2024 Short Fringe

2024 FronteraFest First Round Short Fringe Schedule (with Ticket Links!)

NOTE: Each evening of performance begins at 8pm at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 West 43rd St. Tickets are $20 for all these first round shows.

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  • Saturday Best of the Week perfomances here
  • Final week (February 13 - 17) Best of the Fest perfomances here



    Tuesday, January 16 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Between Midnight and McMurdo, by Marsha Kendall. Film and performance by Marsha Kendall. Original music by Steve Marsh.

    How Michelangelo Saved My Life, by Stephanie Storey. A solo show written and performed by Stephanie Storey, a bestselling historical novelist and producer of award-winning Hollywood television and film, whose work has been hailed as "tremendously entertaining" by The New York Times. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, this show explores how a 500-year-old dead artist inspired Storey to rebuild her "botched block of a life" after trauma almost destroyed her. *Trigger warning: this show addresses rape.

    A Family Dinner, by Carlos Lopez, Jr. Tonight, you're guests to A Family Dinner, a stage play written by C.L.J. The hosts are the women of the Swanson family. The main course is a delicate conversation between the women. What follows are the voices of suffering individuals.

    Yer Gonna Die (Just Like Me), by Zac Carr. This piece is a one-man showcase of work inspired by one of the greatest and most controversial minds of Western Theatre, Dennis Lobsky. A "tour de farce," this master class in the School of Dead Acting will transform the empty mind of the actor into a mausoleum of talent. Written, cried, and performed by Zac Carr.

    Wednesday, January 17 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Waiting, by Monroe Oxley. Directed by Julia Chereson. How does a playwright come up with an idea for a play? How does a playwright finalize an idea before moving on to the next one? How does a playwright stay on schedule? All these questions and more could possibly be answered in Waiting. Let's go on a journey through the playwright's mind as they try to organize their thoughts as they write their latest play.

    Mom Dad and the Glass Ceiling, by Stuart Harry Hersh. Stuart Harry Hersh presents his 14th play at Hyde Park Theatre telling how his mom with his dad's support helped break the glass ceiling at the Post Office.

    Unremarkable/Unreliable, by Gloria C. Adams and Teresa Johnson. A diagnosis is the Rosetta Stone to your body's language. In 2015, Teresa was chronically ill and Gloria was mentally ill. By 2020, they were both . . . both. And someday you may be too. Personal stories, politics, and poetry bring together the divergent experiences of two artists who go from empathizing with each other to feeling each other's pain--all too literally.

    In The Space of ________, by Jonathan Castillo. In the Space of _____ tracks the space that the audience is inhabiting and brings them to the spaces in between the reality that we live in and its past, present, and future. The intent is to safely visit the space we are in, experiencing nostalgia, grief, excitement, and to have the actors facilitate that journey as we share ourselves in memory and story.

    Goin' to Jackson, by Tristan Young Mercado. (ScriptWorks Commission). Back from the dead, our celestial Lord and Savior returns to Jackson, Missouri where he/she runs into a couple of non-believers and questions his/her life choices.

    Thursday, January 18 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Motherhood: A Tap Dance, by Tricia Mitchell. An original work created and performed by dancer, actor, songwriter, writer, and amateur mother, Tricia Mitchell.

    My Guardian Angel, Noelle, by Michael Harlan. I met my guardian angel when being brought out of an induced coma to treat pneumonia.

    The Hot One, by Rosanna Turner. A show about one woman's journey to hotness after a lifetime of feeling fugly. This funny, light-hearted one-woman show will touch on beauty, body image, Minnesota's only America's Next Top Model contestant, playing the side character in the movie of your own life, and having big tit energy. Come for the jokes and stay for a striptease that promises to be more laughable than sexy.

    The Sweat Lodge, by Neil Dorsey. Brace yourselves, comedy-music lovers. Join Neil Dorsey for a night of sweaty comedy music and detox from life's anxieties. These thicc stanky beats and dumb absurdist rhymes are guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you'll never do drugs again.

    Today In Sixth Period, by Sandy Maranto. As with every generation, Gen Z has its own language . . . and attitude. Based on one teacher's experiences with this wacky and wonderful generation.

