Seeking Austin Community Theatre Scene
February 26, 2014 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Here in New England, there are tons of community theatre organizations of all sizes & quality levels; almost every town has a "Springfield Community Players" or something like that. I can think of dozens within a half hour of my home in MA. A theatre friend has moved to Austin, TX, and can't seem to find any such organizations at all within at least an hour radius.

1) Anyone know if there is a well-hidden community (not professional) theatre scene in Austin / Cedar Park / Round Rock?
2) Is the ubiquitous community theatre scene perhaps not as widespread as I'd imagined? Is there a different way for non-professionals to get involved in music theatre in other parts of the US?
posted by jeffjon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
I found this page, which specifically lists several community theaters (scroll down to "The Independents."
posted by cooker girl at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2014

I recall there being a Gilbert and Sullivan Society, but I don't know how active it is or how rigorous the audition process is. Here is their website.
posted by backwards compatible at 10:54 AM on February 26, 2014

What is your friend interested in doing? Acting? Or backstage work? These can make a difference, as Austin - like pretty much every city to some extent - is filled with actors looking for gigs. There are considerably less people vying for carpentry work, unless it's a union job.

Either way though, you'll find that the Austin non-pro theater scene is pretty open. If you look at that link that cooker girl posted, check out Salvage Vanguard. They have ties to some really good theaters in Texas that I've worked with (including the Undermain Theater and Shakespeare Dallas, both in Dallas) and since they're not union theaters, they'll always take help if your friend is dependable, meaning he/she can show up on time and sober.

A couple of other places he/she might look is the Shakespeare Festival at Winedale (which does the bard natch, but also other relatively large productions, some musical, some not,) and there's a pretty good children's theater working out of the Zach Scott.
posted by nushustu at 11:41 AM on February 26, 2014

I had found that Austin theatres link as well -- unfortunately, of the 16 groups on the list, 12 are defunct or otherwise not findable, and other than the G&S society, none are anything like what we know as community theatre around here.

She's a singer & actress, with a day job. Seems to me like most of the traditional theatre productions in the area are full-time gigs, not what we think of as community theatre. She's looking more for "audition to be in the local all-amateur production of Les Mis / Chicago / Beauty and the Beast" etc.

Salvage Vanguard seems different but pretty cool; also checking out the Zilker and Austin Theatre Project.

Thanks to all for the suggestions & links so far!
posted by jeffjon at 12:31 PM on February 26, 2014

There's the Sam Bass Community Theatre Association in Round Rock. I did some set construction for a production of A Lion In Winter years ago.
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 1:16 PM on February 26, 2014

I know nothing about it personally, but my partner saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Georgetown Palace Theater, which he said was a pretty good production, and they have open auditions. (I know it's about 30 minutes outside of Austin, but I don't know the area well enough to tell whether it's in the right direction or not.)
posted by Neely O'Hara at 1:27 PM on February 26, 2014

I've been an Austin for awhile and there doesn't seem to be quite the "traditional" community theatre scene here that there is other places.

Vanguard is a good place to start, and the Zilker shows in the summer are good for popular productions of classic shows.

There are some "non-traditional" theatre type groups that seem be a more lively, if she'd be up for that. There is a great improv scene at Coldtowne for example.
posted by pantarei70 at 1:52 PM on February 26, 2014

Austin is a big improv town. Not sure about traditional community theater. But it couldn't hurt to swing by the Hideout Theater or the New Movement or, as pantarei70 suggests, Coldtowne, to ask them about the rest of the theater scene.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 4:15 PM on February 26, 2014

Vortex Reperatory Theater
posted by johngumbo at 9:58 PM on February 26, 2014

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