Austin Playhouse just announced their new 2022-2023 Season, and there are some real potential winners in the lineup, including a topical world premiere, an world-renowned drama, an acclaimed comedy, and a musical adaptation of one of the most beloved films of the 2000s. Let’s take a quick look at each of the works announced thus far, all taking place at Austin Playhouse’s interim West Campus location at 405 West 22nd:

The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong, November 18, 2022 – December 18, 2022
By Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields
Directed by Ben Wolfe


For those who have been clawing their way along to create theater during these troubling times, Lewis, Sayer, and Shields’ award-winner is the perfect chaotic catharsis, as we find The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society trying to open their latest project, The Murder at Haversham Manor, when a cavalcade of misfortunes befalls the beloved company. It’s fun, lighthearted fair, full of pratfalls and sight gags, sure to send audiences to the aisles, as there’s a reason the play has become and international sensation, spinning off a into a pair of TV specials and their own series on the BBC. Austin Playhouse said of the play: “After over two years of pivoting, rescheduling, and having just about everything that could go wrong in the theatre world happen, we thought we’d lean into that chaos and have fun with this play. But because we don’t want to stay there too long, we’re just doing the one-act version!”

Nightbird March 3 – 25, 2023
By R. Eric Thomas
Directed by Marcus McQuinter

In this World Premier work, an artist buys back her family home in Baltimore which she and her brother attempt to refurbish, all as her brother plans a Juneteenth celebration in the park nearby. Next to all this stands an empty pedestal, where until recently stood the statue of a Confederate general, a symbol of troubled past of this still-troubled neighborhood. Can something meaningful grow out of this place of weeds and police sirens? Can these two young people use this rare opportunity to change their community for the better? Nightbird has the potential to bring something truly powerful to the Austin stages, with topical themes and an important message, and I for one will be sure to grab a seat opening weekend. From Austin Playhouse themselves: “This play nails the difficult task of being wildly funny and thought-provoking, with three fantastic characters bringing the topical story to life. We’re incredibly excited to introduce Austin to this piece and Mr. Thomas’ work.”

Indecent, April/May 2023
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Lara Toner Haddock

One of the most celebrated plays of the previous decade finally finds its way to Austin Stages. Paul Vogel’s tale of censorship and prejudice, homophobia and anti-Semitism, set against the 1923 production of Sholem Ach’s “God of Vengeance”, turned heads and earned massive praise when it was released in 2015, and it’s a delight that Austin audiences will finally get to see for themselves what’s set the world so afire. Bound to be one of the standouts of what could be a banner year for Austin Playhouse, Indecent may just be the one to watch come Spring 2023. Austin Playhouse has this to say of the production: “Indecent celebrates the love, magic, and hope of the theatre even in the face of insurmountable adversity.”

Big Fish, June/July 2023
Book by John August, Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Who doesn’t love a big summer musical? With book by the acclaimed writer of Tim Burton’s film adaptation, and music and lyrics by award-winning musician behind The Wild Party, John and Jen, and the Addams Family musical, this adaptation of Daniel Wallace’s novel, and subsequently Burton’s film, of the same name, promises to bring the energy and heartwarming charm of the original to the Austin stage. Though a lot is going to depend on casting, and a steady hand to steer the ship, this may just the fun summer jaunt Austin audiences will be wanting this time next year. Austin Playhouse had this to say: “Big Fish is a story overflowing with heart and humor. We’re producing the intimate 12-actor version that’s perfect for our company. It’s an extraordinary musical that celebrates the magic of theatre and the power of a great story.”

Austin Playhouse has hit some bumps along the road in recent years (as indeed, have all theaters in Austin, and around the world), but past seasons have shown us that they are a company that produces quality work, and there is potential for so many gems in their upcoming season that worth keeping our eyes on, and Austin Playhouse promises even more surprises are forthcoming. For more information, visit their website at Austinplayhouse.com.

Artwork is courtesy of Austin Playhouse.

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