ZACH Theatre in the News

Mothers and Sons, Zach Theatre's exquisite staging of Terrence McNally's drama speaks to families of all kinds

by Elissa Russell, Austin Chronicle
June 12, 2015

It's a bit of a shame, really: We enter the theatre, see the contemporary living room set and the four-person cast list, and think we know what we're in for. "Now's the part where the uninvited guest shows up," we posit. And, right on cue, the doorbell rings, followed by 90 minutes of "we weren't expecting company," clanking glasses, and divulged family secrets. Zach Theatre's Mothers and Sons might come across that way at first (and certainly has some of these elements), but, with its heavy-hitting subject matter and fine performances, this is one play with a sofa center stage that won't put you to sleep. (Read more.)

Review: Cenicienta, at Zach Theatre

by Michael Meigs, CTX Live Theatre
April 27, 2015

If you've ever had the fleeting wish that Disney's Cinderella wasn't so dated and unreal, here's your remedy. The story of the valiant but terribly neglected stepdaughter dates back to Italian folktales and was retold in French by Charles Perrault and later in German by the Brothers Grimm. Now we have here in Austin a charming bilingual version, Spanish and English, that's the collaboration of talents from three Austin theatre companies or more. (Read more.)

In ‘Cenicienta,’ an Everyday Cinderella Spins Her Own Fairy Tale Variation

by Suzy Evans, American Theatre
April 14, 2015

AUSTIN: Cinderella’s stepsisters make fun of her for a lot of reasons, but speaking Spanish is a new one. In ZACH Theatre’s Cenicienta, cultural heritage becomes a point of teasing for the beleaguered title character. (Read more.)

Theater review: “All the Way”

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
April 14, 2015

While Shakespeare’s might be the most famous history plays, Pulitzer-Prize winner Rob Schenkkan gives the Bard a run for his money with a look into twentieth century American politics. “All the Way,” playing at Zach Theatre through May 10, details the early Presidential career of Lyndon Baines Johnson, bringing to life a pivotal moment in American political history. (Read more.)

The Way Home: Zach Theatre gives Robert Schenkkan's All the Way its Texas premiere on LBJ's home turf

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
April 10, 2015

When All the Way opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2012, the play's future was anybody's guess. Would any theatre besides this immense repertory company be willing to mount a political drama requiring 17 actors and running nearly three hours? Was there even a remote chance that such a show could have commercial prospects? No one knew. The only thing about All the Way's life after OSF that seemed certain – indeed, seemed downright inevitable – was that it would be produced in Austin. (Read more.) 


by Sarah Thurmond, Austin Monthly
March 30, 2015

In February, the Texas Cultural Trust honored two writers with local ties at the Texas Medal of Arts Awards. Lawrence Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker and the Pulitzer Prize–winning author... and playwright Robert Schenkkan, winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for drama. (Read more.)

A modern bilingual Cinderella in Zach Theatre’s 'Cenicienta'

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
March 27, 2015

“Cinderella” is one of those timeless tales. A girl finds herself trapped in an economic class that she desperately wants to rise out of, yet no one, including herself, believes she can. Most kids know the Disney animated film version, and a live-action film came to theaters a few weeks ago. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre Announces Sensory-Friendly Performance

by Austin Family
March 6, 2015

ZACH Theatre announced performance dates for the reinvented classic, Stiles and Drewe’s The Three Little Pigs, February 27 through April 25. Included in the dates is a sensory-friendly performance on March 7 at 2 p.m. “This is ZACH’s first time doing a sensory-friendly performance, but we are looking to make this a new tradition for all our Theatre for Families shows,” said Chad Dike, manager of the Performing Arts School at ZACH Theatre. “ZACH has always been open to anyone in Austin, but with this performance we hope to create a welcoming environment for all families.” (Read more.)


by Heidi Okla, Do512Family
March 4, 2015

The Three Little Pigs is a “Great Big Little Broadway Show” that’s playing on weekends now through Saturday, Apr. 25 at ZACH Theatre. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this family show is filled with laugh-out-loud humor. Our Content Manager, Heidi, had the chance to attend the opening night show with her family. Read all about it… (Read more.)

Three Little Pigs at ZACH Theatre – February 27-April 25, 2015

by Rebecca Darling,
March 3, 2015

The Three Little Pigs – a classic, short story that shows us how determination & steady, hard work pays off in the end is just a child’s tale. Or is it? This past week, the ZACH Theatre opened the family musical, The Three Little Pigs on the Kleberg Stage. I took my two boys, not knowing what to expect. I mean, who makes a musical out of the Three Little Pigs? Y’all, it was adorable! (Read more.)

Theater review: A “Three Little Pigs” for you and your piglets

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
March 2, 2015

Friday night’s opening night performance of Zach Theatre’s “The Three Little Pigs” musical continued to prove why the theater’s education department lead by Nat Miller gets children’s theater right. It’s smart. It’s funny. It doesn’t talk down to kids. It twists the classic fairy tale just enough to keep Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa interested, while not losing the fairy tale’s message. The production, produced by Carla Tyson and directed by Abe Reybold, will be on Zach’s Kleberg stage through April 25 and will be seen by about 20,000 kids including many school groups. (Read more.)

Zach Theatre's Peter and the Starcatcher brings storytelling magic to the tale of how Peter Pan came to be

by Elissa Russell, The Austin Chronicle
February 12, 2015

Recall the last time someone told you a bedtime story. You crawled into bed, buried yourself under piles of blankets, closed your eyes, and imagined the events as they were described to you. There were no visual effects, music, or Hollywood actors to guide you through the journey, just the words of your storyteller and your own imagination melding together to bring the tale to life. As adults, opportunities to experience stories in this way often dwindle or disappear. Happily, Zach Theatre's Peter and the Starcatcher provides an engrossing adventure of this very type, using a talented ensemble of gifted storytellers to illustrate a prequel to J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan that awakens our inner child. (Read more.)

CTX Live Theatre review: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER by Rick Elice, Zach Theatre, January 28 - March 1, 2015

by Rick Elice, Central Texas Live Theatre
February 12, 2015

Professional fan-drama has gotten to be a thing in recent years. Wicked, the dreamy adolescent take on The Wizard of Oz, has been the most successful, and the Marvel Comics franchise leaped past the stage right to the big screen. (Read more.)

Review: Zach Theatre’s “Peter and The Starcatcher”

by Cate Blouke,
February 5, 2015

It’s a rare gem of a play that can delight audiences ages six to 60. Usually, when the show can charm a pre-adolescent, the ticket-buying adult is making some concessions regarding quality of entertainment. But “Peter and The Starcatcher,” a fanciful backstory for Peter Pan playing now through March 1 at Zach Theatre, manages to make the experience engaging for all ages. (Read more.)

The Cast of ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ Talk ZACH Theater Performance!

by The CW Austin
February 5, 2015

Josean Rodriguez (Peter Pan) and J. Robert Moore (Black Stache), star in Peter and the Starcatcher, the latest production at ZACH Theater! They show us the intricate props and over-the-top costumes that were made and tailored to perfection for them and tons more! This hilarious show is a five-time Tony award-winning play that will have audiences captivated and enthralled with the actors portrayal of our favorite classic tale! (Watch video.)

BWW Reviews: Treat Your Inner Child to PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

by Frank Benge, Broadway World
February 2, 2015

Theatre, more than any other medium, has the ability to create magic and seldom has more magic been created on a stage than in the ZACH Theatre production of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. While the production is advertised as suitable for ages 6 and up, it is the adults who are in for the real treat with this whip-smart, endlessly inventive and deliciously campy and snarky production. (Read more.)

The Six Seasons: Empowering kids to deal with climate change

by Teri, Alt Ed Austin
January 23, 2015

I recently attended a preview performance of The Six Seasons, a uniquely beautiful and moving play about climate change. Glass Half Full Theatre adapted its original award-winning show aimed at adult audiences into this brilliant production for ages seven and up. (Read more.)

A Christmas Carol at Zach Theatre: 3 Reasons to See It Now

by Edwin Ochoa, The Austinot
December 16, 2014

I was first introduced to A Christmas Carol in 6th grade. I wish I could say I enjoyed reading the book, but the exact opposite was true. I was more concerned with the response to my “Will You Go Out With Me?” note than with Ebeneezer Scrooge’s epiphany. Fast forward 15 years to A Christmas Carol at Zach Theatre. I left the show wishing it had been my first introduction to Dickens. (Read more.)

A Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre – Austin, TX

by Rebecca Darling,
December 5, 2014

One of my favorite things to do during the Holiday Season to get me in the spirit is to see a Holiday Show. Nothing puts me in the Holiday mood than to stop all the hustle & bustle that comes in December and get wrapped up in a fantastic play, musical, or concert. I did that on Wednesday night at ZACH Theatre with their production of A Christmas Carol.So many would pass up the offer to see A Christmas Carol. With so many renditions played each year, on TV or even in cartoon, it’s one of those shows you don’t scramble to get tickets for. Y’all. This show, you do. I mean scramble – order your tickets NOW. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: THIS WONDERFUL LIFE is an Evening of Masterful Story Telling

by Frank Benge, Broadway World
December 1, 2014

Simply said, Martin Burke delivers masterful story telling in a tour de force production of THIS WONDERFUL LIFE. In the course of the evening, Mr. Burke singlehandedly tells the story of "It's a Wonderful Life" playing all the characters... twice. (Read more.)


November 29, 2014

Gather ‘round the Zach Theatre’s Wisenhunt mini-amphitheater for a good old-fashioned storytelling, the kind that both carries you along and makes you wait in turn. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre's A Christmas Carol @ KUTX

November 25, 2014

It’s finally that time of year again and ZACH Theatre is back with a modern adaptation of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. From November 26th to December 28th ZACH Theatre will be performing a new modern musical adaptation, A Christmas Carol: A Rockin’ New Musical! at ZACH’s Topfer Theatre. This version of the timeless Dickens tale features a traditional Victorian setting and gorgeous period costumes, but with a musical score that spans genres and eras, from rousing gospel to rock-n-soul favorites, and from nostalgic harmony classics to contemporary hits. (Click to listen.)

The Stars of ‘A Christmas Carol’ Talk New Twist On A Holiday Classic!

by The CW Austin
November 25, 2014

ZACH Theater has done it again! On November 26th, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will showcase on the Topfer Theater stage through December 28th! Stars Michael Valentine (Fred) and Harvey Guion (Scrooge), talk over-the-top costumes and more! (Watch video.)

Enjoy 'This Wonderful Life' at ZACH Theatre

by Arts Eclectic KUT 90.5 FM
November 21, 2014

For Martin Burke, appearing onstage at ZACH Theatre has become something of a holiday tradition. He starred as Crumpet the elf in The Santaland Diaries for many years, and last year he undertook a one-man version of It's a Wonderful Life titled This Wonderful Life. (Click to listen.)

A Year With Frog and Toad at ZACH Theatre

by Ava Love Hanna, Waterways Magazine
Fall 2014

ZACH THEATRE opened its 2014 – 2015 Family Series with a production of the Tony Award-nominated musical A Year with Frog and Toad. The show, an adaptation of Arnold Lobel’s well-loved books, tells the story of Frog and Toad’s friendship throughout each of the four seasons. The musical featured an incredible cast with superb performances by Nicholas Kier as Frog and Chase Brewer in the role of Toad. Kelly Petlin, Josh Wechsler, and Megan Richards Wright did an outstanding job as the ensemble playing various characters throughout the show and enchanting the audience with their antics. (Download review.)

Review: Zach Theatre’s ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’

by Claire Canavan,
November 11, 2014

A smile from a friend can make even the worst days seem a little brighter. Friendship is at the heart of Arnold Lobel’s popular children’s series, Frog and Toad, which Willie and Robert Reale adapt for the stage in a charming musical called “A Year With Frog and Toad.” Nat Miller directs Zach Theatre’s production of this family-friendly romp, now running through November 29. (Read more.)

Frog and Toad at ZACH Theatre for Kids and Kids at Heart

by J. Alan Nelson, The Austinot
October 31, 2014

Frog and Toad are your friends. They’ve been your friends for more than 40 years, since the two leap-frogged from Arnold Lobel’s head into the now classic children’s books. A Year with Frog and Toad, playing at Zach Theatre through November 29, 2014, cleverly delivers the favorite stories of Lobel onto the stage with catchy tunes you will hum long after you leave the theatre. (Read more.)

A Year with Frog and Toad – Review

by Heidi Okla, Do512Family
October 13, 2014

I really adore Arnold Lobel’s classic Frog and Toad stories. I always found those two characters so loveable and their friendship so endearing. I wasn’t familiar with the musical adaptation, but when I had read that this play was actually commissioned by Lobel’s daughter, taken to the Broadway stage and nominated for three Tony Awards, I was really excited to check out this production at ZACH Theatre. (Read more.)

When You're Close: Intimacy and authenticity distinguish ZACH Theatre's revival of The King and I

by Russell M. Dembin, The Austin Chronicle
October 9, 2014

When a show features numbers with titles like "Shall We Dance?" "Hello, Young Lovers," and "Getting to Know You," you might guess that it's a very intimate work. That's exactly what you get with The King and I, currently running at Zach Theatre, but the sincerity of this staging is largely the product of the thoughtful direction by the company's associate artistic director, Abe Reybold. (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's "The King and I"

by Claire Christine Spera, Austin American-Statesman
September 22, 2014

From the moment the curtain rises on the King of Siam’s palace dancers, who perform dutifully in golden outfits, we are confronted with the King’s royal reality. His court members — always glittering, always subserviently lying prostrate — are a sharp contrast to the quick-witted, independent Englishwoman Anna Leonowens, here ultimately to teach his children there is more to the world than Siam. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: THE KING AND I at ZACH Theatre is a Sumptuous, Opulent Production of an American Musical Theatre Classic

by Frank Benge, Broadway World
September 21, 2014

Rodgers & Hammerstein are, to me, the comfort food of musical theatre. Of all their shows, THE KING AND I holds up the best some 65 years on. It avoids the saccharine sweetness and didactic qualities of some of their other works. (Read more.)

Jaston Williams talks 'Tuna' and S.A. in new show

by Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News
September 11, 2014

AUSTIN — Actor Jaston Williams launched his career in San Antonio in the '70s. “It was a great place to be a bohemian artist,” he said. “If I had gone to New York at that time, it would have eaten me alive. “By doing it in San Antonio, I just got to do a lot of stuff I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. I made contacts and learned to write and was the worst waiter on the River Walk.” Williams has preserved some of his memories from that time in “Maid Marian in a Stolen Car,” his latest solo show, which opened last weekend at the Zach Theatre. (Read more.)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is filming at ZACH Theatre in October

by Katie Friel, CultureMap
September 9, 2014

Move over Fun Fun Fun Fest and Austin City Limits Music Festival, The Daily Show may be this season's hottest ticket. As first reported on industry blog The Comic's Comic, Comedy Central's hit show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be filming in Austin from October 27 through October 30 at ZACH Theatre. (Read more.)

Jon Stewart to tape “Daily Show” in Austin in October

by Syd Kearney, The Austin Chronicle
September 9, 2014

Fans of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” can get free tickets for his show, which will tape in at Austin’s ZACH Theatre Oct. 27-30. Stewart is bringing “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess” to Texas as part of his coverage of the upcoming midterm elections. (Read more.)

Jon Stewart brings 'The Daily Show' to Austin

by Dale Roe, Austin American-Statesman
September 9, 2014

From world news headquarters in … Austin? Don't say Rick Perry never did anything for you. Comedy Central has announced that anchor Jon Stewart is bringing "The Daily Show" to our city for a week's worth of shows. Covering the upcoming midterm elections, “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess” will be taped at ZACH Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. and air nightly at 10 p.m. from Monday, October 27 through Thursday, October 30, the cable network announced. (Read more.)

'South by South Mess' — Daily Show coming to Austin for October taping

by Michael Theis, Austin Business Journal
September 9, 2014

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" will come to Texas to tape a week of shows to cover the upcoming midterm elections, according to Daily Show producers. Stewart is dubbing the show as "Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess." (Read more.)

Maid Marian in a Stolen Car, is a runaway train of laughter, tears, and inspiration!

by Olin Meadows, Austin Entertainment Weekly
September 8, 2014

Jaston Williams, star and creator of the famous “Tuna Texas Trilogy or Quad if you include “Tune Does Vegas” has brought some of the sordid and emotional stories of his life long career in the theatre to life in his one man show, “Maid Marian In A Stolen Car” now on stage at ZACH Theatre. (Read more.)

CTXLT reviews: MAID MARIAN IN A STOLEN CAR by Jaston Williams, ZACH Theatre, August 29-September 21, 2014

by Dr. David Glen Robinson, Central Texas Live Theatre
September 8, 2014

Maid Marian in a Stolen Car as a title has almost nothing to do with a character out of the tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. But as an overarching metaphor for the life in theatre that is Jaston Williams, it's perfect. (Read more.)

