Two World Premieres & More Set for Ground Floor Theatre 2023 Season

The season features Sanctuary City, Jack and Aiden, and more.

Austin Music Nonprofit Beat 4 Beat to Host Fundraiser After Recent Burglaries

Ground Floor Theatre has announced the titles for the 2023 season with thought provoking new works and a commissioned musical giving Austin audiences two world premieres and an Austin premiere. Season memberships are available now at

Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok brings us the powerful story of two young DREAMers who fight to stay in America, the only country they know as home. Poignant, timely, and highly theatrical, Sanctuary City illuminates the triumphs and challenges lifelong friends face, and how much they are willing to risk for each other when they have everything to lose.

Originally previewed during the pandemic for Broadway Virtual, the new play by Miami playwrights Vanessa Garcia and Jake Cline, Jenna & the Whale is about life, death, and who we are as a community of individuals. It's about the things we see and what we can't, the things we know and the things we struggle to understand.

Commissioned by Ground Floor Theatre for the 2023 Season, Jack and Aiden is a new musical looking at love through loss, identity, technology, and fear. This relational drama musical taps into being vulnerable but safe and marks GFT's first commissioned work.

"Our 2023 season gives me goosebumps," exclaims Co-Artistic Director Lisa Scheps. "With our new 'Directors Rising' series, recent University of Texas at Austin Grad and new director Andrea Nuñez will direct Sanctuary City under my mentorship. This new series aims to give first-time directors experience helming a production with the support and mentorship of the GFT staff and producers. It makes me proud to see Ground Floor Theatre's mission in action and this season proves it!"

2023 Season

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Sanctuary City | May 19 - June 3, 2023

by Martyna Majok | Directed by Andrea Nuñez

In post-9/11 Newark, NJ, two teenagers who were brought to America as children became one another's sanctuaries from harsh circumstances. When G becomes naturalized, she and B hatch a plan to marry so he may legally remain in the country and pursue the future he imagines for his life. Bit as time hurdles on and complications mount, the young friends find that this act challenges and fractures the closest relationship either have ever had.

Sanctuary City is part of the Director's Rising Project, a mentoring project for new directors.

ABOUT Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok (she/her) was born in Bytam, Poland and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Cost of Living. Other plays include Sanctuary City, Queens, Ironbound, which have been produced across American and international stages. Awards include The Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin Hadley Danks Award for Exceptional Playwrighting, The Hull-Warriner Award, The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Greenfield Prize, as the first female recipient in drama, The Champions of Change Award from the NYC' Mayor's Office, The Francesca Primus Prize, two Jane Chambers Playwrighting Awards, The Lanford Wilson Prize, The Lilly Award's Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles McArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play from The Helen Hayes Awards, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwrighting Award, ANPF Women's Invitational Prize, David Calicchio Prize, Global Age Project Prize, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, NNPN Smith Prize for Political Playwrighting, and Merage Foundation Fellowship for the American Dream. Martyna studied at Yale School of Drama, Julliard, University of Chicago, and Jersey public schools. She was a 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence, the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at Lark Play Development Center, and a 2018-2019 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University. Martyna is currently writing a musical adaptation of The Great Gatsby, with music by Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett, and developing TV and film for HBO, Plan B, and Pastel.

Jenna & the Whale | August 11 - 26, 2023


by Vanessa Garcia and Jake Cline | Directed by Lisa Scheps

Following a surfing accident off the coast of Dunes Beach, Florida, Jenna wakes to find herself in the company of a young man named Jonah. He tells her that they are inside the belly of a whale, that he has been here for three years and that there is no chance of escape. Jenna refuses to accept that, and she becomes determined to free them both. Meanwhile, as members of Jenna's hometown worry about her fate, an unexpected visitor arrives to challenge the bonds and beliefs of this already fractured community.

Written by Miami playwrights Vanessa Garcia (Amparo: Sweet Goats & Blueberry Señoritas and #Graced) and Jake Cline (Purple Hearts), Jenna & the Whale is about life, death, and who we are in a community as individuals. It's about things we see and what we can't, the things we know and the things we grapple to understand.

ABOUT Vanessa Garcia

Vanessa Garcia is a Cuban-American multidisciplinary writer -- screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and journalist/essayist -- who has written and worked for Sesame Street, Caillou, and other shows. She's the author of the novel, White Light, which won an International Latino Book Award and was one of NPRs best books of 2015. Her first Picture Book for children, What the Bread Says, launched October 1, 2022. Theatrically, she's the author of The Amparo Experience, an immersive hit that People en Español called "Miami's Hottest Ticket." Other plays include: Sweet Goats & Blueberry Señoritas, which she co-wrote with Richard Blanco and #Graced, which premiers this year at Zoetic Stage in Spring, 2023. Her journalism, essays and thought pieces have appeared in The LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, National Review, ESPN, The Hill, Catapult,, and numerous other publications. She holds a PhD from the University of California Irvine in Creative Nonfiction. Her dissertation focused on Cuba.