    Friday, January 19 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Twilight Doubleheader, by Todd Clark. In life, as in baseball, no clock determines exactly when things will end. Sometimes, there are giants of the game in whose shadow we must search for our own swing. We endure losses along the way, but the season is long--and lovely.

    The Gun Show Vol 3, by Christopher Michael. This is the 3rd installment of Christopher Michael's spoken word poetry showcase.

    A Show Like You Have Never Seen, by Robert Tarry. After years of performing, Magician Robert Tarry has culled some of his favorite performances pieces and put together a show of stunning magic, great comedy, and a lot of audience participation.

    The Outer Slice, by The Slice. We are an improv troupe that tries out experimental formats. In this format, inspired by The Twilight Zone, one player as The Narrator brainstorms with the audience on what strangeness is affecting the world. The other players, who did not get to hear any of this, come in and have to portray scenes with limited guidance from the Narrator.

    Learning to Human, by Sims Holland, directed by David McCusker. A dark comedy solo show about resurfacing from a 16-year haze of addiction and not knowing how to be a human in the world. Sims will be performing a 25-minute teaser; you can see the full show at Hyde Park Theatre in May 2024.


    Tuesday, January 23 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    The Sunny Show, by Carter Christian. A fully immersive piece of theatre. The audience will be able to interact with the actors and really be a part of the very sunny tenth anniversary special! Sunny, and Sparrow are on edge, slipping in and out of character as they argue with one another.

    Reagan Youth: My Struggle, by PoetKen Jones. This piece documents the lived experience of author/performer PoetKen Jones during the pivotal 1984 Presidential Election from his eyewitness perspective then and now, forty years later, culminating in his riveting first-person account of the election night riot at the University of Texas Student Union.

    I'll Make an End, by Kleo Ryan, directed by Lacey Cannon Gonzales. Centers on a conversation between an Artist and Death as they discuss art, Shakespeare, love, loss, and death by elevator shafts.

    The Hole, by Chloe Nichols & Devon Mitchell. The Hole centers on two sisters in the discovery of a mysterious place their mother threatened them with, as they explore the dynamics of their relationships with their mother and each other. By the end, the only question that remains is if they should venture into the hole.

    Bumper Suit, by Melissa Jackson Burns. A twenty-minute play, Pee Wee's Playhouse-style, about loving yourself and how luscious fat women can truly be.

    Wednesday, January 24 (TICKETS HERE))
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Texas Book of Beasts; Year of the Cricket, by Jeff Irvin. Texas Book of Beasts: Year of the Cricket. Fable on organizing a community to save an endangered Tia's, with audience participation: cricket clickers, sign prompts, and audience yoga (seated).

    This Is What Happened, by Collin Carrothers. A 20-minute one-person comedic performance about recapping a movie.

    Flirt Fail, improvised by Tana Rogers and Nidhi Reddy. Based on a one-word suggestion for a small space like a cafe or dentist's office, improvisers Nidhi and Tana create a lighthearted world with multiple silly characters. It's a "slice of life" show with connected goofiness and failed flirt attempts.

    Rendezvous Redux, by Darren Schmidt. A solo performance from the creator. The project features several original characters, selected from a collection of improvisation shows from the past six months (performed weekly). The intent is to play a range of people through their behavior, truthfully and committed to their all-too-human and glorious flaws.

    Linda's Last Show, created by CB Goodman and Friends, performed by CB Goodman, a Grackle Jack Production (ScriptWorks Commission). Linda Delray has been Manny the Magnificent's assistant for 25 years and after another magic show ruined by his lack of professionalism, she's calling it quits. All she has to do is make it through one last show at the Austin Bird Watchers' Annual FUNdraiser.

    Thursday, January 25 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Sonambulo 24: writer, musician, performance artist Ricardo Acevedo will perform excerpts from his book of prose, Sonambulo, which was originally used as the basis of a dance concert in 2003 by Ellen Bartel and Graham Reynolds. Acevedo moves prose deeper into the world of performance art, using elements of Graham's music and his own, digging deeper into the story of seeking love via the lens of trauma. A hyper theater piece in the style of Spalding Gray.

    Another Nude, written and directed by Roy Lazorwitz. It tells the story of an emerging painter, Patty Stone, who while preparing for her first solo show must paint a nude male model while having a mental breakdown.