Jaston Williams Presents 'Maid Marian in a Stolen Car'

by Mike Lee, KUT
September 8, 2014

Jaston Williams has spent his entire adult life in the theater, so it's only natural that he'd eventually create a theater piece about his life in entertainment. Decades in the making, that show, 'Maid Marian in a Stolen Car,' is now onstage at Zach Theater. (Read more.)

Review: 'Maid Marian in a Stolen Car': Jaston Williams steals a one-man show yet again

by Wes Eichenwald, Austin American-Statesman
September 8, 2014

Although it wouldn’t hurt, you don’t have to be from the theatrical world, or from Texas, or even a fan of the wildly popular “Greater Tuna” and its three sequels to enjoy “Tuna” co-creator Jaston Williams’s latest one-man show, “Maid Marian in a Stolen Car.” (Read more.)

Jaston Williams: Before 'Tuna,' he rode with 'Maid Marian in a Stolen Car'

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
August 28, 2014

Jaston Williams has stories like West Texas has sand – a vast, seemingly inexhaustible supply that swirls up around you whenever you're near. Consider: This notable actor/writer has already produced three shows of richly embroidered, raucously funny yarns and this week opens a fourth. Maid Marian in a Stolen Car, at ZACH Theatre. (Read more.)

TOMMY Puts the Pinball Wizard in a Spectacular Wonderland

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
July 31, 2014

Genius is not a term to throw around lightly. Genius suggests distinctiveness and even superiority. Geniuses are people that are seldom matched in their field. It's a level that most of us strive to reach but never achieve. Yet for director Dave Steakley, it's a well-deserved moniker. With his current production of Tommy, now playing at the ZACH Theatre, Steakley pairs The Who's beloved rock-opera with the imaginative world of Alice in Wonderland. The result is a theatrical event that is impossible to forget. (Read more.)

The Craft Behind the Curtain

by S. Kirk Walsh, Tribeza
July 23, 2014

In the ZACH’s exuberant original production of Tommy, every aspect of the performance comes to life—from the dramatic framed mirror that mesmerizes the title character to the gyrating metallic gold bumpers of the stage-size animated pinball machine. Beyond the extraordinary vocal and physical talents of the actors under the theater’s spotlight, countless hours of expertise and labor have gone into realizing these dazzling moments by way of the costumes, props, scenery, and more. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre's "Tommy" is a bold, original explosion of energy and imagination

by Ryan E. Johnson, Austin Theater Examiner
July 20, 2014

ZACH Theatre has always been at their best when working with rock musicals. “Love Janice”, “Spring Awakening”, and the stunning “Next to Normal” have more than proven that, and they continue to excel here with their production of “Tommy”, a shockingly original piece based on the seminal concept album/rock opera by The Who. Bringing together a team of Broadway professionals, Austin stage icons, and truly impressive newcomers, ZACH has created what could be their best work to date. (Read more.)

Review: "The Who's 'Tommy'" at ZACH Theatre

by Cate Blouke, Austin American-Statesman
July 16, 2014

A script set in the 1970s that encourages dream sequences and phantasmagoric visions serves up a smorgasbord of opportunities for an ambitious design team. “The Who’s Tommy,” playing now through Aug. 24 at ZACH Theater, is the first production in the new Topfer space to really pull out all the technical and design stops available. While the storyline may be difficult to follow (and unquestionably weird), ZACH’s production is nevertheless lavish and visually stunning. (Read more.)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
June 19, 2014

A sweet silence opens this Christopher Durang comedy: the quiet of early morning as a brother and sister sit before a picture window gazing at the pond behind their Pennsylvania country house. There's a sound, though, that those of us watching the siblings can't hear: the loud ticking inside their heads. For you see, while it's early in the morning, it's late in life for these two. They're keenly aware of the clock winding down, of the things in life they haven't done and cannot have, of the Chekhovian chill that comes with seeing the world one knew and treasured whirl away. (Read more.)

Talent shines, laughs abound in latest ZACH production

June 13, 2014

Plenty of laughs are on tap in the latest offering from ZACH Theatre. "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is the 2013 Tony award-winning comedy from Christopher Durang ("Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You," "Beyond Therapy"). (Read more.)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at ZACH Theatre

by Heidi Okla,
June 13, 2014

If you’re looking for a little something different for a mom’s night out, you might want to consider getting tickets to ZACH Theatre’s current production of the Tony Award-winning comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (Read more.)

Culture Review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at ZACH Theater

by Russian House
June 8, 2014

It’s Sunday afternoon, and the weather is finally hot. My date and I rush from our hastily parked car into the theater-- showtime is in just five minutes. It’s our first trip to ZACH Topfer theater, and what a better way to break the ice than with a Chekhov inspired comedy? (Read more.)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at ZACH

by Kayla Elliott, Austin Lifestyle Magazine
June 6, 2014

In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hollywood movie star Masha travels back to her family home with her much younger boyfriend Spike to spend a weekend with her siblings Vanya and Sonia in what turns out to be a raucous family reunion. Beth Broderick, star of screen and stage, stars as Masha at the ZACH Theatre’s current rendition of the play. (Read more.)

Casting a Spell: Actress Beth Broderick works her magic in a new production at the ZACH

by Sarah Thurmond, Austin Monthly
June 3, 2014

For many TV fans, Beth Broderick will always be sexy-yet-smart Aunt Zelda from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. But the 55-year-old actress doesn’t mind, calling her popular character “a good role model” for girls. Three years ago, the California native decided to move to Austin, where she now works onstage and in indie films including the forthcoming Two Step. Last year, she appeared in 33 Variations at the ZACH Theatre, and she returns this month in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (Read more.)


by Jake Gaines, The Society Diaries
June 3, 2014

ZACH Theatre in Austin has another hit on its hands with the Central Texas premiere of the Tony Award-winning comedy, CHRISTOPHER DURANG’S VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE that runs through June 22nd at the Topfer Theatre. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre stages Tony-winning play inspired by Chekhov

by Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
May 28, 2014

If you take one part mid-life melancholy and mix it with two parts comedic farce and a dash of absurdism, you might get something resembling “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” a new play by Christopher Durang running through June 22 at ZACH Theatre under the direction of Abe Reybold. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre Breathes New Life into PINOCCHIO

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
May 27, 2014

We all know the story of Pinocchio, the world's most famous puppet, and his creator/father, Geppetto. Still, there's something exciting in seeing a familiar story told in a new, different, or unexpected way. Inspired storytelling is what makes Pinocchio, now playing at ZACH Theatre, so special. This may be a show marketed towards kids, but it's sure to entertain adults as well. (Read more.)

BWW Exclusive: Jennifer Young, Josh Wechsler, and Matthew Moore on ZACH's Pre-Professional Program and BROADWAY ROCKS

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
May 21, 2014

There are a few performances that I've seen in my lifetime that have stayed with me for years. Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard? Unforgettable. Michael Crawford in Phantom? I was six when I saw his performance, and I still remember it. But a private serenade by ZACH's Pre-Professional company during one of their rehearsals for Broadway Rocks? That has to be one of the coolest. (Read more.)

Adult Connections Help Teens Deal With Bullying

May 19, 2014

"Wax on. Wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important," said Mr. Miyagi in the movie, The Karate Kid. Many of us remember that scene from the 1984 martial arts film. Daniel LaRusso is the target of bullies and he wants to learn karate to defend himself. But, bullying experts say it's not kicking and punching that helps kids deal with bullying, it's Mr. Miyagi. Adult connections can make the difference between a child who suffers and one who is better able to cope. "You've got to get up every morning," sings 17-year-old Leonela Hernandez. "Then people gunna treat you better." These lyrics to Carole King's Beautiful are part of the soundtrack of Leonela's life. (Watch video.)

Table Banquet: The nominees for the 2013-2014 Austin Critics Table Awards

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
May 8, 2014

After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in the past year and announced the nominees for the 2014 Critics Table Awards. Receiving the most attention on the list was the ZACH Theatre production of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, with eight nominations. (Read more.)

Congratulations To The Winners Of Central Texas Excellence in Theatre Awards 2013

by Austin Entertainment Weekly
May 1, 2014

We would like to congratulate all of the winners of the first ever Central Texas Excellence In Theatre Awards. All of the recipients of this award were selected by Online Theatre Critics, Journalist, and Bloggers. We hope that through time this awards system will grow to include a red carpet style awards event, and help to bring the theatre community of the central Texas area together. (Read more.)

"Pinocchio" puppetry comes to life

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
April 30, 2014

ZACH Theatre's "Pinocchio" does magic with the small theater-in-the-round Whisenhunt Stage. With set design by Chris Yoo, the whole theater becomes Geppetto's workshop. Talking cuckoo clocks hang on one wall. A door to the theater becomes the door to the outside world. (Read more.)

The Gospel at Colonus

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
April 25, 2014

The old man's coming was foretold by the preacher, so we are ready when he hobbles into view behind the choir, a cane in his hands to guide his steps, dark glasses masking the empty eyes torn out by his own hand, a suit the color of blood to mark his sins. The mighty frame of his prime, when he solved the riddle and saved a nation, is bent and looks hollowed by the years, like an aged oak. And yet when he opens his mouth to challenge those who would keep him from resting on sacred ground, his voice is as clear and pure as a running stream, as mighty as a wind that sweeps across the land. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: CAT IN THE HAT Impresses Kids and Adults Alike

by Broadway World
April 25, 2014

There's a good reason why the work of Dr. Seuss still remains part of American pop culture. His wit, humor, and iconic style are timeless, and his stories engage kids of all ages. If you don't believe me, go to ZACH Theatre and see their stage adaptation of The Cat in the Hat. While kids will love the silliness of the titular feline, adults will be astonished and thrilled by the cleverness of the stagecraft. (Read more.)

Nonprofit performance company brings locally developed plays specifically adapted for Austin

by Peter McCrady, Community Impact Newspaper
April 23, 2014

It is the art of theater and community engagement that takes center stage at the nonprofit ZACH Theatre. “While there are theaters like [Bass Concert Hall] and [the Long Center for the Performing Arts] that present works that tour, everything here is homegrown to Austin,” said Dave Steakley, producing artistic director with ZACH Theatre. More than 300 local actors perform at ZACH each year, and the theater also employs many Austin-area residents to do behind-the-scenes work such as lighting, sound, costume design, and set design and construction. Performers also are tapped locally to fill the orchestra pit. (Read more.)

Pinocchio at ZACH Theatre

by Heidi Okla,
April 23, 2014

I was really excited for the chance to take my boys to see ZACH Theatre’s newest children’s production of Pinocchio. My two older boys have enjoyed live theatre, but my youngest has always been too wiggly and too noisy for me to entertain the idea of taking him to see a play. But this production, aimed at kids ages 5 and up, looked like a perfect opportunity for his first theatre experience. (Read more.)

Behind The Scenes at ZACH Theatre’s Pinocchio

April 21, 2014

Once we found our seats inside the intimate Whisenhunt Stage at ZACH Theatre for the current production of Pinocchio. One glance around the stage and the walls and we knew we were inside Geppetto’s workshop. The stage came alive with actors, puppets and props and seamlessly moved between Pinocchio’s cautionary adventures and back. (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's 'The Gospel at Colonus'

by Cate Blouke, Austin American-Statesman
April 14, 2014

Blending classic Greek tragedy with African American gospel music doesn’t necessarily seem like an obvious match made in heaven. However, ZACH Theatre’s remount of Lee Breuer’s “The Gospel at Colonus,” playing now through April 27, makes a compelling and ecstatic case for the unusual combination. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS… Greek Tragedy Turned Joyous with Gospel Music

by Lisa Scheps, Broadway World
April 14, 2014

It is hard not to like The Gospel at Colonus, the current ZACH revival at the Topfer Theatre. The production is at once joyous and tragic; beautifully rich and amazingly stark - it will have you on your feet swaying to heartfelt, robust gospel music and it will also push you hard in your seat as you contemplate the tragic life of the main character(s). (Read more.)

An Interview with Roderick Sanford of The Gospel of Colonus

by Damita Miller-Shanlkin, Ujima Magazine
April 14, 2014

If you have not seen the play The Gospel of Colonus get your tickets to today. This is a very dynamic and I”m going to church felt play. I say church felt because the opening of the play the cast sing Down By The Riverside. As an audience member I was immediately drawn in and I couldn’t hold back from clapping and singing along. The cast transforms a Greek play into a morality play of our time. This is my interview with cast member Roderick Sanford. (Read more.)

The Gospel at Colonus, An Epic Tale By Joan Baker

by Austin Entertainment Weekly
April 13, 2014

The roots for The Gospel at Colonus can be found in the classic Greek tale by Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus. The ZACH Theatre’s production of The Gospel at Colonus was conceived and adapted by Lee Breuer with music composed by Bob Telson. Directed by David Steakley, the ZACH’s production is a tent revival experience told in rafter-rattling, gospel style. (Read more.)

Lee Breuer’s The Gospel at Colonus Returns to the ZACH

by Phillip John, Arts+Culture Texas
April 10, 2014

Lee Breuer’s The Gospel at Colonus is up at the ZACH Theatre until April 27. The work is a re-imagining of Sophocles’ final play. Though second in the trilogy before Antigone, Sophocles wrote the original on his deathbed. As such, I believe the work and all future adaptations sprang from its seed to bear a sort of Oedipal blessing that allows them to flourish despite the odds. Just as Sophocles struggled to stay alive long enough to pen the original, Lee Breuer battled an adversary who, much like Death, had the power to decide who could stay and who had to go: then New York Times theater critic, Frank Rich. (Read more.)

'The Gospel at Colonus'

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
March 28, 2014

Fusing ancient Greek tragedy with 20th century American gospel music sounds as if it must be an ungodly mix – literally, at least on the Christian side of the union. And yet as director Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson married the two in their 1985 collaboration The Gospel at Colonus, this odd couple fit together naturally, with the drama of Oedipus' death and redemption corresponding well to gospel's portrayal of life as a long journey fraught with hardships, but one in which repentance and forgiveness lead the way to salvation. (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's "The Cat in the Hat"

by Cate Blouke,
March 5, 2014

When the sun doesn’t shine and it’s too wet to play, what’s a family to do on a cold, cold wet day? While we’ve hopefully seen the last of the miserable winter weather here in Austin, even on nice weekend days you might consider taking the little ones to see Zach Scott Theatre’s production of “The Cat in the Hat,” playing Saturdays and Sundays through May 3. (Read more.)

Cat in the Hat at ZACH Theatre

February 26, 2014

One of the most precious children's theatre productions I have ever seen started last week at ZACH Theatre's Kleberg Stage. Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is the perfect "first play" to take your little ones to. Based on the book we all grew up reading, a cast of 6 bring it to life in a colorful, fun way. (Read more.)

Cat in the Hat at ZACH Theatre – Review & Giveaway

February 25, 2014

I was a little apprehensive about the show because I was bringing two 8-year-old-boys, and I thought they might be a little to old for the production. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured we’d go anyway, who doesn’t LOVE Dr. Seuss? The boys and I were pleasantly surprised! While it really is a simple re-reading of the book, the set design and clever effects made it fun to watch and had all of the children laughing and interacting. (Read more.)

Austin Area Fun: Cat in the Hat at ZACH Theatre

February 24, 2014

Two bored kids. One rainy day. And one crazy cat in a striped red hat. This story by. Dr. Seuss is one of our most beloved children’s classics. What isn’t there to love about a book that any bored kid can relate to? When we walked in all I could think was WOW! As we were helped to our seats my daughter exclaimed, “Look Mom! I am in Cat in the Hat! I’m in the book!” I smiled at her as I attempted to direct her to her seat, but inside I was beaming thinking, “This is COOL. It is just like the BOOK!” (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre Hosts Mini RENT Reunion with ADAM AND DAPHNE IN CONCERT

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
February 19, 2014

In 1996, several up and coming performers made their Broadway debuts in a show that would make musical theater history. The show was Rent and two of those performers were Adam Pascal and Daphne Ruben-Vega. Some very lucky Austin area Rentheads, myself included, got a chance to see the two reunite last night as part of ZACH Theatre's Top Concerts Series. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: IN THE NEXT ROOM Well Deserving of the Buzz

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
February 19, 2014

I'm a sucker for plays that are so multifaceted that I feel I can't do them justice in a review. In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, now playing at ZACH Theatre, is without a doubt one of those plays. The comedy, written by Sarah Ruhl, is wonderful but exceedingly difficult to describe. It's funny but poignant, humorous but emotional, modern and old-fashioned. (Read more.)

In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play

by Stacy Alexander Evans, The Austin Chronicle
February 14, 2014

Any night out at ZACH's shiny new Topfer Theatre is a reminder that we're not in Kansas anymore. Women in full-length fur coats are a standard feature here now, in a town well known as the state's vegetarian oasis. With the glaring exception of one young woman with bright red dreadlocks, the crowd for this show is full-on Dallas pomp. Yet this façade of upper-crust propriety – both off stage and on – is shattered by the carnal subject matter of Sarah Ruhl's Tony Award-winning play. (Read more.)

