A special thank-you note helps us appreciate theatre through new eyes

January 10th, 2014

Almost every day of the week, busloads of school children visit ZACH Theatre and experience live performance first hand. Seven year-old Summer Walberg’s visit was a little different- as a blind student at Summit Elementary, Summer saw the theatre from a perspective all her own.

A few days before her class’s field trip, Summer met up with Kate Shaw-Nappi, Education Associate at ZACH to explore the theatre and the set of Holiday Heroes by hand. Feeling the props and set, the guitar cases and the layout of the room, Summer was already familiar with the theater when she arrived with her classmates to experience a sing-along performance of Holiday Heroes.

The thoughtful and impressive thank-you note, written in both brail and text with the help of her teacher, Marjie, meant a lot to us here at Zach Theatre. “The best part is when the actors sang,” says Summer in her letter.

Summer’s sweet note is a wonderful reminder that theatre can be experienced in many different ways. Everyone brings their own fresh perspective. Thank you Summer, for visiting us!

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Small businesses with big ideas

December 10th, 2013

We’re feeling very inspired at the moment and thank Dell for their support and this wonderful video! Small businesses certainly can have big ideas! Thanks for helping us keep the art of story-telling alive.

Click here to view “Meet the Folks at ZACH Theatre, Austin’s longest running theatre company.”

Something special happened during a performance of A Christmas Story

December 5th, 2013

This past weekend something special happened during a performance of A Christmas Story here at ZACH Theatre.

Toward the end of the play, actor Marco Perella’s character Ralph says, “It was a good Christmas because we had love; we had each other. And in the final accounting, that’s what it’s all about after all.” A woman in the packed Topfer audience spontaneously shouted “AMEN!” which inspired other audience members to affirm this sentiment out loud, while others clapped. I love it when theatre unexpectedly turns into church. And when I say that I mean the communal experience of gathering together for a shared experience in which we are lifted up in some way. I’ve sat in enough theatre audiences across the country to know how special this is, and it doesn’t happen in many places.

It is a great reminder for me this week of how thankful I am for Austin audiences and their spirit! Lots of our audience members this week are telling the house managers at our theaters how thankful they are for us putting them in the holiday spirit at This Wonderful Life with Martin Burke’s delightful performance, as well as at A Christmas Story. Many said they came in feeling a bit tired from Thanksgiving or not ready for Christmas to be here, and they find themselves leaving ZACH in the spirit of the holiday season. As people who make theatre we value the experience of transformation, and this past week it was so gratifying to see so many folks in our lobbies smiling ear to ear, hugging loved ones, and laughing after the performances — the persons who had walked in the door were transformed.

At ZACH we revisit our mission, vision and core values on a regular basis to make sure we are in alignment and to see if we feel like anything needs tweaking based our continued maturation and growth as an arts organization. Our mission currently is: ZACH creates intimate theatre that ignites the imagination, lifts the spirit, and engages our community. In a recent staff meeting we discussed each part of our statement for about two hours with a very lively and passionate conversation. This idea of “lifting the spirit” in particular had a lot of dialogue around it. This week it has been an especially gratifying experience to hear these words being reflected back to us by the audiences at the performances. We love this community and the ways in which we get to participate in it and contribute to it. We are lifted by the experience of what I believe to be the finest audience in America. Amen, indeed!

-Dave Steakley

Actor Nicholas Rodriguez on LES MISÉRABLES

October 22nd, 2013

Actor Nicholas Rodriguez discusses his role as Javert in ZACH Theatre’s production of LES MISÉRABLES – live on stage in ZACH’s intimate Topfer Theatre through November 3, 2013.

Click here to view this video directly on YouTube.

For tickets and more show information, please visit http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/les-miserables.

Director Matt Lenz on LES MISÉRABLES

October 11th, 2013

Director Matt Lenz discusses his vision for ZACH Theatre’s production of LES MISÉRABLES live on stage in ZACH’s intimate Topfer Theatre through November 3, 2013.

Click here to view this video directly on YouTube.

For tickets and more show information, please visit http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/les-miserables.

Video: LES MISÉRABLES Live at ZACH Theatre

September 30th, 2013

The international musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES is live on stage at ZACH Theatre.

Tickets and more show info at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/les-miserables

Photo Gallery: LES MISÉRABLES

September 26th, 2013

Experience the international musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES, up-close and personal, in the intimate Topfer Theatre! Soaring anthems, unbridled patriotism and the quest for redemption reveal the heart of a man who must leave his past behind to fight for life, love and liberty. Photos from ZACH’s production below are by photographer Kirk Tuck.

For tickets and more show information, please visit http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/les-miserables.

Video: “Spirit in the Dark” from ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

August 8th, 2013

Tiffany Mann plays the Blues Singer in in ZACH Theatre’s ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN. Here is a clip from her performance as Aretha Franklin of “Spirit in the Dark” with Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin. They are accompanied by Joplinaires Tricky Jones, Felicia Dinwiddie and Cari Hutson.

Tickets and show info at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin

Video: “Piece of My Heart” from ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

July 24th, 2013

Kacee Clanton plays Janis Joplin in ZACH Theatre’s ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN. Here is a clip from her phenomenal performance of “Piece of My Heart” in the show. She is accompanied by the Joplinaires.

Tickets and show info at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin

Photo Gallery: ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN live at ZACH Theatre

July 11th, 2013

ZACH’s production of the Broadway-bound musical ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, created, written and directed by Randy Johnson, is live on stage for a limited time. See it first at ZACH before it hits Broadway this fall!

Photos from the production (below) are courtesy of ZACH Photographer Kirk Tuck. Feel free to share these photos on your favorite social networking sites or blog, but please credit Kirk Tuck wherever they appear.

Tickets and more show information is available online at http://www.zachtheatre.org/show/one-night-with-janis-joplin.