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  • Writer's pictureLara Toner Haddock

Cheers to 2022!

Thank you for keeping the stage lights shining bright in 2021.

Here's to more stories, more laughter, and more moments of heartfelt connection.

2021 kicked-off with more virtual theatre - Bernadette Nason's delightful tale of childhood misadventures, Confessions of an English Danger Girl, and wrapped up with Bernadette's stories of holiday misadventures, Stealing Baby Jesus playing to live audiences at Trinity Street Playhouse.

Along the way we produced more of our online series, Postcards from Austin, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles wrapped our all-virtual Ghostlight Season in May. In July we brought an acclaimed, sold-out workshop production of Suzan Zeder and Jenn Hartmann Luck's new musical, The Battlefields of Clara Barton to live audiences at the State Theatre.

2021 was also the year we packed up and moved out of our space at ACC Highland. Pre-pandemic we had outgrown the venue that was never intended to be a permanent home. Our vision is a welcoming space where artists and audiences can gather seven days a week and where the diversity of Austin theatre shines.

So where is this theatre? Is it built yet?

Our beautiful new building, thoughtfully designed by the incredible folks at Forge Craft Architecture, was fully permitted during the early days of the pandemic. However, once construction was bid out it came in well over our initial budget. That significant budget gap in the early days of a pandemic put the project on hold. Even during this hold, over $250,000 has been raised including a $100,000 donation this December as our supporters continue to invest in a long-term, sustainable home that will serve Austin Playhouse and dozens of other arts organizations. We are currently working on two collaborative initiatives that could close our funding gap.

And we continue to invest in elevating the creativity in Austin that has flourished during this unusual time. In November we created and produced the first Austin Playfest, an online festival featuring a dozen local companies and celebrating the diversity of Austin Theatre. The collaborative fundraiser All Together Now brought together five local companies for a live and virtual musical event. And we returned to live productions with two holiday comedies at Trinity Street Playhouse.

We will be returning to Trinity Street Playhouse for more live theatre in 2022. And we have a solid vision for the future thanks to our recently completed 5-year strategic plan with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to celebrating with you in 2022!

Austin Playhouse founder, Don Toner, makes a special German coffee cake every year using his mother's recipe. My daughters, Kate and Keira, love helping Grandad. When plays were in production over the holidays, the cast could always look forward to Don bringing in a New Year's Pretzel for luck heading into the New Year.

2021 Events New Year photo at top, pictured from top left: Bernadette Nason in Stealing Baby Jesus, the cast of The Battlefields of Clara Barton, Ben Wolfe in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Inonge Khabele in Postcards from Austin, Bernadette Nason in Confessions of an English Danger Girl, Austin Playfest collage, Marc Pouhe and Lara Wright in the Austin History Center's All Aboard!, Lara Toner Haddock in The 12 Dates of Christmas.

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