Adam Pascal and Daphne Rubin-Vega Will Join Forces for Texas Concerts

by Andrew Gans,
February 11, 2014

Adam Pascal and Daphne Rubin-Vega, who created the roles of, respectively, Roger and Mimi in the original cast of Rent, will join forces for two upcoming concerts in Austin, TX. Pascal and Rubin-Vega will play the ZACH Theatre's Topfer Stage (1510 Toomey Road) Feb. 18 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM. (Read more.)

Review: "In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play"

by Cate Blouke,
February 10, 2014

It takes a skilled playwright to craft a witty, poignant, and touching play about the turn of the century invention built as a cure for female hysteria. And if you don’t already know the history of that particular device, Sarah Ruhl’s “In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play,” showing now through February 23rd at Zach Scott Theatre, will prove both entertaining and enlightening. (Read more.)

5 must-see Valentine's Day shows for the romantically inclined

by Phillip Wozny, CultureMap
February 9, 2014

Centuries ago, we celebrated Valentine’s Day to honor the martyr Saint Valentinus, who was imprisoned for marrying Christians during a period of Roman persecution. Valentinus later tried to convert Emperor Claudius to a doctrine of universal love. However, the conversion failed and Claudius ordered him to be clubbed to death and beheaded on February 14. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre is Buzzing With In The Next Room, (Or The Vibrator Play).

by Cristopher Stanford, Austin Entertainment Weekly
February 7, 2014

In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) now playing in the intimate Topfer Theatre at ZACH …….. is without question phenomenal!! ZACH left no holds barred in the production of this play. The writing, direction, acting, set design, and wardrobe all came together to create a surprising experience for the audience. I honestly felt as if I had stepped back and caught a glimpse of a true to life, yet hilarious juncture in the time of the dawning of electricity. (Read more.)

Acting in Texas: Jill Blackwood at the ZACH

by Nancy Wozny, Arts+Culture Texas
February 2, 2014

Jill Blackwood takes on the role of Mrs. Catherine Givings in Sarah Ruhl’s whimsical and sensual play, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), at the ZACH Theatre through Feb. 23. Blackwood has appeared in many shows at the ZACH, including Les Misérables, Goodnight Moon, Ragtime, Xanadu, Hairspray, Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays and The Drowsy Chaperone, to name a few. (Read more.)

Austin premiere: Intimacy and human connections explored in Tony Award-nominated ‘In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play’

by Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
February 2, 2014

Imagine pressing an ear to the wall of your spouse’s home office and hearing some highly unusual — possibly scandalous — sounds. That mystery is precisely what plagues Catherine Givings, a Victorian wife whose story is at the heart of Sarah Ruhl’s play “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play,” which opened last week and runs through Feb. 23 at ZACH Theatre under the direction of Sarah Rasmussen. (Read more.)


by Broadway World
January 29, 2014

ZACH Theatre brings you IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY playing today, January 29-Feburary 23, 2014 on stage at the Topfer Theatre. A stimulating, funny and provocative new Broadway hit set in a prim upper class Victorian home, where a gentleman doctor has invented an extraordinary and mysterious device for treating "hysteria." (Read more.)

Adam And Anthony Live! At Austin’s ZACH Theatre

by Meera Rajagopalan,
January 13, 2014

It all started when these two performed as roommates in the Broadway classic RENT. Now, Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp are touring the country together for the first time. The duo will perform at the ZACH Theatre’s Topher Theatre in what will be a “stunning concert experience.” (Read more.)

Broadway World published the 2013 Broadway World Austin Award Winners, including ZACH Theatre.

by Broadway World
January 9, 2014

Votes are cast; polls are closed; and results have been tabulated! This was our biggest year yet! After a record number of voters in more than 50 regions worldwide, BroadwayWorld is very excited to announce the 2013 Austin winners! (Read more.)

Best Plays of 2013

by Ryan E. Johnson, Austin Lifestyle
January 3, 2014

The list just keeps on rolling, as we break into those plays that go above and beyond to entertain, to move, to shock and amaze Austin audiences, those plays that will remembered for years to come as some of the city’s best. They weren’t all widely seen, and they didn’t all pop up on major stages, but they’re all memorable and worthwhile experiences for every theatre fan. Hopefully you didn’t miss out on any of these amazing works: (Read more.)

Top 10 Dramatic Turns of 2013

by Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle
January 3, 2014

A look back at some of the year's most gripping performances (Read more.)

Top 10 Reasons I Stayed in Love With Theatre in 2013

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
January 3, 2014

Austin thespians played for keeps, with boundless commitment and imagination, in the year's most memorable theatre (Read more.)

Top 10 Theatrical Sets of 2013, to a Cat

by Elizabeth Cobbe, The Austin Chronicle
January 3, 2014

The year's scenic designs proved especially appealing to the feline theatregoer (Read more.)

"A Christmas Story" — ZACH Theater

by Mike Kordell, Austin Lifestyle
December 22, 2013

It’s a classic – whether your favorite part is the pink bunny suit, Pop’s “trophy” fishnet leg lamp, the triple-dog-dare or the reminder that the desired Red Rider “will shoot your eye out,” A Christmas Story is one for the whole family to enjoy. ZACH Theatre brings A Christmas Story to life at Topfer Theatre. Set Designer, Michelle Nay gave Austin Lifestyle Magazine a peek behind the scenes. (Read more.)

See "A Christmas Story" at ZACH Theater

by KUT
December 20, 2013

Like many people of his generation, actor Chris Gibson grew up with the film "A Christmas Story," and in his younger days, he identified with Ralphie, the BB gun coveting protagonist of the movie. Now, with a few decades of life lessons under his belt, he can see eye-to-eye with The Old Man (Ralphie's dad) a little better. (Read more.)

This Wonderful Life

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
December 20, 2013

Martin Burke's solo performance of 'It's a Wonderful Life' is a tour de force, but also an act of faith. (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: One Man WONDERFUL LIFE Is An Amazing Event

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
December 19, 2013

Forget ringing bells. Every time Martin Burke takes the stage, an angel gets its wings. If you think I'm exaggerating, go see This Wonderful Life at ZACH Theatre. The zany one man version of It's a Wonderful Life is easily one of the most entertaining and inventive holiday shows you will ever see. (Read more.)

Behind The Scenes of “A Christmas Story” at ZACH

by Abby Carney,
December 12, 2013

Ralphie Parker and his tragically unhip pink bunny suit are quintessential emblems of Christmas–necessary elements for conjuring holiday spirit. “A Christmas Story,” based on the motion picture by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark, is currently playing at ZACH Theatre, and is guaranteed to transport you to 1930s era Hammond, Indiana, the setting of Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder BB gun to call his own. (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's 'A Christmas Story'

by Cate Blouke,
December 10, 2013

By definition, cult classics possess a devoted and enthusiastic set of followers. Although they may not exactly “mature” with age, such films gain momentum with time and circulation, eventually snowballing into cultural fixtures to be repackaged for devoted fans. With limited success at the time of its initial release, the 1983 film, “A Christmas Story,” has earned its place in the holiday television line-up. Now, you can see it on stage as well. (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's 'This Wonderful Life'

by Cate Blouke,
December 4, 2013

We all have our favorite holiday traditions: wrapping presents, hanging lights, and (probably) revisiting some of the uplifting stories we’ve been hearing and telling for years. If the 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is a staple of your holiday season (or even just a fond memory), then Zach Scott Theater has a marvelous adventure to offer you. (Read more.)

Holiday Heroes at ZACH Theatre – Review & Giveaway

by Quel,
December 2, 2013

ZACH Theatre presents Holiday Heroes, an awesome, interactive sing-along theatre experience that is perfect for kids ages 1 to 92. The show, now in it’s 14th year, is open to the public with showtimes at 11 am on Saturday, December 7 and Saturday, December 14. (Read more.)

YNN Austin Arts Minute for Nov. 27

by YNN
November 27, 2013

ZACH Theatre's A CHRISTMAS STORY. (Watch video.)

Off Stage and On The Air: Radio interview with Martin Burke 

November 27, 2013

Radio interview with Martin Burke (Click to listen.)

The Planner: 7 Days, 7 Things, Nov. 24-30

by Arianna Auber,
November 23, 2013

“You’ll shoot your eye out” — you can’t go through the holiday season without hearing those words at least once. This season you have the chance to watch Ralphie’s quest for his Red Ryder BB Gun play out not just on screen, but on stage with ZACH’s rendition of “A Christmas Story.” (Read more.)

ZACH Theater: A Christmas Story

by Good Morning Texas
November 22, 2013

ZACH Theatre's A Christmas Story rehearsal and interview. (Watch video.)

Acting in Texas: Martin Burke on This Wonderful Life at the ZACH

by Jacey Little, Arts and Culture Magazine
November 22, 2013

Austin’s ZACH Theatre presents This Wonderful Life – a lively adaptation of the classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life, through Dec. 29. “Austin’s favorite actor” (Austin Chronicle), Martin Burke, brings an impressive 37 characters to life, including “George Bailey” a la Jimmy Stewart, “Mary,” “Clarence the Angel” and “Old Man Potter”, in this charming one-man show. Arts + Culture theater writer Jacey Little visited with Burke to discuss the Austin premiere of This Wonderful Life. (Read more.)

YNN Austin Arts Minute for Nov. 20

by YNN
November 20, 2013

ZACH Theatre's THIS WONDERFUL LIFE. (Watch video.)

Trio of Holiday Shows to Play ZACH Theatre, Nov-Dec 2013

by Broadway World
November 20, 2013

ZACH Theatre brings you a trio of holiday shows this season including the Austin Premiere of the charming one-man show, THIS WONDERFUL LIFE, the classic A CHRISTMAS STORY, and HOLIDAY HEROES, offering fun for all ages. (Read more.)

ZACH's four-year high school program trains young actors for college, life

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
November 2, 2013

Leonela Hernandez’s eyes light up with intensity as she and the seven other girls go through an acting exercise. Their mission: Stand in a circle, and with their eyes only, get another person in the circle to agree to switch places ... (Read more.)

LES MISÉRABLES: It's the small, personal moments in ZACH Theatre's staging that make this epic musical sing

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
October 17, 2013

Ah yes, the barricade. The red flags of rebellion waving. The anthemic call to the people to "join in our crusade." The flash and fire of politics and historical sweep may have distinguished Les Misérables from its megamusical brethren, but when the smoke clears from the Parisian streets, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's pop opera is really much more a personal story, exploring the intimate relationships of a father and daughter, that daughter and the student who loves her, that student and the young woman who loves him unrequitedly, a policeman and the escaped convict who eludes him ... (Read more.)

LES MISÉRABLES comes to Austin

by KVUE News
October 7, 2013

The world's longest running musical, "Les Miserables," has been seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries. Now Austinites get their chance to enjoy the show ... (Watch video.)


by Rebecca Darling
October 7, 2013

ZACH Theatre's production of Les Miserables is currently running at their Topfer Theatre. Yeah, yeah, you saw the movie - why go and see it live? Um, because it's LIVE and ten times better! Let's just put it this way - Russell Crowe who? ... (Read more.)

ZACH brings children's play about reading and culture in two languages

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
September 27, 2013

This is the first time the play, written by José Cruz Gonzalez, is being performed in Spanish and English, but the cast and creative team have worked hard to make sure that people who speak only one language or the other will understand ... (Read more.)

ZACH Opens its Family Show Series with Salt and Pepper (Sal y Pimienta)

by Mike Lee, KUT
September 17, 2013

ZACH Theatre has been presenting plays for children and families for years now, with a new selection of shows every season. In recent years, they’ve been including bilingual plays to better serve the Austin community and the children who make up the ZACH Family Show audience ... (Click to listen.)


by Jillian Owens, The Austin Chronicle
August 2, 2013

As ZACH concludes its first season in the now-familiar Topfer Theatre, I wish they'd made the seats in there removable. Never before at a theatrical event have I so wanted to stand up and dance as I did during One Night With Janis Joplin. The performers and designers nail the show's conceit as a rock & roll concert – one night with the enigmatic queen of rock herself – but instead of rocking out, passing around joints, and taking swigs from Lone Star bottles, audience members are mostly confined to their seats, sipping beer from straws out of plastic cups with lids ... (Read more.)


by Cate Blouke, Austin American-Statesman
July 23, 2013

For those of us that missed the epic American singers in concert – either by not getting tickets or being born a decade or so too late – ZACH Theatre is giving us a second chance with the new concert musical, "One Night With Janis Joplin," playing through Aug. 18 at ZACH's new Topfer Theatre ... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN is a Rocking Good Time

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
July 21, 2013

"Texas is okay if you want to settle down and do your thing quietly," Janis Joplin once said, "but it's not for outrageous people, and I was always outrageous." Janis must have forgotten about Austin, because One Night with Janis Joplin, the Broadway-bound Janis Joplin musical now playing at the Zach Theatre, seems tailor made for our music-loving city ... (Read more.)

The ballad of Randy and Janis

by Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
July 21, 2013

We are sitting in the upstairs lounge at the Topfer Theatre at ZACJ, next to a glass window that looks out on Austin. It is afternoon, and the theater is closed. Downstairs is the set — drum kit and organ and some amps, a few rugs on the floor — for "One Night With Janis Joplin," the hit musical-theater-as-concert show that Johnson conceived, wrote and directed about the Port Arthur native and one-time Austin singer who went on to become a 1960s rock legend ... (Read more.)

24 Things Buzzfeed Didn't Mention that Austinites ALSO Love to Do

by Mone Miller, KUT News
July 21, 2013

Sure, Austin's an arts-friendly city, but it didn't have a world-class theater of its own until the new Topfer opened up ... (Read more.)

Tribute to Janis Joplin draws crowds

by Quita Culpepper/Photojournalist Michael Moore, KVUE News
July 18, 2013

A new show in Austin is letting people get to know the music of Janis Joplin, the woman behind the mic, and her ties to the Capital City. Her powerful gravely voice is unmistakable. For the next few weeks, the legend of Janis Joplin comes to life on ZACH Theatre's stage. ... (Watch video.)


by KVUE News
July 18, 2013

With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm, quickly becoming one of rock 'n roll's greatest legends. Her unique story hits Broadway in the fall, but not before premiering in Austin. You can catch "One Night with Janis Joplin" now at ZACH Theatre. Creator, writer and director of the show Randy Johnson and Kacee Clanton, who plays Janis Joplin, spoke to KVUE about the show. It runs through Aug. 18. ... (Watch video.)

Piece of Her Heart

by Michael Hoinski, The New York Times/Texas Monthly
July 11, 2013

Broadway has been attracted to Texas women lately. "Ann," the play about Gov. Ann Richards, just finished its run. And in September, "A Night With Janis Joplin," a musical about Port Arthur's booming voice of the blues, who lived fast and died young (27), in 1970, will begin previews at the Lyceum Theater in New York ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre's new bar program coordinates cocktails and on-stage drama

by Veronica Meewes, CultureMap Austin
June 25, 2013

There’s more to the Topfer Theatre than its beautiful new facilities and the well-received productions being put on within. With the physical renovations came the birth of an inspired craft cocktail menu, thanks to innovative Food and Beverage Manager Rick Ryan. ... (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's HARVEY

by Claire Cananvan,
June 3, 2013

Judging from the laughs and standing ovation the show received, this old-fashioned feel-good play, with lots of light humor and an underlying moral lesson, spoke to both new and old generations of theatre-goers ... (Read more.)

Kacee Clanton to Lead ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN at ZACH Theatre

by Broadway World
June 3, 2013

The all-star cast for ZACH Theatre's much-anticipated staging of ONE NIGHT WITH Janis Joplin was announced today. Kacee Clanton, the Los Angeles-based rock and blues singer-songwriter who previously played Janis Joplin in Love, Janis and has toured as lead vocalist with Big Brother & The Holding Company, will star in ONE NIGHT WITH Janis Joplin at ZACH, opening July 10 ... (Read more.)

HARVEY: An Enduring Classic

by Joan Baker, Austin Entertainment Weekly
May 27, 2013

This is an amazing cast! Martin Burke, known to Zach audiences for his performance in Santaland Diaries and Fully Committed, delights with his portrayal of Elwood as an ebullient, kindly soul who never meets a stranger. Lauren Lane, known to audiences for her six years as C.C. Babcock on the television show The Nanny and her award-winning roles in previous ZACH productions, delivers a powerhouse performance as Veta Louise ... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: HARVEY is Hopping at Austin's ZACH Theatre

by Jeff Davis,
May 27, 2013

It's been said that perception is reality. While I completely agree with the statement, it is cause for one major question. Whose perception is reality? Where some of us may see empty air, others may see a 6 foot 3 ½ white rabbit. This odd and puzzling philosophical question is at the core of Harvey, the 1945 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Mary Chase. The farce, now playing at Zach's Topfer Theatre, tackles this question, albeit with far more humor and wackiness than you'd ever find in a collegiate philosophy class ... (Read more.)

HARVEY by Mary Chase, ZACH Theatre, Topfer Theatre, May 15 - June 16, 2013

by Christine Mendez, Austin Live Theatre
May 25, 2013

Martin Burke’s comic performance is flawless, once again. His subtle gestures and affably earnest conversations with Harvey have you almost seeing the giant white rabbit yourself! Burke portrays Elwood’s genuinely friendly without out a single false note ... (Read more.)

