unsplash-logoFlorian Klauer

Hyde Park Theatre's 2020 Summer Reading Series

now online
for one week only
November 10-17, 2020
While our physical space might be dark, theater is alive at Hyde Park Theatre. Beginning August 25, 2020, in association with ScriptWorks, we produced five YouTube workshop readings in five weeks. The series was the culmination of HPT’s inaugural writers group, a year-long process with five local playwrights to develop new work.

And now you have one more chance to see four of our five summer reading series shows on the HPT YouTube Channel. They'll be up for one week only, November 10-17, 2020. The shows are free, but donations are welcome. Direct links, descriptions of the shows, and programs available below!

The original Tuesday reading series schedule was as follows:

8pm CDT, Tuesday, August 25: Piper, by Briandaniel Oglesby, directed by Madge Darlington: After a one-night stand with some hot marketing twunk during South By, Piper turns a leftover pair of underwear into a puppet, which a fairy drag mother brings to life. This queer, comedic take on Pinocchio is about parenthood, aging, and puppets. Download a program for more information. Available online through November 17, 2020.

8pm CDT, Tuesday, September 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.]

8pm CDT, Tuesday, September 8: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Rita Anderson, directed by Simone Alexander.
Four women.
A rehearsal room.
And a cold case
About America’s first serial killer.
A play that looks at one case through thirteen different lenses.
It deals with grief, the creative process, and navigating the labyrinth of modern living. Download a program for more information. Available online through November 17, 2020.

8pm CDT, Tuesday, September 22: Look Back to Where I was Sitting and I’m Gone, by Aimee Gonzalez, directed by Jenny Lavery. A woman on the run closes in on herself and faces the truth. A dramedy about who we're born to be and who we're bound to become. Download a program for more information. Available online through November 17, 2020.

8pm CDT, Tuesday, September 29: Falling Down the Mountain of Great Storms, by Greg Romero, directed by Andrea Hart. The building you are sitting in right now is situated on top of a fault line. Did you know that? Audra, a young Cajun, fights through the catastrophes. Lanette plays a squeezebox in French. A Great Blue Heron pulls fish from the Atchafalaya while Hedgehog rips a branch from a dogwood tree. Barry works on his dancing thirty seconds at a time. And Fox brings us all outside to plant actual seeds in the actual ground, where everything is moving. Download a program for more information. Available online through November 17, 2020.

Now you can see any of the shows between November 10-17, 2020. Just go to the Hyde Park Theatre YouTube page--or search for "Hyde Park Theatre Austin" in your Roku or smart TV YouTube app. Then sit back and enjoy!

The shows re free, but if you're in a position to kick in with a small donation we could sure use it. The donate link will also be in the YouTube description.

Our literary manager Megan Thornton reminds us that "since Covid-19, the writers group has taken on a new significance. With theaters dark across the country, and productions postponed or canceled, our belief in the importance of new work hasn’t wavered. Our doors are closed, but the work continues. New play development continues. If you’d like to support the work we do at Hyde Park Theatre, know that donations of any amount are helpful in a time when we can’t sell tickets. If now is not the right time to donate, know that just by joining us tonight you are supporting live theater. So thank you."


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.

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

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