unsplash-logoFlorian Klauer

Hyde Park Theatre's 2020 Summer Reading Series

August 25 -
September 29, 2020
While our physical space might be dark, theater is alive at Hyde Park Theatre. Beginning August 25, in association with ScriptWorks, we will produce six Zoom workshop readings in six weeks. The series is the culmination of HPT’s inaugural writers group, a year-long process with five local playwrights to develop new work.

Reservation information will be available here soon.

Raul Garza’s play Running Bear, HPT’s selection for the summer new play workshop, will be included in the series as well. Now in its fourth year, the new play workshop’s public reading was postponed from this summer due to Covid-19.

The reading series will employ over forty Austin-area theater professionals, prioritizing diversity in casting. An online talkback will follow each reading. The shows are free, but donations are welcome.

Although theater companies throughout Austin remain economically destabilized, Hyde Park Theatre’s support for playwrights and commitment to new works is unchanged. The HPT writers group will reconvene in September with a new cohort of playwrights.

The Tuesday reading series schedule is as follows:

  • Aug 25 Piper, by Briandaniel Oglesby, directed by Madge Darlington
  • Sept 1 I Wanna Be a Fucking Princess, by Jenny Connell Davis, directed by Liz Fisher [NOTE: This workshop is closed to the public due to Equity rules.]
  • Sept 8 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Rita Anderson, directed by Simone Alexander
  • Sept 15 Running Bear, by Raul Garza, directed by Lily Wolff (HPT new play workshop)
  • Sept 22 Look Back to Where I was Sitting and I’m Gone, by Aimee Gonzalez, directed by Jenny Lavery
  • Sept 29 Falling Down the Mountain of Great Storms, by Greg Romero, directed by Andrea Hart

2020 HPT New Play Workshop Winner:

Raul Garza is an Austin-based playwright who has drawn acclaim for telling stories rich with authenticity and sense of place. His full-length play Fantasmaville received the National Latino Playwriting Award, and earned a B. Iden Payne Award nomination for Outstanding Original Script. His short play "MyHEB" garnered FronteraFest Best of Fest accolades. Raul’s full-length plays include Sanctuary, Sinners in the Garden, Confessions of a Mexpatriate, Pig. A Requiem for the '90s, The Last Mixtape, There and Back, and El. His short story "In the Room" won the 2014 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest, and "LeBaron" was cited for Honorable Mention by the 2014 Texas Observer Short Story Contest. When not writing, Raul transcends with kundalini yoga, devours pop culture, and serves as creative director of TKO Advertising.

HPT 2019-2020 Writers Group Playwrights:

Rita Anderson is a published and award-winning writer with an MFA Poetry and an MA in Playwriting. Rita is Dramatists Guild Regional Representative (AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO), and she went on scholarship to The O’Neill. Her play Frantic is the Carousel was the National Partners American Theatre nominee, and Rita won the Ken Ludwig Playwriting Award, the top national prize from The Kennedy Center, for “Best Body of Work.” She has had over a hundred productions and as many literary publications. Early Liberty, Final Conversations, and The 27 Club, internationally published at www.offthewallplays.com, are on their “Best Selling Plays” list, and Rita had a playwriting residency with HBMG Foundation at Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT), but the highlight of Rita’s emerging career so far was sitting on a playwriting panel with Christopher Durang. Rita was Poetry Editor of the literary journal at University of New Orleans, and both of her poetry books--The Entropy of Rocketman (Finishing Line Press) and Watched Pots (A Lovesong to Motherhood)--have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has won the Houston Poetry Festival, the Gerreighty Prize, the Robert F. Gibbons Poetry Award, the Cheyney Award, and an award from the Academy of American Poets. Contact Rita her website.

Jenny Connell Davis is a playwright, performer and screenwriter. Her play The Dragon Play premiered with Shrewd Productions in Austin, has been performed at small theaters around the country, is published by Dramatists Play Service, and has been optioned for film. Her play Scientific Method was developed at Ars Nova, Chance Theatre, a Ruth Easton Lab through the Playwrights’ Center, and at the Rivendell Theatre in Chicago. It premiered at Rivendell in October of 2018. Other plays include End of Shift, the first of a trilogy set in her hometown on the coast of Maine (developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and The Playwrights Center); Goddess of Mercy (developed at Icicle Creek, ATC Chicago, and The Playwrights Center); and As I See It. Jenny is a recipient of the NET/PWC ensemble collaboration grant and has received funding from the Michener Center for Writers, Scriptworks Austin, and Ars Nova. Her plays have been developed with the ARACA group, Asolo Rep, ACT Seattle, Chance Theatre, and Space at Ryder Farm. She has been twice-nominated for the PONY and nominated for a variety of awards, including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Heideman. Jenny has an MFA from UT Austin and is a former member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, an Affiliated Writer and former Core Writer with the Playwrights’ Center, and was the 2014-2015 Hot Seat Resident Playwright at Baltimore’s Center Stage. She is a proud member of ScriptWorks and Chicago’s Gift Theatre Company. She currently lives in Texas with her family.

Aimee Gonzalez is a working playwright based in Austin, Texas. She's been writing plays since she was a youngster, and has been humbled to have them produced locally by ScriptWorks, Hyde Park Theatre, and Capital T. Aimee has her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and is a past participant in the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive in D.C. She was honored to win the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission in 2011. Aimee is thrilled to be writing again after taking a seven year hiatus to focus on family. Three kids later, she now has plenty of material for a good dysfunctional family comedy.


Briandaniel Oglesby writes some plays for teenagers and some plays for mature audiences. His work has been read or developed at JAW (Portland Center Stage), Playwrights' Week at the Lark, B Street Theatre, Cap Stage, SF Playhouse, Queensbury (Houston), Emory University, Ground and Field (UC Davis), James Madison University, and the Kennedy Center. His Brothers Sisters, Santos was named as one of the Best Unproduced Latin@ Plays by 50PP. His adaptation of The Jungle Book is available via Stage Rights. He now runs a theatre department at Skybridge Academy, where he develops collaborative techniques for new play development and writes plays for his students. He believes "Theatre for teens should be awesome--it should be art!"

Greg Romero is originally from Louisiana. His plays, site-specific projects, and sound-art collaborations have been presented in performance spaces, found spaces, and through the airwaves of the United States as well as in Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Jamaica. Romero was selected as the first-ever ArtsEdge Resident and is one of three playwrights to inaugurate the Philadelphia Dramatists Center/Plays & Players Playwriting Residency. He is an alum of the WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, The Last Frontier Theater Conference, The William Inge Theater Festival, and The Midwest Dramatists Conference. His works are published by Heinemann Press, YouthPLAYS, and Playscripts, Inc. He received an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Texas at Austin where he held the James A. Michener Fellowship. He currently teaches at Austin Community College, where his students bring wolves to class. He loves being outside.

Hyde Park Theatre is committed to developing new work from a diverse array of playwrights.

Hyde Park Theatre is located at 511 W. 43rd Street. Covered off-street parking for the patrons of HPT is available during performances in the lot at 4315 Guadalupe Street, just north of The Parlor. You can drive through The Parlor's parking lot to reach it. Evening HPT parking also available at the Hyde Park Church of Christ on the northeast corner of 43rd & Avenue B. We are grateful to them both for their generosity.

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This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

HPT is also funded by grants from The Still Water Foundation and Tocker Foundation.

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