Theatre Review: HARVEY

by Sarah Thurmond, Austin Monthly
May 24, 2013

In the director’s notes for the ZACH’s production of Harvey, Dave Steakley writes that he was surprised to find out Harvey, written by Mary Chase, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945, beating out Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. It is hard to believe that this simple play about a man whose best friend is a 6-foot-tall white rabbit that no one else can see won out over Williams’ heartbreaking tale of a family trapped between delusion and reality ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre steps up hospitality with cocktail program

by Emma Janzen,
April 30, 2013

When the ZACH Theatre re-launched last September after a significant makeover, the management added a much-needed feature to the space -- a full bar program ... (Read more.)

Austin Business Journal's Commercial Real Estate Awards Community Impact Winner, Topfer Theatre at ZACH

by Colin Pope, Austin Business Journal
April 25, 2013

Nestled on the bustling corner of South Lamar Boulevard and Riverside Drive, ZACH Theatre serves as an urban retreat in the heart of Austin. The campus, composed of three theaters and a production and rehearsal studio, sits on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake and it’s a stone’s throw from Zilker Park -- two landmarks that served as the main inspiration for ZACH’s newest addition, the Topfer Theatre. The oldest continuously operating theater in Texas, Zach opened its 26,000-square-foot Topfer Theatre in September with help from the city, which provided $10.8 million via bonds. Private donors, including former Dell Inc. Vice Chairman Mort Topfer and his wife Bobbi, for whom the theater is named, provided the other $11 million needed to get the project done. The 429-seat theater puts an emphasis on intimacy. No seat is further than 50 feet from the stage, which already has some amazing acts lined up for its upcoming season ... (Read more.)

Journal Profile: Elisbeth Challener

by Chad Swiatecki, Austin Business Journal
April 19, 2013

Five years ago there’s no way Elisbeth Challener would’ve thought the opening of a $23 million theater — ZACH Theatre’s new Topfer Theatre — could be rivaled by the chance to see a colorful bird in Central America ... (Read more.)

Steven Dietz speaks about his inspirations in an exclusive interview

by Austin Entertainment Weekly
April 15, 2013

Steven Dietz is one of America’s most widely-produced and published contemporary playwrights. Since 1983, his thirty-plus plays have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway ... (Read more.)

Theatre with a View: A look at ZACH Theatre's new Topfer Theatre in Austin, Texas

by Michael S. Eddy, Stage Directions
April 1, 2013

Zach Theatre in Austin, Texas, is currently celebrating its 80th season with a new space—the Topfer Theatre. Founded in 1933 as Austin Civic Theatre, the Zach is the oldest continuously operating theatre in Texas and one of 10 original resident theatre companies in America. In 1972, the 230-seat Kleberg Theatre opened, and in the late ‘80s the company built the Whisenhunt Theatre, a 130-seat theatre-in-the-round. The Topfer is the newest addition to the Zach’s performing arts campus with 420-seats. The 32,000-sq. ft. space retains the intimate theatre-going experience for which the Zach is known. ... (Read more.)

MAD BEAT HIP & GONE: Playwright Steven Dietz takes Austin on the road with Kerouac and Cassady – sort of

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
March 29, 2013

Steven Dietz gets around. As one of the most in-demand playwrights in the land, he's regularly shooting off across the country to help one of his commissions make the leap from page to stage. Minneapolis. Phoenix. Chicago. Nashville. New York City. And, of course, his home of many years, to which he and his family return every summer, Seattle. One of his latest plays, Rancho Mirage, is even receiving a rolling world premiere, courtesy of the National New Play Network, which means that come the fall, Dietz will have to bounce from Olney, Md., to Watertown, Mass., to Indianapolis to Denver to really see that work off the ground ... (Read more.)

ZACH brings fresh take on 'The Little Mermaid' that isn't all hearts and singing fish

by Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman
March 29, 2013

Ahh, “The Little Mermaid.” Sweet Ariel, her father King Titan, her best bud Flounder and her would-be protector Sebastian. There’s singing, swimming, romance with Prince Eric and, of course, a scary sea witch, but everything will end swimmingly. That’s “The Little Mermaid” children have known since Disney came out with its version in 1989. ... (Read more.)


by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
March 22, 2013

Heaven knows, Margaret Wise Brown made bedtime easier for countless numbers of us. The plain fact of the matter is, children often aren't ready to settle down and sleep just because the clock says it's that time. But with her little litany of nocturnal leave-takings, Brown provided a way to ease children into a calm and restful place, to let go of their world bit by bit, a piece at a time, by bidding each person, pet, or object around them a personal, quiet "goodnight." ... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre's 33 VARIATIONS

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
January 25, 2013

While I enjoy theatre, I'm not the kind of theatergoer who often has a cathartic reaction or bursts into tears when seeing a play. I could probably count the times I've been moved to tears. Such a momentous occasion happens maybe once a decade. After seeing 33 Variations, I'm guessing I'm safe for another 10 years. If this brilliant drama doesn't move you or elicit some deep emotional response, nothing will ... (Read more.)

Review: TRU

by Elizabeth Cobbe, The Austin Chronicle
January 25, 2013

Truman Capote occupies a particular spot in the American imagination. The famous and gifted writer of the 20th century is perhaps best remembered for his own undoing. In seeking to adhere to his own high literary standards, he betrayed the trust of the wealthy and powerful friends who had helped to elevate him by revealing their secrets to the world. A flamboyant and witty personality, Capote wrestled with demons including alcoholism, drug abuse, and a desperate loyalty to the image of himself he had so painstakingly built up ... (Read more.)

TRU Calling: ZACH Theatre's TRU A Tour De Force

by Lance Avery Morgan, Brilliant Magazine
January 25, 2013

Greater Tuna star Jaston Williams inhabits Truman Capote in a stellar performance is all at once charming, acerbic, fragile, and enigmatic writer. And, Williams' astonishing portrayal of the In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's author is often vulnerable and confessional. Played in the round, the play offers the audience the opportunity to become confidants to TRU's trademark wit and honesty. Waves of laughter characterized this show in its initial run at ZACH Theatre 12 years ago making it the hottest ticket in town now. This production is even more fun this time around. So, what are you waiting for? See TRU. ... (Read more.)

TRU Blue: ZACH Theatre's TRU A Colossal Hit

by Lance Avery Morgan, The Society Diaries
January 25, 2013

The piece is set in the mid 70’s after Truman Capote’s falling out with his social gadabouts who ruled the NY society roost, thanks to his article at the time in Esquire magazine that revealed too many secrets that hit too close to home about its fictionalized real life characters. The story is told with elements of phone calls, music and Capote’s own reminiscences of how his life came to be what it was at that time ... (Read more.)

Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute

by Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle
January 25, 2013

He "was making an artistic revolution and knew it," Elia Kazan said of him. Ellen Burstyn spoke of her (and others') "great good fortune to be fertilized and quickened by his genius," and Harold Clurman called him "one of the few artists among American theatre directors." The man upon whom such fervent praise has been lavished? Lights up on Lee Strasberg, co-founder of the renowned Group Theatre, famed director of the acclaimed Actors Studio, and father of what is possibly the most household of names pertaining to theatrical practice: the Method... (Read more.)

From 'Tuna' to 'Tru' and beyond

by Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News
January 24, 2013

As tough as it might be getting into Truman Capote's skin, it's also no picnic getting out of it. “They built me a fat suit that is the most incredible thing. It fits like a tattoo,” said Jaston Williams, who sports the suit in “Tru,” the solo show about Capote playing through March 10 at ZACH Theatre in Austin ... (Read more.)

TRU by Jay Presson Allen with Jaston Williams, ZACH Theatre, January 10-March 10, 2013

by Michael Meigs,
January 23, 2013

Jaston Williams and director Larry Randolph take us to another place and time with Tru, now on an extended run at the ZACH's intimate theatre-in-the-round Whisenhunt stage. Michael Raiford's clever low-level set is Truman Capote's UN Plaza apartment in New York City in 1975. It's a long long way from Greater Tuna, where Williams and Joe Sears romped, mugged and portrayed a whole looney town -- or, for that matter from Thornton Wilder's Our Town in which Williams played the somber stage manager for the ZACH Theatre's production almost three years ago ... (Read more.)

Review of TRU at ZACH Theatre

by Rebekkah Adams,
January 22, 2013

After 12 years, TRU has returned to Austin’s Zach Theatre. Jaston Williams once again captures audiences with his wit and charm in the role of Truman Capote. The inconic writer is brought to life and it feels as though the performance is more of a conversation with Truman than a play with an actor. The show follows the man across only two days as he sits alone in his apartment over the Christmas holiday. To set the stage, he explains that he is recording his thoughts and memories for his biographer and spends the rest of the evening speaking to us. His character is the epitome of a character and Williams embodies him ... (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's TRU

by Claire Christine Spera,
January 21, 2013

When we meet Capote, it’s Christmastime 1975, and the phone is barely ringing in his New York City apartment. His drunken name-dropping hints at his recent expulsion from the most exclusive social circles. We learn that the writer’s infatuation with gossip, and his decision to pen it, has led to friction between him and the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Vanderbilt, and other uber-rich figures he used to call friends ... (Read more.)

Tru by Jay Presson Allen with Jaston Williams

by Michael Meigs,
January 21, 2013

Jaston Williams and director Larry Randolph take us to another place and time with Tru, now on an extended run at the ZACH's intimate theatre-in-the-round Whisenhunt stage. Michael Raiford's clever low-level set is Truman Capote's UN Plaza apartment in New York City in 1975. It's a long long way from Greater Tuna, where Williams and Joe Sears romped, mugged and portrayed a whole looney town -- or, for that matter from Thornton Wilder's Our Town in which Williams played the somber stage manager for the ZACH Theatre's production almost three years ago. ... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: ZACH Theatre Offers a TRU Look at Truman Capote

by Jeff Davis,
January 20, 2013

My knowledge of Truman Capote has always been somewhat limited. I know why the man is so prominent, important, and infamous. I know that he wrote the novels Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. I know that he was a part of the New York social scene of the 1960s and 1970s. I know that his enigmatic persona is the subject of the films Capote and Infamous, both of which were released just months apart ... (Read more.)

Arts Eclectic: TRU

by Mike Lee, KUT
January 18, 2013

Twelve years ago, Jaston Williams took on the role of Truman Capote in the one-person play TRU. To inhabit the legendary writer, Williams immersed himself in Capote lore until he had a greater understanding of the man. Now, he’s undertaking the demanding role again, this time with a few more years under his belt. The added life experience has changed his take on Capote a bit, Williams says. Resisting years of comedy training (Williams is best known as one half the population of Tuna, Texas in the always funny Tuna plays), he found that this time around, he didn’t always go for the joke, instead finding a bit of pathos and humanity where once he found humor ... (Click here to listen.)

A RIDE WITH BOB, ZACH Theatre, February 20-24, 2013

January 15, 2013

Ray Benson comments “I can’t think of a better way to bring the play back to Austin. The brand new Topfer Theatre will knock everyone’s socks off. It is by far the most intimate, yet accessible space that we’ve ever presented in. A RIDE WITH BOB is going to swing once more in February!” ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre Hosts A RIDE WITH BOB, Feb. 20-24

January 15, 2013

The play that started as a commemoration of Bob Wills' 100th birthday in 2005 is coming back to Austin for one final week of shows in February 2013. This first-ever musical drama about the legendary Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys debuted in Austin in 2005 and has since enjoyed great success in more than 70 performances in 19 cities ... (Read more.)

Merlin Enchantment at ZACH

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
January 13, 2013

January seems to be a fortuitous month for improv launches. Last January saw the debut of the Institution Theater. Now Merlin Works, the improv institute founded by Shana Merlin, blasts over to new home Zach Theatre, marking the move with an improv showcase tonight starring Girls Girls Girls and Merlin Works instructors ... (Read more.)

TRU A One Man Play About Truman Capote

by Kirk Tuck, Visual Science Lab
January 9, 2013

I photographed a dress rehearsal of Tru at Zachary Scott Theatre last night. Jaston Williams, of Greater Tuna fame, played Truman Capote. It's a role that Jaston did here in Austin eleven years ago. I took three cameras and three lenses to make photographs for marketing and public relations: the Sony Nex-6, Nex-7 and a99 cameras. The Nex-6 had the 50mm 1.8 OSS lens, the Nex-7 had the 18-55mm kit lens, and the a99 had the 70-200mm lens. The majority of the images were done with the a99 and the 70-200mm but I noticed when post processing the files this morning that I preferred the look of the Nex-6 files the best ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre in Austin Presents TRU on the Whisenhunt Stage

by Rebekkah Adams, Ask Miss A Blog
January 9, 2013

Last fall, Zach Theatre opened their Topfer Theatre and ushered in a season of incredible performances. Not to be forgotten, however, the Whisenhunt Stage will be host to a number of popular shows in 2013, some of which were previewed at the Topfer opening. One among them, TRU, particularly caught my attention at the August preview and is finally ... (Read more.)

GOODNIGHT MOON Children's Musical to Play at ZACH, 2/2-3/23

January 9, 2013

ZACH - Austin's Theatre and Texas' longest running theatre, presents Goodnight Moon, adapted from the book Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, featuring book, music, and lyrics by Chad Henry ... (Read more.)

Improv takes center stage at ZACH Theatre

by YNN
January 7, 2013

Looking for a creative way to stay active and make friends at the same time? The Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation is now holding classes at the new ZACH Theater in South Austin ... (Watch video.)

TRU with Jaston Williams

January 6, 2013

Appearing in TRU as Truman Capote, Jaston Williams - best known for his work in the "Greater Tuna" series - is live in a one-man show at ZACH Theatre ... (Watch video.)

Top 10 Theatrical Wonders of 2012

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
January 4, 2013

2) 'RAGTIME' (ZACH Theatre) More than a showpiece for the new Topfer Theatre's bells and whistles, this deeply felt drama of humanity and history threaded together in a tapestry by turns tragic and inspirational said as much about us today as about Americans a century pas ... (Read more.)

Setting the Stage: Austin's art scene spent 2012 prepping for big things to come

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
January 4, 2013

ZACH Theatre realized a 15-year dream with the opening of its third venue, the 430-seat Topfer, a space that fills a critical gap in local midsize performing-arts facilities and gives Zach all the trappings of a full-scale 21st century theatre ... (Read more.)

BWW Looks Forward: Our Most Highly Anticipated Austin Productions for 2013

by Jeff Davis,
January 2, 2013

Steven Dietz, the most-produced playwright in America who also calls Austin home, is creating this World Premiere specifically for ZACH's first season in the Topfer. In the late 40's and early 50's, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady famously went "on the road." But what about Danny Fergus and Rich Rayburn -- the young guys in the car right behind Jack and Neal, the guys whose history never ended up in books? What were these kids searching for in those "mad days" of "gone kids" trying so hard to be hip? With live jazz and exuberant theatricality, this valentine to American wanderlust chronicles our rich and elusive dreams ... (Read more.)

White Christmas by Irving Berlin, ZACH Theatre, December 5-30

by Michael Meigs, Austin Live Theatre
December 20, 2012

ZACH throws everything it's got at White Christmas, and it shows.  Nick Demos' inventive choreography is on display; Allen Robertson conducts a vigorous nine-piece orchestra tucked out of sight beneath the stage; invited stars Matthew Redden and Matt Gibson make a plausible buddy team, even though they don't much resemble Bing and Donald.  Our Meredith McCall is there as the older, wiser and more angular of the hoofin' Haynes Sisters nightclub act, and the fifteen-person chorus includes such accomplished local talent as Joshua Denning and Sara Burke.... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre transforms Austin into a winter wonderland with White Christmas

by Mikela Floyd, Culture Map Austin
December 19, 2012

Since 1954, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas has charmed holiday audiences with its festive costumes, dance numbers, and classic holiday songs, crooned by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. The timeless film and its music have brought holiday cheer to families for more than half a century, cementing its status as a Christmas classic year after year... (Read more.)

White Christmas at ZACH

by Leslie Silver, Ask Miss A Blog
December 19, 2012

White Christmas at ZACH is a perfect preview to the holidays. Irving Berlin’s classic tale is the story of two former Army buddies who start a famous song and dance review team. After meeting two attractive sisters, also in their field, the gentlemen change plans and instead of sunny Florida for the holidays follow the girls to snowy Vermont! Old army pals surprise the pair, and love, of course with a twist, ensues.... (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's White Christmas

by Cate Blouke,
December 17, 2012

We may be undergoing a bit of a heat wave in Austin this December, but Zach Theatre is working to keep the holiday spirit alive with Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” running now through Dec. 30 in the brand new Topfer Theatre..... (Read more.)

