Creativity and the arts are part of Austin’s beating heart and the city is home to world-class producers, designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians.
Austin is rich in performing arts and equally so in its performance arts venues. From majestic 3000 seat nationally recognized performance venues to intimate ensemble theatres, Austin’s fully rehearsed to educate and entertain you. Here is our list of Austin’s Best Performance Art Theatres.
Named for local benefactors Joe R. and Teresa Lonzano Long, it was built for and by the community with the shared goal of providing the city with a world-class home for theatrical and performing arts, fostering talent both local and national within it’s six venues. Opened in 2008, the center houses the founding residents of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin who are committed to providing the public with innovative and diverse programming. Alongside them the center is proud to host Broadway tours, concerts and comedy, whilst retaining a uniquely Austin air.
Included at The Long Center are:
Michael & Susan Dell Hall
Designed in the classic performance space tradition, the Michael & Susan Dell Hall is a grand concert Hall seating 2,442 people. The Parterre, Mezzanine, and Balcony levels wrap around the interior walls of the Hall to form boxes at each level. A commitment to acoustic excellence places the Michael & Susan Dell Hall in a prestigious group of performing arts centers across the United States.
Debra and Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre
With its flexible “black box” design, the Debra and Kevin Rollins Studio Theatre primarily serves local and regional artists and community arts groups by providing a space that can be adapted to suit specific and unique performance needs.
The ZACH Theatre produces Austin’s best live theatre for audiences of all ages. Musicals, plays, theatre for families, camps, classes, special events, and more. ZACH productions includes plays and musicals, and Theatre for Families. ZACH incubates original work, cultivating, commissioning, developing and producing new plays and musicals by playwrights and composers from Central Texas as well as internationally-acclaimed artists.
Esther’s Follies is an ensemble musical & sketch comedy theatre and an Austin landmark. Musical comedy skits, magic, and Austin’s favorite political satirical revue, with the bustling backdrop of Sixth Street on view through the stagefront window! Esther’s Follies offers a Texas-sized view of the world, satire pulled from the nation’s headlines.
Austin’s downtown venue for improvised theatre and comedy. Shows, classes and professional development. The Hideout is in the business of improvisational theatre. The production ensemble make up all the comedy, plays, and sketches on the spot (unless otherwise noted). Short form, long form, Chicago-Style, NY-Style, CA-Style, Austin-Style – they do it all (especially Austin-Style, it’s the specialty).
Hyde Park Theatre
Hyde Park Theatre produces southwest and world premieres of the best of the world’s new alternative theatre, as well as those classic works of alternative theater that still have the power to challenge modern audiences.
Hyde Park adds to the canon of American theatre by creating, developing, and producing new plays by local and national writers.
Hyde Park Theatre develops writers, designers, directors, and actors from within the Austin community, while at the same time producing works by exciting new and established voices of the alternative theatre scene.
Where: 511 W 43rd St
Phone: (512) 479-7529
The Paramount Theatre
Originally opened as a vaudeville house in 1915, the historic nonprofit Paramount Theatre continues to thrive as Austin’s grand entertainment palace. The Paramount hosts the beloved Summer Classic Film Series and is home to Austin’s red carpet world premieres including SXSW and the Austin Film Festival. The venue plays an integral role in the Austin music scene, hosting release parties, booking local talent and presenting touring acts. Paramount Education programs reach over 22,000 Central Texas students ever year, both in the theatres and in schools. The theatres also produces the Moontower Comedy Festival, one of the largest comedy festivals in the country.
Where: 713 Congress Ave
Phone: (512) 472-5470
Stateside at The Paramount Theatre
Built in 1935, the State Theatre stands next to the Paramount Theatre on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, Texas. At approximately 300 seats, The State boasts an intimate and comfortable setting for both film and live performances. The venue hosts the Moontower Comedy Festival (produced by the Paramount & State Theatres), SXSW Film Festival and hundreds of concerts, films and exhibitions by local nonprofit arts organizations annually that reflect the diverse spirit of the Austin community.
Where: 719 Congress Ave
Phone: (512) 472-5470
Texas Performing Arts
Formed in 1981, this performing arts center is operated by the University of Texas at Austin, and is spread across five venues that vary in size from small (at 200 seats) to the largest, Bass Concert Hall at 3,000 seats. As well as welcoming some of the biggest acts from across the country, the Center also fosters links with Latin America through music and culture, and often stages productions by Latin American stars that then go to travel across the States.
Texas Performing Arts Theatres include:
Bass Concert Hall
The Bass Concert Hall is part of Texas Performing Arts, a university-based arts center. Texas Performing Arts has become one of the main contributors to Texas’ cultural scene. The center provides a lot of support to students involved in performing arts, including an educational outreach program for the local community. Bass Concert Hall underwent a $14.7 million renovation in 2007, resulting in a world-class status for the venue, which hosts some of the biggest tours and provides top-class facilities.
Where: 2350 Robert Dedman Dr
Phone: (512) 471-2787
Bates Recital Hall
Specially designed for its excellent acoustics, Bates Recital Hall is a 700-seat venue that is capable of hosting everything from symphony orchestras, major choral presentations and concert bands to ensembles and solo recitals. The hall also houses the country’s largest tracker organ. Based on an 18th century Dutch design, the Visser-Rowland organ is three stories tall, weighs 24 tons and has 5,315 pipes. Bates Recital Hall serves both performances by professional visiting musicians and recitals by UT students and faculty members.
Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
The Oscar G. Brockett Theatre is an intimate setting of 244 seats. Utilized most frequently for student productions of the Department of Theatre & Dance, this theatre helps develop budding new talent into experienced performers as part of Texas Performing Art’s educational mission.
Located adjacent to Bass Concert Hall, the McCullough Theatre features 400 seats, a 30-foot proscenium stage and an orchestra pit equipped for 35 musicians. Host to The University of Texas Opera student productions and other Texas Performing Arts events, this versatile space accommodates chamber music, opera, drama, dance, solo recitals and more.
B. Iden Payne Theatre
The 500-seat B. Iden Payne Theatre provides the perfect setting for plays and dance performances, allowing audiences a close-up look at the action onstage. Named for acclaimed University of Texas teacher and director, Ben Iden Payne, this facility not only stages productions by internationally celebrated theatre companies and dance troupes, but also productions by students of the UT Department of Theatre & Dance.
The Vortex Theatre
Widely-recognized as the pioneering leader in Austin’s alternative theatre scene, VORTEX Repertory Company was founded in 1988 by University of Texas at Austin graduate students Bonnie Cullum, Steve Bacher, Lurana Donnels O’Malley, and Sean T.C. O’Malley. Forged to create relevant theatrical work and push boundaries of form and content, The VORTEX helped change the palate of what was possible in Austin’s theatre scene.
Where: 2307 Manor Rd #2135
Phone: (512) 478-5282
Austin Scottish Rite Theater
Austin Scottish Rite Theater is an Austin gem – a fully operational modern theater thriving within a stunning historic landmark. SRT is Austin’s oldest theater, erected in 1871, the same year Austin became the capitol of Texas. We provide quality shows for all ages, with enriching programming for children. For almost a century and a half, innumerable artists and events of all kinds have graced our venue, from the operas and circus trapeze acts that wowed crowds during the 19th Century to the live world music and multimedia children’s programming that delight Austinites today.
Where: 207 W 18th St
Phone: (512) 472-5436