    What Next? directed by Kenny Madison and written by Gloria M. Rabil. After a break, a couple comes together to discuss what's next. The play explores the most pressing question anyone in a turbulent relationship has pondered: Whose fault is it?

    The Knuckleball Now is Mike D'Alonzo, Lee Eddy, Craig Koftas, and Ace Manning. The accolade-riddled TKN performs their PEAK & POP method of improv comedy. A series of quick scenes build a mind-spinning energy that effortlessly becomes a collection of memorable characters and the worlds they occupy.

    Friday, January 26 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach, by Paul Rudnik. Mr. Charles has been asked to leave NYC and has relocated to Palm Beach where he has a TV show, where he answers letters from viewers. He is an "over the top" aging queen, and his "ward" Shane is his hunky assistant, who keeps Mr. Charles very happy, with cocktails. Performed by Michael Harlan and Cam Haas.

    When I Wear My Mother's Clothes, by Avery Erickson. A 71-year-old trans woman's personal journey of self-discovery told through poetry, laughter, & song.

    How To Live Right, written and created by Devon Ragsdale. Your personal, self-certified Life Coach, Janet, will teach you how to find the path to enlightenment using her signature method that she has practiced with tens of clients. She will also lead a guided meditation that will leave you feeling confused and unsure of her qualifications, but that will also leave you feeling pretty good about yourself in comparison.

    Let's Do Lunch, written by Jaimie Pitts. Two former high school friends who haven't seen each other in years meet up for an obligatory reunion lunch, but old tensions quickly bubble to the surface.

    Take Care of My Friend, by Kathleen Fletcher. One woman's comedic journey receiving treatment for 3rd degree burns.


    Tuesday, January 30 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are now listed in performance order.
    Out, Out, Damn, I'm Out, by Elise Kotin. Get ready to go internal! Experience a coming out story with the imagination moving through comedic and dramatic scenes of self-discovery of the human experience. Real-life personal stories and fictional imaginative aspects take you from the inside out. Every journey of a thousand steps starts with a lot of voices in your head!

    Medea, by Euripides, translated by Ian Johnston. In this interpretation of Euripides' classic Greek tragedy, Alex Garza creates a solo performance that tells the story of a woman fighting to be heard in a society where she feels betrayed by men and those in power. What will one person sacrifice to make their voice heard?

    Hot Goss Improv Comedy, by Hot Goss. Hot Goss is a long-form improv comedy troupe that's not afraid to spill the tea! We begin with some documentary-style "gossip" about an event and then transition into a series of scenes inspired by the gossip. Performers: Rachael Williamson, Tessa Gowan, Liz Deagle, Caitlin Gorman, John McGuire, Dana Juarez, Joseph Juarez, Shano Mullery

    Silence, by Zizi Ellison, directed by Anthony Ellison. A series of three to four dramatic sketches. Zaineb and Aliya are best friends who grew up together in Tehran, Iran. Our stories begin when they get separated, and now Zaineb lives in Austin, TX and Aliya still lives in Tehran. Our stories explore the dramatic differences between their experiences in everyday life.

    The Rendezvous. The Rendezvous performs at ColdTowne Theatre every Friday night at 7pm (soon to be 8pm, prime time baby!). We do a long-form improvisation form called Close Quarters, where every scene happens in a single location. Voted Best New Troupe by the ColdTowne community, and currently reigning champions of the ColdTowne Throwdowne.

    Wednesday, January 31 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    The Talk, by Lilly Percifield (ScriptWorks Commission). Lilly Percifield uses DIY props and absurd comedy to satirize the purity culture that influenced her teenage years. The Speaker (Lilly) presents a series of convoluted metaphors and felt-board illustrations that teach the audience how to remain pure and avoid tempting others into sexual sin. Moldy sandwiches and a cheerleading routine depict the state of Christian sex education (or lack thereof) in this silly solo show.

    A Universe of Moths, written and directed by Marla Porter. A depressed, once-famous painter and her surly fourteen-year-old art student find common ground. Artwork by Marsha Kendall. Music by Ben Poliakoff. Starring Christine Schiele and Skylar Ewing. Content warning: contains description of suicide attempt.