White Christmas at ZACH Theatre in Austin

by Live Mom Blog
December 15, 2012

Nothing puts one in the Christmas Spirit better than seeing a Holiday Show, especially one with a dancing Santa and falling snow! So when I found out that one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas, could be seen on stage, I immediately put it on my calendar... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: White Christmas at ZACH Theatre Glistens with Holiday Charm

by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
December 14, 2012

This show is the best of the best. It's a fun, dazzling, family-friendly celebration of not only the Holiday season but of the golden age of Broadway and Hollywood as well.. (Read more.)

Review of The Santaland Diaries at the Whisenhunt Theatre at ZACH

by Leslie Silver, Ask Miss A Blog
December 4, 2012

“The Santaland Diaries” is a fun, whimsical holiday show that really gets the audience in the seasonal mood. The show, based on author David Sedaris’ comedic book of the same name, begins with a few holiday songs performed by Jill Blackwood. These songs are not your classic Christmas tunes–they are written in Sedaris’ voice, so they veer off topic and are not necessarily appropriate for the full family audience!... (Read more.)

Reflections on being a Christmas elf: Martin Burke on his last year in 'The Santaland Diaries'

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
November 28, 2012

For 15 years, ZACH Theatre has staged David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries, the sardonic yet heartfelt story of an unemployed writer who goes to work on Christmas season as an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Now, ZACH Theatre has announced that it will retire its production after this season’s run. Having originated the role of “Little Elf” in the virtually one-man show, the inimitable Martin Burke has come to be identified with his singular, smart portrayal of the wise-cracking observer of all things crass about Christmas. ... (Read more.)


by Jeff Davis, Broadway World
November 26, 2012

When you walk into the Whisenhunt Stage to see their current production of The Santaland Diraies and are greeted with fractured Christmas songs such as "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire," "It's the Most Fattening Time of the Year," and "Yellow Snow, Yellow Snow, Yellow Snow," you know you're in for an unconventional and twisted Holiday show. In its final year at ZACH, their annual production of Santaland Diaries is still fresh, entertaining, and hysterical ... (Read more.)

It's your last chance to catch Santaland Diaries

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
November 21, 2012

For the last time, inimitable Austin actor Martin Burke reprises his singular performance as “Little Elf,” the sardonic, out-of-work writer who reluctantly takes a job herding children through Macy’s Santaland display. Based on David Sedaris’ popular radio essay, the stage version “The Santaland Diaries” has been a holiday regular in Zach Theatre’s schedule for 15 years. But Zach will retire its production after this season. ... (Read more.)

Ragtime chases the American Dream as it kicks off ZACH's new season

by Shelley Seale, CultureMap Austin
November 11, 2012

Austin has been highly anticipating the opening of the new Topfer Theatre at ZACH. On Oct. 17, the first production on the Karen Kuykendall Stage in the new state-of-the-art theater premiered: Ragtime. The Tony Award-winning musical, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, is perfectly suited to welcome in ZACH's new era with the Topfer, showcasing the new performance space and showcasing the incredible talent of the ZACH company. ... (Read more.)

Additional Review: RAGTIME, ZACH Theatre

by Ed Penn,
November 8, 2012

I had a grand time last Sunday afternoon; walking in on the sunny afternoon and exiting into a sunset framed nicely by the floor to ceiling windows. Even with a full house, parking was available in their two dedicated lots. Grand entrance: walking up the promenade steps to the new Topfer building; passing a two-horned fantastical speaker resembling something out of a Dr. Seuss tale that was playing period music. Walking through the spacious lobby and the 'sound airlock' to enter the auditorium, I was greeted by the rustling of packed house eager for the show ... (Read more.)


by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
November 2, 2012

We have difficulty perceiving our lives as part of history, and for much the same reason that fish don't perceive water: We're always swimming in it. History is happening everywhere around us at all times – in seats of governmental power and the actions of those on the national stage, but also in the progress of our culture, the advances in technology and social mores and art that filter down to us through household gadgets, fashions, pop music, and jokes that affect how we go about our daily business and regard others different from ourselves. Being in it, we don't take notice of history or its currents and eddies sweeping us along. But every so often, we're told a story that makes clear our place in history, how it's shaping us as we are making it. Ragtime is such a story ... (Read more.)


by Michael Meigs,
October 27, 2012

The ZACH's Ragtime is a huge -- I mean HUGE -- and lavish production, inaugurating its state-of-the-art 425-seat Topfer theatre. The flair, finish and finesse of this production are simply breath-taking. Ragtime is a fable of a faraway America, one that existed at the very opening of the twentieth century. In his 1975 novel E.L. Doctorow imagined a tangled story involving a prosperous bourgeois family in New Rochelle, an unmarried African-American couple and their child, and an impoverished Jewish immigrant peddler and his young daughter in the New York slums. ... (Read more.)

Seeing Things: RAGTIME

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
October 27, 2012

The sheer scale of "Ragtime" — with its three intertwining story lines and long roster of characters — highlights every upgrade the new venue offers. Perhaps most considerably is the full-size orchestra pit, allowing music director Allen Robertson to lead a smart-sounding 16-piece orchestra through Flaherty’s appealing ragtime-infused score. Good use was made of the fairly minimal tiered, scaffolding-like set, with elements rolled on and off to quick effect. Even more use was made of the trap (something Zach doesn’t have at its other venues) with actors and props rising up or sinking down into the stage. And as if to flaunt the grand new scale of the Topfer, a full-size Model T — which is central to the plot — rolls off and on stage ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre Rides the Wheels of a Dream with RAGTIME

by Jeff Davis,
October 26, 2012

It’s astonishing to think that RAGTIME, the musical with book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty, has become an American classic in the mere fourteen years since its opening on Broadway in 1998. In that short amount of time, it’s been welcomed into the elite circle of groundbreaking American musicals like SHOW BOAT and OKLAHOMA and became the first show to open in the 1990s to be revived on Broadway. The current production of RAGTIME, produced by ZACH Theatre in its new Topfer Theatre, shows precisely why RAGTIME is such a respected and important piece of theater. This dazzling and flawless production of the show is nothing short of spectacular and yet another triumph for ZACH ... (Read more.)

RAGTIME: A New Standard for Musicals in Austin

October 24, 2012

Ragtime, the newest musical on stage at ZACH Theatre, took me to a period in America’s history I could only dream of. A time when our nation was being transformed with a rush of immigrants and all they brought along – their anthems, differences, and dreams of building an amazing life in their new country… America! *STOP* ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre's Wilde Party Starting October 18th

October 18, 2012

Have you heard about ZACH Theatre’s Wilde party? Held on the first Thursday of each Mainstage show’s run, they hold a party for Austin’s LGBT community. The pre-show party starts at 6 p.m., with the curtains opening at 7:30 p.m. ... (Read more.)

Wheels of a Dream: With the long-awaited Topfer Theatre, ZACH races full-throttle into the future

by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
October 4, 2012

Yes, that's a car on the Karen Kuykendall Stage inside ZACH Theatre's new Topfer Theatre: a full-size automobile (albeit one built from the scraps of early 20th century Model Ts). And in a town dominated by postage-stamp stages that'd be hard-pressed to accommodate a soap box derby racer, that might seem an impressive enough signifier for this $22 million addition to Austin's performing arts venues. But it isn't like ZACH hasn't put a car onstage before – remember Aralyn Hughes' pink, pig-encrusted sedan rolling onto the Kleberg's thrust in Keepin' It Weird a few years back? ... (Read more.)

Out & About: The wow-factor concerts open Topfer Theatre

by Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman
October 3, 2012

Wow. Wow. Wow. Austin social and theater history was made on Thursday night. The Topfer Theatre opened grandly with an intimate concert from stage star Bernadette Peters and a Broadway-sized onstage orchestra. So Austin’s oldest theater company launched its newest theater building with its most significant show to date ... (Read more.)

ZACH's Topfer Theatre Grand Opening Weekend

by Kevin Smothers, Austin Social Planner
October 1, 2012

The festivities began on Thursday evening with a $1,000/plate dinner catered by the Four Seasons that included a “who’s who” of Austin’s philanthropic, arts, tech, media, business, and political worlds. The black-tie crowd ascended the blue carpeted steps for a cocktail hour in the theater lobby, while performers in fantastical and colorful attire greeted those assembled ... (Read more.)

ZACH's Big Top Blowout

by Chase Martin, The Republiq
October 1, 2012

The festivities began on Thursday evening with a $1,000/plate dinner catered by the Four Seasons that included a “who’s who” of Austin’s philanthropic, arts, tech, media, business, and political worlds. The black-tie crowd ascended the blue carpeted steps for a cocktail hour in the theater lobby, while performers in fantastical and colorful attire greeted those assembled ... (Read more.)

Stars shine through the rain at ZACH's Topfer Theatre opening

by Michael Graupmann, Culture Map Austin
September 30, 2012

With a night full of stellar performances and lively entertainment, ZACH Theatre stylishly debuted The Bobbi and Mort Topfer Theatre Saturday night to Austin's artistically fashionable crowd. Entitled Deep in the Heart of ZACH, the enchanted evening perfectly captured the celebratory tone that a major accomplishment deserves after so much effort. Donors, board members, patrons and stars mingled and danced together under the outdoor tent, marking this space as a place of public joy and memory making ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre unveils new South Austin venue

by YNN Staff
September 30, 2012

An expansion nearly six years in the making is finally complete. On Saturday, the ZACH Theatre Company unveiled its new Topfer Theatre in South Austin. The new venue seats more than 400 people and spans 32,000 square feet. Money for the project comes from a 2006 bond election, plus nearly $9 million from private donors. The building’s namesake, Mort Topfer, said he's happy to see it complete ... (Read more.)

ZACH unveils new $22 million Topfer Theatre

by Jean Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
September 29, 2012

Though a few finishing touches were still not completed late last week, the new $22 million Topfer Theatre is nonetheless ready for its close-up. Three nights of gala events were staged to celebrate the new 430-seat venue, the newest addition to Zach Theatre, with the last party ending Saturday. The first production, the musical "Ragtime," will start Oct. 17 ... (Read more.)

ZACH's new Topfer Theatre

September 29, 2012

ZACH Theatre opens its new Topfer Theatre this weekend September 29 with entrainment all night. Guests are invited to mingle under the enormous, custom tent covering the plaza and see performances on the brand new stage ... (Read more.)

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Barbara Chisholm discuss Austin's newest theatre

September 29, 2012

They've been singing and dancing their way into the hearts of audiences for years. Now they're bringing their trademark talent to a stage near you. Actors Brian Stokes Mitchell and Barbara Chisolm stop by the studio to discuss the opening of Austin's new ZACH Theatre ... (Read more.)

Topfer Theatre Grand Opening with Bernadette Peters

by Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman
September 28, 2012

Austin social and theater history were made on Thursday night. The Topfer Theatre opened grandly with an intimate concert from stage star Bernadette Peters and a Broadway-sized onstage orchestra. So Austin’s oldest theater company launched its newest theater building with its most significant show to date ... (Read more.)

ZACH Topfer Theatre opens with pizazz

by Pamela Cosel, KXAN
September 27, 2012

Thursday night the curtains will open on the new ZACH and its state-of-the-art Topfer Theatre with a black-tie gala, the first in the theatre's 80-year history. Actress and Broadway singing star Bernadette Peters will christen the new Karen Kuykendall stage inside the theatre with a performance starting at 6 p.m. ... (Read more.)

Bernadette Peters Headlines ZACH's Topfer Theatre Opening Gala Tonight

by Broadway World
September 27, 2012

Bernadette Peters, one of the greatest living Broadway superstars, will headline the first opening gala, Once Upon a Dream, at ZACH’s new Topfer Theatre tonight, Sept. 27. The illustrious actress, winner of two Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, and a Golden Globe Award, is known for iconic stage roles in Gypsy, Song and Dance, and Annie Get Your Gun among many others. Her performance at ZACH’s gala will include a 30-piece orchestra of Austin musicians. ... (Read more.)

ZACH Opening Topfer Theatre with "Deep in the Heart" Gala on September 29th

by Rob Faubion, KEYE TV
September 25, 2012

The event will feature Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, who will be joined by Austin bands and ZACH performers in a revue that will include a special sneak peak at Ragtime. ZACH Theatre will officially open the new Topfer Theatre on Saturday, September 29th, with the "Deep in the Heart" Gala. The event will include Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, ZACH performers, Austin bands and more. ... (Read more.)

Season Selection Case Study: ZACH's Topfer Theatre

by Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle
September 13, 2012

"To do, or not to do?" That is the question faced by the artistic leadership of theatres across the globe every year. And what these leaders decide to do in terms of programming is most heavily influenced by what they want their theatres to be. That's especially crucial when opening a new theatre, as Dave Steak­ley, Zach Theatre's producing artistic director, well knows. For several years, he's been preparing for the opening of the Topfer Theatre, a new mainstage that almost doubles the seating of Zach's previous one and vastly expands its technical capabilities. Steakley explains how that affected his choices for the 2012-13 season. ... (Read more.)

"Broadway Baby" Bernadette Peters replaces Johnny Mathis for ZACH's Topfer Theatre opening gala

by Michael Graupmann, Austin Culture Map
July 26, 2012

If you heard a collective gasp from the theatre community of Austin recently, it's most likely because of the announcement by ZACH Theatre that Bernadette Peters is coming to town. Yes, that Bernadette Peters. The one you recently saw on Smash. The one you remember from the movie version of Annie. The one who is known as the "foremost interpreter of the works of Steven Sondheim." That Bernadette Peters ... (Read more.)

BWW Reviews: XANADU at Austin's ZACH Theatre is a Disco-tasic Delight!

by Jeffrey Davis,
July 25, 2012

What really makes Xanadu succeed is the stellar cast. While all nine actors in the company give fantastic performances, there are some stand-outs. As Danny Maguire, Rick Roemer is able to transition from being gruff and stuffy to charming and optimistic in the blink of an eye without it seeming forced or fake. Matthew Redden’s take on the likeable but sometimes intellectually challenged Sonny Malone is adorable and infectious. As the evil muse Melpomeme and her sidekick Calliope, Michelle Alexander and Lara Wright do the perfect amount of scene stealing and scenery chewing. And Roberto Araujo, as muse Thalia and other characters, proves to be the epitome of tenacity, giving an all-out, nothing-held-back performance despite the dislocated elbow he suffered during rehearsals. His Gene Kelly-esque tap solo in Act I is a highlight of the show ... (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's 'Xanadu'

by Claire Christine Spera, Austin American-Statesman
July 23, 2012

Welcome La-La Land, classified as such not just because the musical takes place in LA (“You make me feel so invincible that I can go to downtown LA without a weapon!” exclaims Sonny to his muse), but for its outrageously dreamlike plotline and exuberantly campy song and dance numbers. It’s upbeat. It’s funny. It’s “Xanadu.” ... (Read more.)

Musical on wheels: Xanadu brings over-the-top disco fun to ZACH

by Shelley Seale, Austin Culture Map
July 23, 2012

Let's face it, there was a lot of cheesy music, movies and fashion in the 80s. If you want to bring all that back together in one campy, spoof-erific place, go see Xanadu at ZACH Theatre. ... (Read more.)

'XANADU: The Musical' now playing in Austin

by KVUE News
July 20, 2012

You can take a very funny trip down memory lane at the ZACH Theatre now through Sept. 2. Many remember the 1980 movie "Xanadu" starring Olivia Newton-John. "Xanadu: The Musical" is now on stage at the ZACH Theatre. Jill Blackwood plays the role of Kira. She spoke to KVUE about the show. ... (Watch video.)

A look inside a new ZACH Theatre

by Jay Mingus, KVUE News, and photojournalist Justin Terry
July 15, 2012

ZACH's new Topfer Theatre is a little more than two months away from its opening gala and KVUE got an inside look at the new facility. With the addition of the new theatre, ZACH's campus is the only one of its kind in Texas, and only one of few in the nation ... (Watch video.)

New theater to amplify Austin's 'cultural capital'

by Chris Cybulski, YNN
July 10, 2012

It’s almost time to pull back the curtains. The Topfer Theatre on the shore of Lady Bird Lake is a few screws and lights away from being the next cultural icon in Austin. ZACH Theatre Company has been around since 1993, and after hosting a number of plays throughout the year, the group became overcrowded and needed to expand. It was time for a whole new stage ... (Watch video.)


by Claire Christine Spera, Austin American-Statesman
July 2, 2012

Burke does it all so effortlessly, like a prima ballerina. The intensity of the production builds, as he dances from desk to desk (the set comprises three arranged in a half-circle, strewn with office supplies, paper files and calendars, an abandoned bag of Cheetos and those pesky phones), taking call after call. Burke’s energy amps us up, and we never question for one millisecond his commitment to each of the 40-plus characters he plays. He is as “fully committed” as the fictional restaurant is (for weekend reservations, please call back in two months, Sam explains) ... (Read more.)

Martin Burke IS Fully Committed

by Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks
June 25, 2012

I LOVE MARTIN BURKE!! When I saw him in The Drowsy Chaperone, I invited him to come and live with me (we're still working out logistics). When I saw him in The Santaland Diaries, I almost liked Christmas for ninety full minutes. When I heard he was playing at ZACH in Fully Committed, I made room in my schedule-with-no-room-in-it ... (Read more.)

