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.
Austin Playhouse is a professional regional theatre, founded in August of 2000. Over fifty of Austin's leading theatre artists, administrators, and volunteers who had worked with Producing Artistic Director Don Toner to build Austin’s State Theatre Company into one of the city’s leading arts organizations, joined him in creating this new professional theatre for Austin. On November 27, 2000 Austin Playhouse was granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.
Austin Playhouse produced its inaugural season at Concordia University under a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors' Equity Association. Joining 320 season subscribers were over 1,800 single ticket buyers for a total attendance of 2,800 at 40 performances. In 2002, the company renovated a warehouse space at Penn Field into two performance spaces with modest support facilities. The initial renovation included a 150-seat main stage theatre with a lobby, art gallery, and concession area. With a subscriber base of 710 patrons for its third season, annual attendance increased to 8,040 at 96 performances. An estimated attendance of 3,600 for other arts organizations performing at Austin Playhouse brought the total annual attendance to 11,640.
Austin Playhouse’s second performance space, the Larry L. King Theatre, opened in 2006 with a four play season that featured new plays by local playwrights, world and regional premieres, and hosted new play readings. In 2010, faced with rising rents at Penn Field, Austin Playhouse moved to a temporary facility in the Mueller Redevelopment before we were invited by Austin Community College to renovate a storefront in ACC owned Highland Mall in 2012. The new location features a mainstage. A rehearsal space, restrooms, and expanded lobby were added in 2015.
During the past seventeen seasons, Austin Playhouse has produced over 100 professional productions including 36 world or regional premieres. Production highlights include Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Death of a Salesman, The 39 Steps, Noises Off, Frost/Nixon, Disgraced, Satchel Paige, She Stoops to Conquer, The Foreigner, Roaring, Venus in Fur, A Room with a View, Age of Arousal, Stones in His Pockets, Enchanted April, A Man For All Seasons, The Mountaintop, The Night Hank Williams Died, Mahalia, and Arcadia. Austin Playhouse has grown to a year-round operation with a subscription base of nearly 1,200 and a projected annual attendance of over 25,000 - a growth of 900% since our first year. Austin Playhouse is currently engaged with Austin Community College under a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a long-term collaboration between the two institutions.