2017-2018 Season, Austin Playhouse

(Austin Playhouse)Austin Playhouse announces a 2017-2018 five-play season that promises laughter, adventure, romance, Austin premieres, Texas tales, and a tribute to musical theatre.

The season kicks off with Austin playwright Steven Dietz’s This Random World, a new poignant comedy about missed connections followed by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, an effervescent holiday story inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Following will be a revival of the Texas classic by Mark Harelik, The Immigrant, and the beloved romantic piece of historical fiction, Shakespeare in Love, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall. The season will conclude with Curtains, a hilarious backstage murder mystery musical with a book by Rupert Holmes, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander.


In addition, Austin Playhouse will treat Austin families to two free theatre for young audiences (TYA) productions. The TYA season includes a charming adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic story The Selfish Giant written by Kristin Walter with music and lyrics by Larisa Bryski, followed by Miriam Gonzales’ s The Smartest Girl in the World, a heartwarming new play about family and the bravery of a third grader.


In the spring, Austin Playhouse’s second new play festival will run April 26 – 29, 2018. The play submission process will begin in September, and 3 – 4 scripts will be chosen to receive professional staged readings by Austin Playhouse company members and local actors.


Five-Play Subscription Series


This Random World by Steven Dietz

Directed by Don Toner

September 1 – 24, 2017

We want to believe that serendipity brings us together, but is that just a myth? Mining the comedy of missed connections, This Random World is a funny, intimate, and heartbreaking play by local playwright Steven Dietz that explores the lives that may be happening just out of reach of our own.


Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

Directed by Lara Toner Haddock

December 1 – 23, 2017

In this charming sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the bookish middle child of the Bennet family must learn to be the heroine of her own story. This unexpected holiday romance, packed with beloved classic characters and co-written by the playwright of Silent Sky, is a treat for Jane Austen aficionados and new-comers alike!


The Immigrant by Mark Harelik

Directed by Don Toner

January 5 – 28, 2018

Written by a Texas playwright, The Immigrant is based on the true story of a young Russian-Jewish couple who entered America through the port of Galveston. When a local couple befriends them, religion meets religion, culture meets culture, fear meets fear, and love meets love.


Shakespeare in Love, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted by Lee Hall

Directed by Lara Toner Haddock and Don Toner

March 23 - April 22, 2018

Struggling young playwright William Shakespeare is tormented by writer’s block until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps, daughter of a wealthy merchant, whose fiery passion for poetry and drama leaves her secretly longing to be an actor. Under the veil of secrecy, Will and Viola’s passionate love affair becomes the basis of the very play he is writing – Romeo and Juliet. Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage antics, this new adaptation of Shakespeare in Love delivers a delightfully crowd-pleasing, deeply romantic, and highly adventurous tale of love and drama in Renaissance-era England.


Curtains written by Rupert Holmes, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander

Directed by Don Toner

May 25 – June 24, 2018

The “whodunit” backstage musical by the Broadway powerhouses behind Chicago and Cabaret unfolds at Boston's Colonial Theatre in 1959. When the talentless leading lady of their newest musical Robbin' Hood of the Old West mysteriously dies on stage, the entire cast and crew are suspects. It’s up to Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, musical-loving police detective and amateur actor, to solve the case and save the show.


Theatre for Young Audiences Season


The Selfish Giant adapted by Kristin Walter with music and lyrics by Larisa Bryski

September 11 – 24, 2017

Based on the classic fairytale by Oscar Wilde, Kristin Walter and Larisa Bryski’s charming musical play tells the story of a Giant who builds a wall around his garden so the local children can’t play in it after school. To his astonishment, the walls also keep out spring, and while life begins to blossom everywhere, the North Wind, Hail, Frost, and Snow continue to dance about through his beautiful garden. It's up to the new girl in town to take down the fence and teach the Giant a lesson in friendship.


The Smartest Girl in the World by Miriam Gonzales

April 2 – 14, 2018

This heartfelt, warm, and witty play tells the story of Leo and Lizzy Martinez, latch-key children of hardworking parents. Leo is convinced that winning a local TV grade school quiz show and becoming “the smartest kid in the world” can change things for his family. But when his parents refuse to let Leo participate, Lizzy decides to step up and rescue the plan—and her family—along the way.


Austin Playhouse

Austin Playhouse is a professional theatre preparing to start its 18th season. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Don Toner and Artistic Director Lara Toner Haddock, Austin Playhouse has grown from a three-play season on the campus of Concordia University, to a year-round operation producing an average of eight plays a year. Austin Playhouse is currently performing at the Austin Community College Highland campus. The theatre has recently been renovated to include an expanded lobby, rehearsal hall, and restroom facilities.