DIVIDING THE ESTATE now playing in Austin

June 12, 2012

The extremely funny Dividing the Estate is currently playing at ZACH Theatre in Austin. It's a tale of greed and gossip in a Texas family. Barbara Chisholm stars in this hilarious production. She spoke to KVUE about the play ... (Watch video.)


By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
June 4, 2012

Under the lively, fast-paced direction of Steven Dietz, “Dividing the Estate” serves up a frequently hilarious Texas-sized tale of a rich family battling over control of their estate. ... (Read more.)

DIVIDING THE ESTATE by Horton Foote, ZACH Theatre

By Dr. David Glen Robinson,
June 4, 2012

To cut to the chase, the family had already fallen apart, and so had the estate of the title, which was really only a metaphor for that family. The former glory of the estate was represented by the gorgeous set by Cliff Simon. If you think this is a spoiler and with that the play was over save for upscale furniture-gnawing, think again,for this was indeed only the beginning. Dividing the Estate is a brilliant exposition of time and place and how the fortunes of families and individuals depend on those elemental things. The ZACH production of the play does it proud. ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre's dreams are realized with fall season and opening of Topfer Theatre

By Shelley Seale, Austin Culture Map
May 29, 2012

This fall will bring not only the 2012-13 season for ZACH, but also the much-anticipated opening of its new Topfer Theatre. This once-in-a-lifetime first season will include a world premiere, an American musical with a full orchestra for the first time at ZACH, a beloved classic made new, an international concert guest star and the biggest, snowiest holiday favorite of all time, every production taking full advantage of the technological capabilities of the extraordinary new theatre ... (Read more.)

Laramie Project and Laramie Project: 10 Years Later: Most Important Productions This Season

By Ryan Johnson,
May 12, 2012

When Laramie Project hit the stage of ZACH Theatre a few years back, it became an absolute sensation, winning heavy acclaim and numerous awards while striking an emotional chord with audiences of all ages. Audiences who missed it the first time, or who want to visit the fascinating events of Lamarie, Wyoming again, can experience it as Laramie Project hits theatres once again, and this time, you can see the extended version, complete with the sequel, Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, to get the full story. ...  (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre revisits 'hate crime'

By Jim Swift, KXAN
May 2, 2012

AUSTIN (KXAN) - When President Barack Obama put his signature on a piece of major civil rights legislation two years ago, everyone in the audience recalled a horrifying crime committed in Laramie, Wyo., 12 years earlier....  (Watch video.)

ZACH Theatre Announces 2012-13 Season

By Bethany Rickwald, TheaterMania
May 1, 2012

Opening the season will be a Dave Steakley directed production of Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty's Ragtime (October 17-November 18), a musical based on E.L. Doctorow's novel about the forging of a nation that all people could call home. The season will continue with the Irving Berlin musical White Christmas (December 5-30), based on the film written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank, and featuring a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. ...  (Read more.)

Greater Tuna Creator Takes on Serious Role in The Laramie Project

By KVUE News
April 30, 2012

Jaston Williams is well known for his hilarious roles in the Greater Tuna plays. But his new role takes on a more serious tone. Williams is one of the stars of The Laramie Project Parts 1 and 2 ...  (Watch video.)

Review: The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
April 25, 2012

The show is full of memorable characters whose words have the power to illuminate, surprise, and disturb. It’s performed deftly by a terrific cast, each playing multiple roles ...  (Read more.)

Laramie Project returns to Austin - and is still relevant 

By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
March 24, 2012

Much has changed since 2002 when ZACH Theatre first presented The Laramie Project, the documentary-style play about the Wyoming city and how its citizens came to terms with the 1998 beating death of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay university student who was brutalized and then left to die tied to a fence along a back country road. ...  (Read more.)

Review: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
February 21, 2012

In ZACH Theatre’s fast-paced, highly physical production, a boy (Michael Slefinger) prepares for a leisurely morning reading a comic book in his kitchen. The boy is soon interrupted by a high-octane mouse (veteran actor Martin Burke) who bursts onto the stage like a sprinter out of the blocks ...  (Read more.)

Arts Review - Next to Normal

By Elizabeth Cobbe, The Austin Chronicle
February 17, 2012

 At the opening, we see a woman waiting up late for her teenage son to return home. The mother, Diana (Meredith McCall), seems a bit high-strung, but nothing appears too far out of the ordinary for this family as it navigates the ins and outs of daily life – until the next morning, when Diana slides off the rails and it's clear she's not altogether well. The title of this musical (music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey) pretty much says it: Nothing is "normal" in this family. They all live somewhere to the side of whatever normal might be ...  (Read more.)

Next to Normal debuts at ZACH Theatre

KVUE News,
February 7, 2012

Next to Normal was a hit Broadway show and is now playing at the ZACH Theatre in Austin. It's the funny, intense and moving story of a dysfunctional family and their mother who is struggling with bi-polar and depression ...  (Read more.)

Next to Normal, ZACH Theatre

By Michael Meigs,
February 7, 2012

ZACH's staging of the Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey work Next to Normal is stunning -- but not in the usual reviewer-speak meaning of the word. The intensity of the emotion, the huge volume of sound, the zig-zag of florescent lighting on the back walls of the set and above all the pitiless focus upon the mental illness of a suburban wife and mother -- all of these foster a numbness of mind that leaves you feeling as if you had swallowed a 200 mg capsule of Thorazine at the opening of the show ...  (Read more.)

Review: Next to Normal

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
January 27, 2012

ZACH Theatre’s version of "Next to Normal" is a gripping and often very funny ride. The show’s small cast is uniformly sharp. McCall infuses her portrayal of Diana with dry wit. Her voice soars on ballads like "I Miss The Mountains," where Diana laments that her medications allow her to feel nothing. ...  (Read more.)

Method to their Madness

By Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle
January 27, 2012

(Meredith) McCall describes how the similarly shifting terrain of her character's arc is supported by the evocation of diverse musical genres throughout the show: "I think there's something about the variety of musical styles that takes you on the journey of these manic, a little bit out-of-control moments and then these sort of flat moments and also these terribly sad moments. I find that the music most definitely takes the actor, and I think also the listener, on her ride – which is not what we would call a 'normal' ride." ...  (Read more.)

McCall Talks about becoming part of ZACH team

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
January 25, 2012

Since 1989, Meredith McCall has been gracing Austin's stages. She has hammed it up in comedies, tackled the challenges of serious dramas and belted out lyrical melodies in numerous musicals. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, McCall sipped a decaf skim latte sweetened with Splenda at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf during a brief break between her day job at the Texas Department of Public Safety and an evening rehearsal for "Next to Normal," the new musical she's starring in at ZACH Theatre ...  (Read more.)

Anna Deavere Smith's LET ME DOWN EASY airs nationally on PBS

January 17, 2012

On Friday, the show that started at ZACH, underwritten by the The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, aired on PBS (locally KLRU) as part of the nationally broadcast “Great Performances” series ...  (Read more.)

Top 10 Notable Theatrics of 2011

By Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle
January 6, 2012

Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' searing glimpse of a family's descent into destruction on the Texas border was heart-wrenchingly moving ...  (Read more.)

Exhibitionism: This show offers a gleeful thrill like that long, first drop on a rollercoaster

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
December 30, 2011

 First, note the order in this living room: the artfully spaced and angled furniture, the carefully stacked pillows on the floor and large art books on and under the coffee table, the green fruit filling the silver bowl, the white tulips arranged in the crystal vase, the lurid crimson floor with every inch buffed to a reflective sheen. Everything here is so just so. Take all that in, for just as sure as the gun that brother Chekhov brings on in act one will be fired in act three, this order you see when the lights come up on God of Carnage will degenerate into chaos before the lights go down ...  (Read more.)

GOD OF CARNAGE by Yasmina Reza, ZACH Theatre

By Anne Boyd, soulciti
December 12, 2011

 ZACH Theatre's God of Carnage is a beautiful mess. That's intentional. The set by Michael Raiford is sleekly contemporary with a bold abstract mural inspired by Cy Twombly spread across the back wall. This living room has a stark leather sofa, a Barcelona chair and large pillows in African-style fabrics, all positioned over a striking red floor so highly polished that the characters can probably see themselves in it. Somebody in this family has got money and and a strong sense of design or perhaps has employed a very decided home decorator. ...  (Read more.)

Boys Will Be Boys: The Hilarious GOD OF CARNAGE Now Onstage

By Anne Boyd, soulciti
December 12, 2011

God of Carnage, a hilarious play on stage at Zach Scott Theater through January 8, proves it takes a certain amount of truth telling, soul bearing - and sometimes alcohol - to really get to know people. The 11-year-old sons of two New York couples get into a fight because - well because they’re kids.  Who knows how these things get started, but the result is one boy knocks the other’s teeth out with a stick. As the play opens, the couples are meeting in the apartment of Veronica and Michael Novak. The Novaks and the Raleighs have come together in a sort of détente, to try and keep the situation with their sons from escalating ...  (Read more.)

Deus ex machina: GOD OF CARNAGE at ZACH Theatre

By Alexandra Bonifield,
December 11, 2011

The God of Carnage: live in Austin! Farce on a Molière scale with projectile vomiting and passive aggression of Wagnerian proportion. It’s a vulgar, non-PC comedy with overly civilized ACLU card-carrying bluebloods, "nice people". Tony-winning French playwright Yasmina Reza (Art, 1998) spells it out simple enough for Tea Party hoi polloi to comprehend. For all you reactionary types who have wondered about “The Secret Lives of Liberals”, take some time away from instructing your kids in ritual cross-burning or manly prayer sessions with Texas’ Guvner Goodhair and buzz the Hummer over to the Zachary Scott Theatre on Riverside at Lamar to gawk at this timely side-splitting spectacle. No weapons needed. They make a circular firing squad, dontcha know. ...  (Read more.)

Lauren Lane Has Found God

By Brian Scott Lipton, TheaterMania

Lauren Lane has had a long, distinguished career on stage and television, although she will forever be known to millions of TV fans as the acerbic C.C. Babcock on The Nanny. These days, Lane lives far from Hollywood -- in Austin, Texas, where she teaches full-time at Texas State University and works frequently at ZACH Theatre, where she's currently starring as Veronica Novak in Yasmina Reza's award-winning comedy God of Carnage. TheaterMania recently spoke to Lane about the role and her work on The Nanny. ...  (Read more.)

Meet the Parents: Review of God of Carnage

By Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks

The brilliance in this show comes in part from the wonderful physical comedy. But more than anything, it comes in the way playwright Yasmina Reza (note: it was written in French and translated by Christopher Hampton) configures and reconfigures allegiances throughout the piece. One minute the Novaks are a united front. The next, Veronica will say something that Michael finds offensive and he’ll correct her, drawing support for one or the other Raleigh. This happens over and over as couples first concur then wildly disagree in different formations. This is going to be a stretch here, but did you ever see that little stacking magnet game? The metal pieces are shaped like tiny people and you can build them up and up but then they collapse on top of one another and you have to start again? Okay, THAT’S what these interactions reminded me of, people moving toward and away from each other like magnets pushing and pulling depending on which way they’re facing ...  (Read more.)

Sticks and stones: ZACH's God of Carnage is a wickedly good comedy of bad manners

By Michael Graupmann, Austin Culture Map

It's not often you get to see civilized adults flipping one another over couches and screaming obscenities in a rum-fueled rage. But in ZACH's latest non-musical production, God of Carnage, no one on stage is spared from the kind of emotional and physical sparring that is typically reserved for the playground or the wrestling ring. In the intimate setting of the tightly restricted Kleberg stage, you'll feel just like a spectator at a sports arena where barbed words are the weapons of choice. ...  (Read more.)

Review: 'God of Carnage'

By Cate Blouke, Austin American-Statesman

When it comes to entertainment, not much beats witnessing a full-blown tantrum from a grown up - especially an adult who fancies himself a paradigm of civilized society. Multiply the meltdown by four, and you get Yasmina Reza’s award-winning comedy of manners, “God of Carnage,” which shows us just how funny it can be when parents stop being polite ...  (Read more.)

ZACH and Other Theaters Make Austin a Magnet for Talent

By Doug Strassler, BACKSTAGE

Austin, the capital city of the Lone Star State, has plenty going for it. Kiplinger magazine ranked it number one on its "Best Cities 2010" list, and the city is third on's roster of "America's Most Recession-Proof Cities." Clearly, Austin is doing something right. It has long been defined by its music scene, which is how it became home to the popular and growing South by Southwest festival. But Austin has emerged as more than just a base for music. In fact, it has become a mecca for theatrical and visual arts as well. So what makes the city such a bastion of creative energy? ...  (Read more.)

Prepare to Expect Wonders from ZACH

By Pamela Cosel, KXAN-TV 36

November 9, 2011The longest running theater in Austin embarked on a new chapter in February when ZACH broke ground on an expansion of its performance campus. The new facility, set to open in 2012, is sure to welcome audiences for decades to come ...  (Read more.)
Click here to view KXAN's interactive photo gallery "Expect Wonders!"

Construction in Progress: ZACH's Topfer Theatre

By Michael Meigs,
November 9, 2011

Building crews continue hard at work within the Zach Theatre's $22 million venture at Lamar and Riverside. Zach's producing artistic director Dave Steakley and managing director Elisbeth Challener invited press for a tour of the locale yesterday, in company of the architects Arthur W. Andersson and F. Christian Wise. Mort Topfer was there for part of the walk-though. ...  (Read more.)

Dramatic unveiling: ZACH previews the progress of their new Topfer Theatre

By Michael Graupmann, CultureMap Austin
November 9, 2011

Dave Steakley is beaming more than usual these days. The Artistic Director of ZACH Theatre is generally a convivial kind of guy, but today, showing off the progress of the new state of the art Topfer Theatre on the ZACH campus on Riverside Drive, he can't help but smile. Set to officially open in September of 2012, construction is now at a point that the first looks at all three floors of the new theater are possible. Hard hats and safety vests in place, members of the media were invited on a site tour led by the smiling Steakley, ZACH Managing Director Elisbeth Challener and architect Arthur Andersson (of Austin architecture team Andersson-Wise) ...  (Read more.)

Tour of ZACH's New Topfer Theatre

By Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman
November 9, 2011

The Austin American-Statesman tours ZACH's new Topfer Theatre ...  (See gallery.)

Spring Awakening at ZACH: Repressed sexuality set against foot-stomping rock

By Shelley Seale, CultureMap Austin
November 4, 2011

Spring Awakening explores the intimate journey from adolescence to adulthood with unforgettable poignancy and passion, using the book and lyrics of Steven Sater and the music of Duncan Sheik. It covers angst-ridden topics ranging from burgeoning teenage sexuality, sexual abuse and homosexuality to school failure, expulsion and suicide. The setting is repressive Germany in the 1800s, with the clothing and morals of that place in time. In fact, it's based on a controversial German play written by Frank Wedekind in 1892. Yet the period setting and dialogue is completely juxtaposed with the music, which is modern and raw—songs include "The Bitch of Living" and "Totally Fucked," for example. ...  (Read more.)

Dave Steakley Tribute at W Austin Hotel & Residences

By Michael Barnes, "Out & About",
October 23, 2011

Twenty years is a long time. Especially for any leader of an Austin arts group. Dave Steakley has served in one or another of ZACH Theatre’s top positions for two decades. I can think of only a couple local leaders who have wracked up more milage with a single major company ...  (Read more.)

Arts Review: Spring Awakening at ZACH Theatre

By Elizabeth Cobbe, The Austin Chronicle
October 21, 2011

The magic of this contemporary musical adaptation (book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik) is to follow such a story and deliver the audience at a place of life-affirming understanding ... In this complicated environment, the teenage characters explore their emerging intellect and sexuality, fighting the repression of their elders to accept themselves and their bodies. It's a sexually explicit but tasteful play; more difficult than the scenes of intimacy are the scenes of tragedy. Not every young person can fight his or her way through the minefield of adolescence ...  (Read more.)

Spring Awakening, ZACH Theatre 

By Hannah Bisewski and Michael Meigs,
October 1, 2011

Spring Awakening won eight of the 2007 Tony awards, including that for best musical, and the powerful production opened by the Zach Theatre last Saturday shows you why.  This very contemporary musical adaptation of Franz Wedekind's Spring Awakening has played across Europe, and the U.S. national touring company fielded by Broadway Across America visited Bass Hall for a week in October, 2009.  Awakening has now settled in to the Kleberg Stage until November 13 playing an extended Tuesday to Sunday schedule.  Zach management clearly expects this one to resound with the Austin public ...  (Read more.)

Review: Spring Awakening

By Claire Canavan,
September 26, 2011

ZACH Theatre’s current season-opening production of Spring Awakening captures the energy and heart of the hit show that shocked and exhilarated audiences. Directed with skill by Michael Baron, Spring Awakening will have you dancing in your seat one moment, then hit you like a punch to the gut the next ...  (Read more.)

