Penfold Theatre Company Announces 2021-22 Season

Season 14 brings new initiatives, reimagined classic stories, and a new play commission series.

By: Jul. 30, 2021
Penfold Theatre Company Announces 2021-22 Season

Penfold Theatre Company (Penfold) has announced the titles and dates for the 2021-22 Season. Season 14 will look at the reimagining of classic stories, bringing two "Great Plays in Great Places" productions, the inclusion of Central Texas Philharmonic, and a world premiere for the first in a new play commission series.

"During the shutdown, we took a long, hard look at the work Penfold was doing and asked how we could take it to the next level when we had the opportunity to re-emerge," said Producing Artistic Director Ryan Crowder. "The result was a laser focus on reimagining classic stories for a modern, Central Texas audience - something we've been doing for years but without near this intentionality. We're unrolling a number of new initiatives in line with this refined artistic direction, including a five-year series of new play commissions to launch this year. I'm proud to say, 2021-22 is one of our most ambitious seasons to date!"

The 2021-22 Season includes a new apprentice program in partnership with Texas State University, a collaboration with the Central Texas Philharmonic, and the first world premiere in a series of new play commissions. The new play commissioning series challenges five local playwrights to engage a different "classic" story and create an original work that models Penfold's values of empathy and hope. Penfold will produce their world premieres, one per year, over the next five seasons.

Additional initiatives include the "Great Plays in Great Places" series, presenting stories in conversation with and performed in unique places across Austin and the region; continued seasons of plays and chamber musicals giving new life to old stories; and a deepened commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with an integrated strategic plan.

Theatre Guild on Air

Various directors are Marcus McQuirter, Carl Gonzalez, and Rosalind Faires

September 5 - October 3, 2021

From 1945 to 1963, The Theatre Guild on the Air brought Broadway plays to the American airwaves. Now from The Theatre Guild on the Air Collection at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas, these radio scripts get new life in a series of live, free readings hosted by Penfold. Performed in a live radio show format by local actors and foley sound artists, audiences will hear the original Broadway broadcasts given new life. Featuring Shakespeare's Macbeth, F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, and William Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Each series will take place at Austin's historic Neill-Cochran House and will host a post-show discussion with audience and actors.

*Part of the Great Plays in Great Places Series

A Marvelous Party | 10th Annual Gala

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Lone Oak Barn

Penfold's tenth annual fundraising gala sparkles with elegance, featuring a mouthwatering meal by Chef Vikki Bowen; a swinging line-up of cabaret selections as sung by some of Central Texas' favorite musical theatre performers; and a host of others ways to play and laugh for a magical evening. All proceeds support Penfold's "reawakening" after a year of shutdown.

A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast

By Nathan Jerkins

Directed by Rosalind Faires

December 9 - 19, 2021

The players at the fictional KPNF radio station return to put their stamp on another holiday classic: Miracle on 34th Street. As they bring to life the entire story through dozens of character voices and live foley sound effects, you'll be reintroduced to Kris Kringle, the charming Macy's mascot put on trial for claiming to be the real Santa Claus. Besieged by commercialism and disillusionment, winning the trial and restoring his friends' faith in the most precious, intangible parts of Christmas will require Kris to perform nothing short of a miracle!

*Part of the Great Plays in Great Places Series


By Peter Shaffer

Directed by Liz Fisher

March 24 - April 9, 2022

Salieri, the religiously devoted court composer of the Austrian Emperor, still waits for the heavenly gift he most desires: true musical brilliance. Then Mozart, a crass and rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius and seized by his obsessive jealousy, Salieri begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.

*Includes a performance with the Central Texas Philharmonic.

A War of the Worlds

By Jarrett King

From works by H.G. Wells & Orson Welles

Directed by Matrex Kilgore

June 2 - 18, 2022

Both comic and gripping, A War of the Worlds re-images Orson Welles and his radio troupe, The Mercury Theatre, as a group of black artists fighting to hold their place at the CBS radio studio. In the hope of securing a critical corporate sponsorship, Welles orchestrates a last-ditch ratings stunt that causes national panic and secures their undeniable - if infamous - place in media history. In this world-premiere production, Austin-born playwright Jarrett King combines careful historical research and savvy creative license to connect Welles' Depression Era world with our own - touching on a wide range of topics, including race relations, fake news, the ethics of media technologies, and "invasion" to name a few - while simultaneously enthralling us with the sci-fi thriller that became an instant cultural icon.

*First world premiere in the new play commission series.

Information about productions and season memberships is available at:

Membership and Ticketing Information:

Memberships are available now for the 2021-22 season for three shows (A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast, Amadeus, and A War of the Worlds). Memberships are the best way to receive priority seating, flexibility in scheduling, discounts on additional seating, no fees and more all while supporting the arts and many programs. Memberships are $75 and available HERE. Single tickets on sale will be announced at a later date.