    Oracle.ai. Devised by Trace Turner and Cynthia Gage, this piece examines the place of oracles in an increasingly digital world by combining practiced divination with AI programs. While inside the temple's chambers, brave audience members will have the chance to ask one of the oracles to discern their future. We watch each oracle in turn consult and generate prophecies right before our very eyes in a multimedia phantasmagoria that harkens back to a distant age.

    Augusta Opens a Window, by Helen Sneed. This is the story of Augusta Stubbs, a single female New Yorker with outstanding professional abilities and a disastrous inability to manage her private life. These conflicting sides come to the fore when Augusta attempts to help her city in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Love Island (UK) The Musical, by Arielle LaGuette and Sarah Doering. Based on the British dating reality show phenomenon Love Island, Love Island (UK) The Musical is an original production from Love Island super fans Arielle LaGuette and Sarah Doering and composer Ritika Bhattacharjee--none of whom are British or have been on Love Island. With the show's explosion in recent years and spin-offs across over twenty countries, this musical adaptation is a tribute to the original series that started it all, and seeks to capture the hearts of live audiences through the magic, the canon, and the true love that has captivated millions of viewers in the UK for almost ten years.


    Thursday, February 1 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Dispatch, by Courtney Wright. A couple hours on the job.

    Baby Sister Says Try, by Jameel Khaja. Two siblings don't see eye to eye.

    Two Concerts and a Play, by Aneesa Needel. Lyric and Reed notice they end up at the same events night after night and start to connect--it's a meet-cute with live music!

    Woman of a Certain Age: Tales of a Midlife Renaissance, by Valerie Nies. A one-woman show about dating in middle age.

    Xenogia Spoken Word Collective, by Jeff "DaShade" Johnson and Zell Miller, III. Xenogia Spoken Word Collective perform Hip-Hop inspired poetry.

    Friday, February 2 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are listed in performance order.
    Not My Mother, written and performed by Lorella Loftus. A one-woman comedy about a grown-up daughter's relationship with her mother. Told within the framework of the daughter's encounters with a mystery "friend," the show explores each woman's eccentricities as they seek a new understanding of the relationship. Original music by Vikki Schwarz.

    Michael Jackson and the Jewish Dentist from Queens, by Patrice Maltas. This is the story of one of the quirkiest, most successful and bizarre men I have ever met. As a playwright, I found him such an interesting character that I just had to write a play about him. I spent a summer having in-depth conversations with him about his life--from his humble beginnings growing up in a small suburban house in Queens to his building one of the most successful Park Avenue celebrity dentist practices in NYC--including his odd obsession with collecting artifacts from the 1940s. I met him after he left the city and moved upstate to Woodstock NY to pursue his dream of singing with a cover band, his favorite being Neil Diamond. He is a trip, to put it lightly.

    Thanks, Dad, created and performed by Jessica von Schramm. Jess examines her relationship with her drug-addicted father through the lens of her reading glasses. This funny, heartwarming, and weird one-woman show delves into parental abandonment, the Beatles, and trauma. Oh my!

    The TRIAL of Satan, by Alan Turley. Tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Satan's trial, inspired by Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth.

    Dirty Little Secret, by Tristan Young Mercado. Parenthood isn't for the faint of heart, as one exhausted parent finds out attempting to unravel the stench-filled secret her daughter has lurking in her room. Sometimes there's not enough wine.


    Tuesday, February 6 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are now listed in performance order.
    The Magic of Yes, by Paprika. Life is transformative with a simple Yes. The Magic of Life is present in every moment. Believing in the impossible is what makes anything possible. Utilizing magic, juggling, and an empowering and somewhat theatrical performance, Paprika transforms Normal into an extraordinary Possibility, integrating belief in oneself and magic to transform any situation.

    Treat Yourself, Stella! by Sandy Maranto. According to Mental Health America (mhanational.org), twenty percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. MHA reports that Texas is one of the states with a higher number of people suffering from mental illness and a lower number of mental healthcare providers. Even though we seem to have come a long way in acknowledging that mental illness should not be accompanied by shame for persons who suffer from it, those who do suffer have a hard time overcoming the unwarranted guilt that accompanies mental illness. The guilt combined with the lack of mental healthcare providers can lead to self-isolation, self-hate, and hopelessness for those whose mental illness goes undiagnosed. Please be aware that there might be things mentioned that are upsetting to some people.