Spring Awakening gives a kick to new ZACH Season

By Claire Canavan,
September 21, 2011

In 2006, Zach Theatre's artistic director, Dave Steakley, sat inside a converted church in New York City, waiting to see the Atlantic Theater Company's off-Broadway production of a new musical called "Spring Awakening." He wasn't disappointed. The energetic rock musical about teenagers felt to Steakley like "a fresh discovery." As a bonus, Steakley was seated rows away from famed musical composer Stephen Sondheim, who he says looked to be having "a spectacular time." ...  (Read more.)

Reception and Season Preview at ZACH Theatre

By Michael Barnes,
August 31, 2011

They crowded into the tiny, hot lobby, dreaming of the day when the Topfer Theatre will open next door and ZACH Theatre patrons can mingle in a grown-up theater building. The cramped quarters didn’t dampen the mood for the backers who previewed Zach’s 2011-2012 season after a lively reception and before a buffet dinner. ...  (Read more.)

HAIRSPRAY Matinee at ZACH Theatre

By Michael Barnes,
July 26, 2011

I’ve never seen an audience jump to its feet so quickly. It didn’t take a micro-second before the audience rose, almost as one, during the dizzying curtain call for “Hairspray” at Zach Theatre on Sunday. Already, Janis Stinson had earned a partial standing ovation for her rousing rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been” in the second act. ...  (Read more.)

HAIRSPRAY - Arts Review

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
July 22, 2011

Ah, Baltimore – you of the crime-ridden, poverty-stricken, rat-infested streets. Most of us look at you and see just a deteriorating and depressed harbor town. But to Tracy Turnblad, you might as well be the Emerald City. From the instant this appealingly ample Bal'more teen awakes, she's singing your praises, chirping about every rodent, derelict, and flasher with the wide-eyed delight of Dorothy Gale trooping through Oz ...  (Read more.)

It's OK to be Fat and/or Black

By Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks
July 4, 2011

Last week Big Red and I went to see Zach Scott's production of HAIRSPRAY and, as is overwhelmingly the case at Zach, we had a super swell time. I cannot believe it's been 23 years since the original John Waters' movie, HAIRSPRAY, came out. (Dang. I could've sworn I saw that in Austin but I didn't even get to Austin til '91.) I loved loved loved loved the original-- I'm a big JW fan. But I never did get around to seeing the musical film version that came out in 2007, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to see the live show ...  (Read more.)

Review: Hairspray at ZACH Theatre

By Ralphie Hardesty,
June 28, 2011

This show is all about big numbers, and ZACH delivers. These kids can dance, they can sing and some can do both. Warren Freeman, the ringleader of the whitest, er, Nicest Kids You Know, brings a lot to the show vocally and his ensemble of singers and dancers are amazing. And no one would have minded if Joshua Denning, who has to be the hottest Seaweed J. Stubbs ever, wanted to just dance with the character's friends for a couple hours. The costume designer’s work on Denning’s pants alone is worth the price of a ticket ...  (Read more.)

Review: ZACH Theatre's Hairspray

By Claire Christine Spera, Austin American-Statesman
June 27, 2011

Bigger is better — that’s the motto of “Hairspray,” the 2002 Broadway musical comedy based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name. From opening number “Good Morning, Baltimore” through to the concluding scene’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” the audience at Zach Theatre’s production is treated to a visually arresting show with vibrant ‘60s costumes by Susan Branch Towne, a set by Michael Raiford so deliciously colorful you’ll just want to pop the whole thing in your mouth, and engaging acting and singing — not to mention Willa Kaye Warren’s wild wig designs. No hairdo can be too exaggerated, and no amount of hairspray is over the top. Whatever it takes, right? Bring together these production elements in the intimate space of Kleberg Stage and you have a special vantage point on a hilarious musical ...  (Read more.)

More Space at the Table: Hairspray Gets Another Helping at ZACH

By Michael Graupmann,
June 27, 2011

What better reason to support ZACH in their capital campaign to construct their state of the art Topfer Theatre that will allow Steakley and crew to really let their fabulous visions run wild? ...  (Read more.)

The Book of Grace - Arts Review

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
June 24, 2011

The time when good fences made good neighbors is long past. Nowadays, a good fence does its job by keeping "them" away from "us" – "them," of course, being different, other, alien. That's how Vet breaks it down anyway, and he feels supremely qualified to render such a judgment: He makes his living at a fence, guarding Texas' border with Mexico, and he's good enough at his job to be receiving an award for it. That honor has prompted his wife, Grace, to invite to their home Vet's son from a prior marriage, in hopes that the visit might ease their strained relationship ...  (Read more.)

Soulciti Reviews The Book of Grace

By Anne Boyd,
June 22, 2011

I used to say, “Family is what God gives us so we don’t confuse Earth with heaven.” “The Book of Grace” playing at the Zach Scott Theatre through July 10 makes me think I was right. This familial tale written and directed by Pulitzer-Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks is heartbreaking, maddening and very funny, just like the many conflicts we have with our own kinfolk ...  (Read more.)

Second Life: Suzan-Lori Parks Turns Director

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
June 17, 2011

A play's first production is unquestionably important. What were simply lines of dialogue on a page now become utterances spoken by characters of flesh and blood. Actions, previously described in words, come alive in space and time, building emotions, story, and drama that now can connect in a very immediate, visceral way with the audience. But a play's second production can be equally important – for the author anyway. Having seen in that initial production how actors shaped the text, how the play's actions cohered into a dramatic arc (or failed to), and how audiences absorbed the story and responded to it, the playwright can use that follow-up production to make adjustments to the script: adding information here, removing information there, clarifying the story, illuminating themes, or just plain making the play better. ...  (Read more.)

Review: The Book of Grace

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
June 13, 2011

“Don’t Fence Me In” is a classic cowboy song about freedom. In this song, a fence is something that can trap a person and prevent them from roaming free. But a fence can also be built as protection, as a way to keep people out. Both kinds of fences are at play in The Book of Grace, the newest play from Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks now receiving its Texas premiere at ZACH Theatre. ...  (Read more.)

The Book of Grace Explores Family Boundaries, Norms 

By Rachel Perlmutter, The Daily Texan
June 5, 2011

Grace looks around cautiously to ensure that she is alone. Crouching to the floor, she gently peels back the corner of a rug to reveal a hidden compartment in the floor and pulls her book out. She begins to read excerpts to an imaginary audience. Saturday marked the opening night of “The Book of Grace” at ZACH Theatre. Written and directed by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, the play centers around familial boundary and control issues, told through the main character’s self-written books. ...  (Read more.)

Suzan-Lori Parks Directs Revision of Her Tense Drama The Book of Grace

By Adam Hetrick,
June 4, 2011

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks' explosive family drama The Book of Grace, about a diner waitress who journals her hopes and dreams, officially opens under the direction of the playwright June 4 at the ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX. The Texas premiere of the three-person drama represents a revised version of the play, which first premiered at the Public Theater Off-Broadway in spring 2010. The Zach production will ultimately represent the published edition of the play ...  (Read more.)

Ties to Austin theater lure playwright to direct

By Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News
May 31, 2011

AUSTIN - The Book of Grace, Suzan-Lori Parks' latest play, premiered in New York just over a year ago. The thing is, "the play wasn't cooked yet," Parks said. Dave Steakley, producing artistic director of Austin's ZACH Theatre, went to New York to see it, and he thought the production wasn't quite what it could be. Steakley had an insider's perspective: ZACH had staged a reading of Grace a few months before the New York premiere. "We had such a strong, visceral reaction to the piece," Steakley said. "The story is so Texan and speaks to things that are important in this community. Then "Suzan-Lori had her production at the Public (Theater), and I was really surprised because it didn't match the experience I'd had in our room." ...  (Read more.)

Taking Center Stage

By Tom Terkel, NSIDE ATX
May 2011

Austin’s outstanding quality of life really boils down to two things: its nature and its culture. Along the beautiful shores of Lady Bird Lake, you can experience both Austin’s natural beauty and its vibrant cultural achievements with the emergence of ZACH’s new, intimate Topfer Theatre, which will make the experience even richer ...  (Read more.)


By Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks
May 14, 2011

Beyond Letts’ excellent writing, Steakley’s superb directing and a fabulous set by Michael Raiford, the success of ZACH’s Osage County comes most directly from a baker’s dozen cast. Good lord this town is crawling with talent and I was delighted going in, knowing that I’d get to see Lauren Lane and Lana Dieterich perform together. As I’ve said before, Lane (who is a friend and who I was lucky enough to share the stage with in The Dick Monologues) could read the fucking phone book and I’d pay to see it. She is a stunning, stunning, STUNNING actress. As for Dieterich—though I’d only seen her perform twice before (in ZACH’s Our Town and HPT’s VIGIL) that was enough to sell me on her endless talent. I am in love with that woman. ...  (Read more.)

Actress with Disability Scores Big Role

By Jim Swift, KXAN
May 13, 2011

When fans and supporters wish actors good luck in a play, they traditionally say, "Break a leg." Long time actress Lana Dieterich has a leg up on the rest of the theatre world in that department. "I contracted infantile paralysis, probably when I was six months old," said Dieterich. "But they didn't even know that that's what I had because I wasn't old enough to tell them. All I did was cry and the doctor thought that I was crying because of teething." ...  (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre makes you feel right at home with Tracy Letts' epic family drama

By Avimaan Syam, The Austin Chronicle
April 22, 2011

What makes August truly epic is that it attempts to fill the whole canvas, so to speak. The crux of the tale is a family coming together over its elderly patriarch's sudden disappearance, though its coming together is more a train wreck than anything else. But August refuses to just be about motherhood or sisterhood or generation gaps, or to be always comedic or dramatic. It's all these things at different times. At times the play devolves into stilted, ugly bitching. Sometimes there's an almost Tuna-esque back and forth between characters. There are more than a few uncomfortable scenes but some very endearing scenes and also some random meta musings ... you get the idea. Like a family, August isn't perfect. Like a family, August isn't always what you want or expect. But it (definitely) doesn't shy away from the little and big moments that constitute our lives. It shows the strange, the sweet, the sick ...  (Read more.)

Review: August: Osage County at ZACH Theatre

By Michael Meigs,
April 13, 2011

Director Dave Steakley proves that with a first-rate cast and a gifted scenic designer he can turn Tracey Letts' savage misanthropy into a mesmerizing evening in the theatre. That's no modest achievement ...  (Read more.)

Review: August: Osage County at ZACH Theatre

By Georgia Young,
April 6, 2011

Director Dave Steakley has put together a strong cast, and the women in particular command attention. From Corley Pillsbury as the rebellious 14-year-old, Jean, who sinks down onto her grandmother's couch in a perfect expression of teenage despair to Janelle Buchanan, whose Mattie Fae is that kind of terrifying middle-aged woman who could make a brain surgeon feel like a loser with one withering look, Osage's ladies are complex, fascinating characters. You never know when one is going to smash a plate, boogie to an old Clapton record, or spit out another awful truth. The men hold their own, too, and Michael Stuart in particular moved me as Mattie Fae's kindhearted, browbeaten husband Charlie ...  (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre Receives Makeover

Fox 7 News
March 25, 2011

ZACH Theatre in South Austin is celebrating a milestone with the official groundbreaking of its new 26,000 square-foot , state-of-the-art Topfer Theatre. The new space will be the centerpiece of a new performance campus on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. With 420 seats, the Topfer Theatre will double the seating capacity at Zach while retaining the intimate theatre-going experience for which Zach is known. With more seats, more patrons will experience original works at each performance. Dave Streakley, Zach Theatre's artistic director, and Elisabeth Challener, managing director, stopped by Good Day to talk about the expansion ...  (Watch video.)

Red Hot Patriot: A Review

By William Holston, Texas Observer
March 11, 2011

We just passed the 4th anniversary of the death of Molly Ivins. That’s still hard to believe. I’ve followed Molly’s writing from when she was a columnist for the now defunct Dallas Times Herald. I only met her once, when we attended a Rabble Rouser’s Roundup several years ago. Molly was walking through the crowd and thanking us for supporting the Texas Observer. I count myself lucky that I got to meet her once. My wife and I drove down from Dallas, just to attend the event. Last weekend, my wife Jill and I once again drove down from Dallas for the day to attend the new play, “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” ...  (Read more.)

Celebrity Barbara Chisholm

By Christopher Carbone, LStyleGStyle
March 7, 2011

When Barbara Chisholm lets out one of her big, deep-throated laughs, you know you’re in the presence of someone in love with her craft. The actress, theater enthusiast and 25-year Austinite, starring in Red Hot Patriot, a one-woman show at Zach Scott Theatre that pays glorious tribute to the irreverent journalist Molly Ivins, is a natural fit for the role. She took time out to speak with us about acting and why she loves the Capital City. (Read more.)

The Artist's Life

By Christopher Carbone, LStyleGStyle
March 7, 2011

This one-time band geek works his magic onstage and off to create theatrical experiences that immerse audiences in other worlds and, in the process, open their minds. (Read more.)

Review: Steven Dietz's FICTION

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
February 18, 2011

The ensemble is tight and focused. [Meredith] McCall plays Linda as bright and ironic, with vulnerable undertones. As Michael, [Robert] Gomes is delightfully pompous, constantly using big words and reveling in his own ability to pass off lines from other writers as his own. FICTION keeps the audience on its toes. It’s quick, wordy, and full of literary allusions and memorable one-liners. The play’s simple and minimalistic staging allows the audience to keep on questioning what is real and what is imagined. (Read more.)

Molly Ivins Returns from the Dead

By Jim Swift, KXAN
February 18, 2011

Molly Ivins was a barbed-tongue, foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, muck-raking journalist and columnist with a strong social conscience, a dedication to public service, an empathy with the powerless and an optimism unsupported by every bit of her vast experience in this world. And she was not alone. (Read more.)

Molly Ivins, A 'Red Hot Patriot'

By Wade Goodwyn, NPR
February 17, 2011

During the 1970s, Molly Ivins and the Texas Legislature were a match made in heaven. At the time, Texas politics were still dominated by big oil money and becoming speaker of the House was a seemingly irresistible invitation to stick your hand in the cookie jar. (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre: Ground seeded for new 420-seat playhouse

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
February 11, 2011

Last week's winter blast did its best to put a chill on the Groundhog Day groundbreaking ceremony for Zach Theatre's new 420-seat stage. The show folk at this playhouse, however, would not be deterred from marking the momentous occasion. When it became clear that subfreezing temperatures would persist all day, they moved the event indoors, and when rolling blackouts left the Kleberg Stage in the dark just an hour before the ceremony, they shifted it to the Nowlin Rehearsal Hall, kept bright and toasty thanks to a generator obtained early that morning by resourceful Director of Production Paul Flint ... (Read more.)

Dramatic Turn: Actress Meredith McCall is about much more than musicals

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
February 11, 2011

She stares into the spotlight with more brass than The Music Man's much-ballyhooed 76 trombones. And there's more than a trace of the bright, clarion sound of those horns in her voice as this resolute performer, in the guise of a perennially sozzled Jazz Age socialite, musically urges the audience before her to "Keep your eyeball on the highball in your hand." The one in hers, it's worth noting, is brandished much like the sword of Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge up San Juan Hill, and she builds this anthem to the well-lubricated life, to getting pickled, pie-eyed, and blotto, with such brio that you'd gladly follow her to a saloon at the ends of the Earth ... (Read more.)

Out & About: ZACH Theatre Groundbreaking Party

By Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman
February 4, 2011

It was a party. And a show. Still, there was serious business to take care of at the Zach Theatre Groundbreaking on Wednesday. Performers sang. Speakers spoke. Guests snacked and chatted into the afternoon, not wanting the abandon the shared good feelings. The ceremony, moved from the outdoor location for the planned Topfer Theatre to the Kleberg Stage because of cold, then from there to the Nowlin Rehearsal Studio because of rolling blackouts, could not be shut down ... (Read more.)

ZACH Breaks Ground on New 420-Seat Topfer Theatre Complex

By Rob Faubion, KEYE TV
February 4, 2011

Despite the freezing temperatures and rolling blackouts, ZACH Theatre celebrated the ground-breaking of its new Topfer Theatre on February 2nd during a special ceremony attended by more than 200 invited guests - including philanthropists Mort and Bobbi Topfer, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, City Councilwoman Randi Shade, and Senator Jeff Wentworth.  The new state-of-the-art, 420-seat theatre - to be located on the corner of Riverside and South Lamar - will become part of a planned renovation and revitalization of ZACH's performance and theatre education campus that anchors the South Lamar corridor ... (Read more.)


By Avimaan Syam, The Austin Chronicle
February 3, 2011

Home-field advantage isn't a term I normally apply to theatre. Usually a production – even attended by patrons, friends, and theatre folk – must convince its audience that the world, the story, and the characters created are worth caring about. Not so with Zach Theatre's production of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. This audience was primed not just with a knowledge of Molly Ivins but a love for her. An audience that knew how to react to every ancillary figure projected on screen before Ivins did. An audience all too willing to boo and hiss at "Shrub" – Ivins' nickname for George W. Bush – with as much rancor as Ivins had for him ... (Read more.)

