former location had increased steadily over the years to $12,000 per month and was due to be raised again to a level that would be unsustainable. We can comfortably service a mortgage and build equity in our home for less than our rent at Penn Field.
Where is the new theatre?
It will be located in the Town Center of the new Mueller Redevelopment next to the new Austin Children’s Museum. We have easy access from IH35, Airport Blvd, and 290 and plenty of convenient, free parking.
Can Austin Playhouse afford this theatre?
Absolutely. We have more than quadrupled our subscriber base since our opening season, and interest in our productions grows every year. Our new location will accommodate our expanding audience and give us a higher profile in a popular new area of town. It will also bring new revenue streams in the form of venue rental and an on-site bar and restaurant, further strengthening our financial sustainability. A mortgage payment – equal to our previous five-figure monthly rent – will build long-term equity. This is a prudent financial move for a successful regional theatre company.
What else does the location provide?
First, our proximity to a growing residential neighborhood will provide a unique theatre-going experience to our neighbors. And our collaborations with other arts organizations and nonprofits – starting with our new neighbors, the Austin Children’s Museum – will allow the theatre to be used in a variety of different ways, making it a true neighborhood destination at all hours of the day.
How does this theatre increase Austin Playhouse’s capacity?
Our Penn Field location had 150 seats in the main stage, and 70 seats in the Larry L. King Theatre. The new location will have 220 seats in the main stage, 99 seats in the second stage, and more front row seating in both.
When will construction begin? How long is it expected to take?
We’re currently getting the site plan approved by the city. This process will take 3-6 months. We anticipate beginning construction in January 2012. It will take approximately six months to complete.
Who is designing and building the theater?
How much money has Austin Playhouse raised and what is the fundraising goal?
The entire project is projected to cost $4 million. Thanks to individual donations from our supporters, as well as an innovative arts development loan and a traditional mortgage, approximately 65% of that amount has already been committed. Our current goal is to raise the “gap,” which amounts to $1.5 million.
What is your fundraising plan?
We will employ an approach that includes our nearly 2,000 season ticket holders, patrons of other Austin arts organizations, corporate and individual neighbors in the Mueller area, foundations and corporations, and the general public. A variety of naming opportunities are available.
How will Austin Playhouse pay for operations once the new theatre opens?
Austin Playhouse has always operated in the black, with donations and ticket sales fully funding operations. However, the new theater will create additional revenue streams for the company, via space rentals and the income-producing bar/restaurant. We anticipate that our new theater home will solidify Austin Playhouse’s long-term financial sustainability.
p: (512) 476-0084
6001 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78752
Snail mail address:
P.O. Box 50533, Austin, TX 78763
Call the box office at (512) 476 0084 for tickets to any of our performances, subscriptions, or for special group rates.
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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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