ABOUT Jake Cline

Jake Cline is a Miami-based playwright, literary critic and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, Outside magazine and other national outlets. A member of PEN America and the National Book Critics Circle, Cline in 2020 was a finalist for the NBCC's Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. He was a member of the 2019-2021 class of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs' Playwright Development Program, which presented a public reading of his play "The Mountains." By day, Cline works as publications director at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. He lives in Miami with his wife, Yvette, and rescue beagle, Doug.

Jack and Aiden | December 1 -16, 2023


Ground Floor Theatre commissioned musical by Lane Michael Stanley and Tova Katz

Jack and Aiden is a small-cast relationship drama musical. What starts as a no-strings encounter on a gay hookup app slowly becomes more, despite the trepidations of Aiden, a transgender man who is just starting to date again after the death of his fiancé. When Jack's recovery from meth addiction starts to falter, it triggers Aiden's fears and the two of them have to figure out how they might love each other in a way that is challenging yet soothing, vulnerable yet safe.

ABOUT Lane Michael Stanley

Lane Michael Stanley is a transgender director, playwright, filmmaker, and producer, and the co-founder of Secretly Famous Productions, along with Lowell Blank. Their award-winning debut feature film ADDICT NAMED HAL played at festivals including Austin Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Dances with Films. Their short film UNTIE played at Outfest, Toronto Short Film Festival, aGLIFF/Prism Film Festival, and more, and their plays have been produced and developed by 19 theaters in 8 states and Australia. They have been a commissioned artist and/or fellow with Lambda Literary, Ground Floor Theatre, Art with Impact, and coLAB Arts and hold an MFA in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.

ABOUT Tova Katz

Tova Katz is a queer, genre-bending lyricist-composer, writer and performer. She's performed across NYC with her musical work featured at La Mama, Ars Nova, 54 Below and Joe's Pub. Select LA credits include the west coast premiere of her original award-winning solo dark musical comedy See You at the Funeral! (Broadwater Main Stage, 2019); she composed and music directed a reading of Menstruation: A Period Piece by Miranda Rose Hall (Center Theatre Group, We the Women Collective, 2020), with a full production set for 2022 with Big Little Theater Company. Last year, Tova wrote an irrevevrent, queer contemporary Western short musical film called The Dina Project (The Barn, Jer Adrianne Lelliott), gearing up to film this fall. Tova is currently developing the new musical Beneath the Bowtie with collaborators Alexandra Kalinowski and Katie Lindsay in the Geffen Writers' Room. Imagination saves her life every day.

SEASON PASSES: Season passes are available for the 2023 season. Season passes are a way for patrons to support GFT's Pay What You Can policy by paying a bit more for tickets. Passes can be used in any way you like - from all tickets for one show or spread them around for the season. Season passes for the 2023 Season (three shows) are now available at $150 per pass. For more information or to purchase a season pass please visit


Review: THE BAKERS WIFE at The Alchemy Theatre Photo
Review: THE BAKER'S WIFE at The Alchemy Theatre

Gifting yourself with the talent that makes up this cast is worth the visit, though one must consider the evening will be long based on pacing issues within the show. Nonetheless, it is easy to see the promise in Alchemy Theatre’s production of THE BAKER’S WIFE.

BIG FISH at Austin Playhouse Photo
BIG FISH at Austin Playhouse

Special Offer: Heartwarming musical BIG FISH opens next Friday at Austin Playhouse!

Austin Music Nonprofit Beat 4 Beat to Host Fundraiser After Recent Burglaries Photo
Austin Music Nonprofit Beat 4 Beat to Host Fundraiser After Recent Burglaries

There are various means of supporting Beat 4 Beat including donating beginner guitars, keyboards, laptops, amps, etc. for the children in the program, donating funds for the organization to purchase new equipment, or attending Beat 4 Beat's first fundraising event of the year next Thursday, June 1, 2023 at The Belmont.


The Adderley School celebrates 30 years of empowering kids and spreading joy at Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre on May 27th, where three generations of Adderley School alumni will unite onstage to pay homage to their alma matter and loving founder Janet Adderley. In this interview with Broadway World, Ms. Adderley opens up about her journey, her unique approach to teaching theatre, and the work her foundation is doing to open opportunities for under-resourced communities across the country.

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