Ground is Broken for ZACH Topfer Theatre

Art on Art Blog
February 3, 2011

Despite temperatures in the 20s, ZACH Theatre in Austin hosted the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Topfer Theatre, scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. Design plans call for a 26,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art performance campus on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. With 420 seats, the theatre will nearly double capacity at ZACH while retaining the intimate theatre-going experience for which ZACH is known ... (Read more.)

ZACH breaks ground on new theater

By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
February 2, 2011

ZACH managing director Elisbeth Challener announced that the project has about $17.3 million in hand for the $22 million goal. More than $10 million comes from a 2006 voter-approved bond package, and about $800,000 is left over from a 1985 bond package. The remaining funds are being raised from private individuals, corporations and foundations. Zach Theatre qualifies for city bond money because it is on city-owned property... (Read more.)


By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
January 31, 2011

Like star-crossed lovers, or peanut butter and jelly, Austin and the new play “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins” were made for each other ... (Read more.)

Red, Hot and Blue: Barbara Chisholm captures the spirit of Molly Ivins

By Alexandra Bonifield, Theater Jones
January 31, 2011

The simple block letter sign shoved to the front of the desk’s cascade of debris reads Molly Ivins. Frustrated, pissed off, the statuesque woman bemoans her inability to come up with printable words to fill the clean sheet of paper waiting in the carriage. “Sonofabitch,” she exclaims in disgust and hauls herself up to pace the stage like a caged lioness, a Texas-styled Amazon in jeans and red cowboy boots. She’s sharing a vulnerable moment. Molly Ivins with writer’s block? Imagine that ... (Read more.)

Best Beloveds: Molly Ivins' kickass boots are an ideal fit for prized actor Barbara Chisholm

By Amy Smith, The Austin Chronicle
January 28, 2011

ZACH Artistic Director Dave Steakley was certain that he had the actor to fill Ivins' boots: Barbara Chisholm, a towering figure in her own right, having appeared in almost 50 productions around Austin over the past 25 years with a larger-than-life persona. (Chisholm is also married to Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires and has in the past written for our Food and listings sections.) "Almost the instant I began reading Red Hot Patriot, I could clearly see Barbara taking over this role," Steakley explained in an e-mail. "If you want a ballsy actress who is quick-witted and savors the deliciousness of a well-crafted play on words, then Barbara is your gal" ... (Read more.)

Friends of Molly Ivins Gather at ZACH Theatre

By Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman
January 27, 2011

Four years after her death, Molly Ivins is still making friends. They showed up to a party and preview performance of “Red Hot Patriot,” a solo show about her life at ZACH Theatre on Wednesday. Everybody came with a Molly story, usually to do with her brash personality, piercing wit and lifelong pursuit of justice.  ... (Read more.)

I Am So Popular: Molly, I Found Your Keys

By Spike Gillespie, Austinist
January 27, 2011

Last month, I got a note from my friend, the amazing actress Barbara Chisholm, who is portraying Molly in the play, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, which just opened at ZACH. Barbara wanted to quiz me about Molly. Knowing she was taking on this monumental task of playing my larger than life friend brought me some relief. I’d so feared the play, worried some outsider would be brought in, thinking I’d feel sick if I saw it and sick if I didn’t. I’m going on Saturday, and I figure it won’t be easy but it will be okay, Molly safe in the hands of Barbara. (It’s also nice to see Kick Ass in the title, as Molly was the first Kick Ass Trophy recipient, an award created to celebrate the end of her first round of chemo.)  ... (Read more.)

Ivins Play Finally Makes Its Way Home

By Jean Claire Van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
January 21, 2011

The setting is simple. There's a desk, littered with note pads, papers, pens, books. There's a typewriter an old manual model not seen much outside vintage stores these days. And there's a desktop nameplate that reads "Molly Ivins" the Texas columnist and author with the sharp-tongued wit who made her name skewering the political establishment on behalf of the ordinary citizen.

But, if the staging for "Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins," which opens in its Texas premiere Saturday at Zach Theatre, is pared to an essence, there's that voice: alternately home-spun and intellectual, colloquial and universal ... (Read more.)

Unsinkable Molly

By Michael Hoinski, The New York Times
January 20, 2011

It’s no coincidence that the Texas premiere of the play “Red Hot Patriot,” about the crusading journalist Molly Ivins, is opening in Austin in the early weeks of the 82nd legislature session. Ms. Ivins, the slyly funny and brutally honest writer who lived in the state capital for much of her adult life, took joy in delivering jabs to elected officials, most notably in the pages of The Texas Observer. Barbara Chisholm, an Austin actress, plays the title role ... (Read more.)

Top 10 Theatrical Wonders of 2010

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
January 7, 2011

A speakeasy's worth of cocktails couldn't match the intoxicating lift of this spoofy toast to musicals. A dream team of ZACH all-stars – Martin Burke, Jill Blackwood, Meredith McCall, Jamie Goodwin, et al. – masterfully mined comic gold from every line, while the show's open-hearted embrace of the frivolous provided a tender lesson in the worth of guilty pleasures. (Read more.)

Suzan-Lori Parks Takes an Interest in the Everyday

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
December 29, 2010

Once you get Parks to sit down and chat ... she is the kind of person you wouldn’t mind talking to for a very long time, both because of her expansive, creative mind and the way she seems to notice (and appreciate) the tiny details of life ... (Read more.)

By Any Means Necessary: Suzan-Lori Parks Works It

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
December 17, 2010

She sits at a table, sunglasses perched atop her head, one foot serving as a literal footrest for the other, plugs in her ears, eyes on the page, fingers rapping out a little percussion jazz solo with the keys of a cherry-red Olivetti typewriter. Occasionally, the rhythmic clickety-clack drops out while she lifts a pencil to make a change or addition in a notebook. But there are no long stretches of pacing or staring into space – in fact, there’s little in the way of pauses of any kind, save for her to take a sip of tea or unwrap a peppermint or check the amount of time left on the kitchen timer on the table. She’s constantly plugging away … (Read more.)

Review: RENT at ZACH - How Dave Steakley Taught Me to Love a Musical I Used to Not Even Like

By Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks
October 18, 2010

Yet again, we have further proof that this city is crawling with magnificent talent. RENT is cast marvelously, with strong performances delivered across the board. I think ensemble pieces are such tricky business and performers have to walk that fine line between what surely must be a desire to standout and something more crucial to the show’s success: keeping balance among the group. (Read more.)

Austin Arts Review: RENT

By Barry Pineo, The Austin Chronicle
October 7, 2010

If you've never experienced a Dave Steakley musical, you should experience this one. Few things can match watching a production in which every element comes together to produce a coherent whole. Steakley, Zach's longtime producing artistic director, has both the means and the wherewithal to do exactly that every time he helms a show, and he does it with this hugely popular Jonathan Larson musical inspired by Puccini's opera La Bohème, but instead of a group of starving artists in Paris in the 19th century, we're watching a group of young bohemians in New York City at the turn of the millennium ... (Read more.)

RENT: Zach opens season with meaningful production of one of Broadway's best

By Ryan E. Johnson,
October 5, 2010

RENT has been hailed as one of the greatest shows to ever hit the Broadway stage. It won numerous awards, from Drama Desks to Tonys, and was the first musical to ever win the Pulitzer for Best Drama, and its musical numbers have become recognizable the world over. When choosing this show to open their season, Zach Scott Theatre knew they had a lot to contend with, but in the end they produce a polished, emotional production of the Broadway great ... (Read more.)

Rent Raises the Roof in Austin

By Anne Boyd,
September 30, 2010

The Zach Scott Production of “Rent,” playing through November 28 at the Kleberg Stage, proves that New York has little to teach Austin when it comes to turning a musical into a raucous good time. The infectious energy of the cast, comprised of some of the city’s best R&B, Hip hop and Gospel talent, pulls the audience into a world that resembles a part of Austin that doesn’t make any of the annual “best of” lists; a part where people sometimes lack shelter, food, and money ... (Read more.)


By Michael Meigs,
September 6, 2010

Metamorphoses presents ten stories drawn from Greek mythology, primarily from Ovid's work of that same name, using a free-verse translation by David R. Slavitt. Among them are tales of King Midas (David Christopher, clowning it up as a Texas oilman and then devastated when the golden touch transforms his daughter, Ashley Neves), of the drowned sailor king Ceyx (Aaron Alexander) and his apprehensive bride (Smaranda Ciceu), of Orpheus and Eurydice ( Frederic Winkler and Rachel Wiese), Narcissus (Wesley Scott), and Eros and Psyche (Andy Agne and Sarah Gay) ... (Read more.)

Metamorphoses: An ethereal, mesmerizing journey into the bizarre world of myth and legend

By Ryan Johnson,
August 26, 2010

When watching Metamorphoses, you'll soon see that's it 's unlike anything else you've seen this year. The action happens not only in and around the pool, but also above it, with characters flowing in and out of the action from rings and ribbons which drop from the ceiling, resulting in some mesmerizing acrobatics and trapeze artistry. The characters don’t just tread the boards, but instead glide in and out in ritualistic moments, actors moving with grace and astonishing timing ... (Read more.)

Review: METAMORPHOSES -- Waiter! Waiter! There's a Vortex in my ZACH

By Spike Gillespie, Spike Speaks
August 15, 2010

Dave Steakley directs this one and the man loves visual spectacle. Boy is there plenty of it. If you've never seen Blue Lapis Light performing vertical, mid-air dances on long silk fabric, prepare to have your mind blown ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre presents 'Metamorphoses' with a swimming pool and splash zone

By Claire Canavan, Austin American-Statesman
August 5, 2010 

When "Metamorphoses" opens at ZACH Theatre tonight, audience members will be treated to a visual feast. Actors will dangle from blue silk in the air. Characters will be transformed by the gods into trees and birds. Oh, and everyone, including the audience, might get wet, as the entire show takes place in and around a swimming pool ... (Read more.)

That Obscure Object of Delight

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

People who finish your sentences for you. People who interrupt you when you're doing something important. People whose cell phones go off in the theatre. People who answer their cell phones when they go off in the theatre. Honestly, doesn't the rudeness of some people today make you want to just lock the door, close the blinds, and lose yourself in some bit of mindless entertainment? Man in Chair feels your pain ... (Read more.)

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE: A vibrant, lavish escape

By Ryan E. Johnson,

ZACH seems to be on a roll lately, cranking out a stream of hit plays that likes of which few other companies in town can boast, but this leaves them with heightened expectations for each production. How they possibly top the excellence of productions like Our Town and Becky’s New Car? It helps when the piece is the winner of five Tonys, including ones for Best Book and Best Score. It also helps when you bring in one of the most talked about talents in the country, Nick Demos, who just recently won the Tony award for his production of Memphis on Broadway (which, itself, won numerous Tonys) ... (Read more.)


By Spike Gillespie, "Spike Speaks"

You want to know a couple of surefire signs that a show is fan-f****g-tabulous? Here's one: as you sit in the theatre, you are so excited, so utterly thrilled, so giddy beyond giddy that it grows a little hard to concentrate because your brain keeps wanting to interrupt your focus on the show to make a mental list of all of the people you know who MUST see it ... (Read more.)


By Michael Meigs,

Run, don't walk, to the ZACH box office to get your first set of tickets for this sparkling evening of music, comedy and light-hearted fooling, a clever reincarnation of Broadway at its wonderful beginnings ... (Read more.)

Play-by-Play Play Commentary: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

By Katherine Kloc, The Daily Texan

The lights come up, and The Man in the Chair (Martin Burke) welcomes the audience into his cozy fantasy world of 1920s theater, which offers him a departure from the frustrations of the less exciting life he leads outside the bubble of his well-decorated apartment and treasured record collection ... (Read more.)

BECKY'S NEW CAR: ZACH Has a Hit on Their Hands with Dietz's Latest Comedy

By Ryan E. Johnson,

In Becky’s New Car, Dietz has balanced the elements in such excellent alignment, it’s a shock to watch it all unfold. With a tight, fresh script, a cast that seems a sampling of all the best talents in town, inspired lighting design, and even a rockin’ soundtrack, featuring all your favorite driving songs, Dietz has created one of the most successful and polished pieces to hit Austin stages this year ... (Read more.)


By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman

Directed by [Steven] Dietz, the ZACH production sparkles thanks in no small part to a cast with whip-smart comedic timing who manage the ever-escalating farcical action with charm and sincerity ... (Read more.)


By Spike Gillespie from jetBlue Magazine

Dietz's play, like the others I've seen Lauren in, is quite delicious. It's very, very funny, but not comedy for comedy's sake. See, it makes you think. On the other hand, it doesn't exist simply as a means for the playwright to flex his literary muscle and show us how smart he is. Instead, we get a very fine balance of laugh-think-laugh-think-laugh that carries through from start til finish. ... (Read more.)

From C.C. Babcock to Becky: The Many Faces of Lauren Lane

By Marilyn McCray, AustinWoman Magazine

"I couldn’t be distilled into some physical description and some 20-year-old writer’s idea of what a 40-year-old woman should be. There just aren’t that many opportunities for theater artists to grow and ripen." ... (Read more.)

A Year's Cheers: The nominees for the 2010 Austin Critics Table Awards

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

For the 18th year, an informal affiliation of local arts critics has recognized the year's most exceptional achievements in dance, classical music, the visual arts, and theatre ... (Read more.)

Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN at ZACH Theatre

By Spike Gillespie, jetBlue

I had the great fortune of catching Our Town on opening night. I couldn't believe how such purposefully simple, sparely elegant sets managed to convey such richness. Steakley pulls genuine, deep emotion from his talented cast, communicating the play's poignant message — that we must relish every moment of our too-short lives — loud and clear ... (Read more.)

Austin Arts Review: Our Town

By Barry Pineo, The Austin Chronicle

While all of the acting is energetic and committed, certain performances stand out, none more so than Jaston Williams as the Stage Manager. Wilder was one of the first writers to break the fourth wall that had been constructed by American realism, and he used his Stage Manager character as both a narrator and a philosopher, directly addressing the audience and demonstrating for us how Grover's Corners represents the essence of human experience. Steakley could not have made a better choice for the role than Williams ... (Read more.)

Review: ‘Our Town’ at ZACH Theatre

By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman

ZACH Theatre’s production of “Our Town” is creative and fun, and once again Steakley does an admirable job of connecting theatre to the local community ... (Read more.)

Arts Review: The Flaming Idiots

By Wayne Alan Brenner, The Austin Chronicle
February 26, 2010

Ah, yes, it's been six years since Zach Theatre regulars Pyro, Gyro, and Walter galumphed across the boards of the Kleberg Stage, and now they're back. "Reignited," as the ad copy goes, "and it feels so good." Well, we agree ... (Read more.)

Flaming Idiots Fly Again, Sans Flame

By  Kaitlin Ballard, Austin American-Statesman
February 26, 2010

Lack of combustion has not stopped the Idiots from performing an act mastered during the past 20 years. From making a sandwich with one's feet to shoving a 3-foot balloon down one's throat to making audience members kick an Idiot, the show is full of surprises. (Read more.)

Gifts of the Magi

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
December 4, 2009

Like the magi in the Christmas story, these three men come from different places but are making the same journey. What they seek is an Austin that's compassionate and just, and they follow a vision of community bonded through art, with their creative talents to offer as gifts ... (Read more.)

Barbara Chisholm: A Shining Star in Austin's Arts Constellation

By Terri Schexnayder, Austin Woman Magazine
December 2009

ZACH Theatre: First Look at a New Stage

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
October 30, 2009

So what will the third theatre in Zach Theatre's burgeoning South Lamar and Riverside compound look like? The company gave us a sneak peek last week with the release of two exterior images by Andersson-Wise Architects ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre unveils designs for new venue

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By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
October 19, 2009 

Zach Theatre will release designs today for a sleek 430-seat theater that will be surrounded by a tree-filled plaza and grounds. Slipped onto Zach’s site at South Lamar Boulevard and West Riverside Drive, the new building promises to help establish an arts park on Lady Bird Lake ... (Read more.)

The Laramie Project, 10 Years Later

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
October 9, 2009

A young man savagely beaten, then tied to a fence and left to die, which he did, sadly, six days later. If the murder of Matthew Shepard shocked you as deeply as it did so many around the world, you may find it difficult to believe that more than a decade has passed since that tragic incident occurred ... (Read more.)

ZACH Theatre: New Stages for New Stages

By Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle
August 7, 2009

What's the first rule of the stage? No matter what disasters may rain upon the theatre or your own head, the show must go on. And so it goes at Zach Theatre with regard to the company's long a-borning building expansion plans. The economic collapse may have put the kibosh on dream projects at other arts organizations, but the folks at Zach, like true troupers, are marching forward with theirs, with the results already in evidence ...  (Read more.)

‘Porgy’ Meets Katrina, and Life’s Not So Easy

By Ralph Blummenthal, The New York Times
January 29, 2008
“Summertime/And the livin’ is easy” takes on a whole new meaning when the time becomes the summer of 2005, and the storm-tossed denizens of Catfish Row find themselves stranded on the Katrina-flooded rooftops of New Orleans ... (Read more.)

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