Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Ground Floor Theatre Announces Regional Premiere of UNEXPECTED JOY


Unexpected Joy tells the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where change is in the air.

Ground Floor Theatre Announces Regional Premiere of UNEXPECTED JOY

Ground Floor Theatre has announced the Regional Premiere of Unexpected Joy with book and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated Bill Russell and music by Janet Hood running December 2-19, 2021. Directed by Co-Artistic Director Lisa Scheps, Unexpected Joy will replace Memphis in December for the 2021 season with in-person performances. Tickets on sale now at

"Janet Hood and I are delighted that Ground Floor Theatre will present our musical Unexpected Joy in December," said creator Bill Russell. "The show opened off-Broadway and in London not long before the pandemic hit, so this is one of the first productions since those premieres. In these highly divisive times, we hope Austin audiences will find common ground through music and laughter with our all-woman cast."

Unexpected Joy tells the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where change is in the air. Directed by Co-Artistic Director Lisa Scheps, the production team includes music direction by Kelsey Kimble; scenic design by Gary Thornsberry; lighting design by Jacqueline Sindelar; graphic design by Erica Moreno; and Remy Joslin as the production stage manager.

"'I have loved Bill Russell's work for a long time and with Unexpected Joy we now get a chance to work directly with him," said director and GFT Co-Artistic Director Lisa Scheps. "This show touches my heart in so many ways and GFT will bring that heart and soul of Bill and Janet's work to Austin audiences.

Casting and additional production team will be announced at a later date.

In modern-day Cape Cod, Joy, a baby boomer and proud hippie, is holding a memorial concert for the other half of her popular musical duo, Jump & Joy. When her tightly wound, conservative daughter and her sweet, rebellious granddaughter arrive from Oklahoma, sparks fly as one family seeks to find the common ground in their different values, dreams, and goals. A heartfelt and hilarious story that celebrates diversity and acceptance, Unexpected Joy weaves folk-rock, pop, and blues in bringing together a family that hasn't experienced true joy in decades.

Performances run December 2-19, 2021 at Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Road, Austin, TX at the corner of Springdale and Airport. Performances are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00PM and Sundays at 5:00PM. The "First Friday" performance on December 3 includes a reception. One Wednesday industry performance on December 8 at 8:00PM. Talkbacks with community partners will be held after certain performances with dates and partners to be announced shortly. Ground Floor Theatre believes in "theatre for everyone" regardless of ability to pay, so tickets are always "Pay What You Can". Suggested ticket prices are $25 for general admission and $40 for VIP. VIP seating includes a reserved seat, a glass of bubbly and the assurance of helping GFT keep the "Pay What You Can" policy. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

Performance Details:

Unexpected Joy | December 2-19, 2021

Book & Lyrics by Bill Russell | Music by Janet Hood

Directed by Lisa Scheps | Music Direction by Kelsey Kimble | Scenic Design by Gary Thornsberry | Lighting Design by Jacqueline Sindelar | Graphics Design by Erica Moreno

Related Articles View More Austin Stories

BroadwayWorld Store

More Hot Stories For You