    They Eat Sunshine Not Zebras, by Dara Murphy. The field believes in uniformity. Lovely rows of blades all the same height. Lovely rows of blades exhibiting standard behavior of green grassness. Nothing stands in the way of the green grass. Until they wake up one morning to see a yellow dandelion in their midst. A dandelion will turn their orderly way of life upside down. A dandelion must be destroyed. Isn't that what you do when something is different? All is fun and games with "rejecting" the different and the unknown. Until the lawn mower.

    Latini-Duh!™: The upside-down side of the Latinoverse! written by Raymond Abel Gutierrez; music by Mexican Institute of Sound. The Latinoverse is where Latinos dominate the entertainment ecosystem. As we cumbia through the Latinoverse, the parodies are pero-duh-ing and the Latinos are all Latino-ing! A show that spouts out gritos that Latinos are underrepresented in Hollywood. Non-Spanish speakers: you don't need to speak Spanish to enjoy the show! Inspired by The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in American Cinema.

    Miss. Adventure, written and performed by Rachel Pallante. What if Bette Midler and Jerry Garcia had a love child? Hop on the Magic Mushroom School Bus as one woman journeys down the Rabbit Hole and Over the Rainbow in a multimedia "Choose Your Own Adventure" musical comedy experience. Can she survive Cult Leaders, Law Enforcement, and Bears? Oh my! You will choose her fate LIVE!


    Wednesday, February 7 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are now listed in performance order.
    The Gift of Spirit, by Jonna Juul-Hansen. What could have been a three-hour, unmemorable, no-frills flight from Austin to LA on Spirit Airlines turns into eight hours of inspiring connection between two divergent strangers.

    Mystery of the Super-Sparkly Diamond, by Alex Garza. In this comedic solo performance, Alex Garza pays tribute to mystery and detective stories from novels and films. Everyone on the train is a suspect, and it is up to Detective Bryson Jones to solve the mystery. Join a wild variety of characters in a show to be enjoyed by all.

    Starcrossed, by Andy Tate, directed by Kirk Scarbrough (ScriptWorks Commission). It's 2054 and Ellie has fallen in love. Unfortunately, leasing a robot boyfriend isn't cheap, and she's also fallen behind on her payments. In a last-ditch effort to prevent the love of her life from being repossessed, Ellie is forced to ask her mom to come to the rescue. Featuring Esther Park, Ryan Fang, and Nguyen Stanton-Adams.

    Dying to Sing, by Nailah Jumoke. Dying and strapped to a hospital bed, Eleanora Fagan tells "her" side of the story of what it was like being the legendary Billie Holiday as she struggled with heroin, abusive men, and extreme racism.

    Standard Operating Magic, by Helen Merino. A woman just stands there and tells you a story. It's the story of a trip she took to Italy decades ago. Her reason for taking the trip is still unclear to her. And, once there, she recalls being stalked by a feeling she can't quite name.


    Thursday, February 8 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are now listed in performance order.
    Story Wranglers. Work devised by Story Wranglers from original stories created by Austin area third graders. The Paramount Story Wranglers is an Austin Theater for Young Audiences company that takes the original writings of third-grade students and transforms them into a comedy/musical/variety show to be performed for the student writers and their school communities. Our mission is to lift up the voices of these young people, to let them know that their voices are heard and their creativity has value. We present a curated selection of these sketches and songs.

    Leticia Won't Find A Better Man, by Raymond Whelan, featuring Sebastian Garcia, Samantha Levine, and Whelan. A romantic comedy in three scenes about one lonely young woman, one lonely middle-aged man, his whip-smart younger brother, and dreams deferred. It takes place in Chicago just as America steps into its third century.

    The Mystery of the Missing Car, by Max Langert. What exactly happened on the afternoon of October 3rd?

    Abalones − abs = alone, by Pamela L Paek.
    Abalones are illegal.
    Abalones minus abs equals Alone.
    Alone by choice? Beyond illegal. Anathema.
    Abalones are making a comeback.
    And for those alone? "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years" - LL Cool J

    Potty on the Patriarchy, by Wade Rowland. Earl "Pottymouth" Arbuckle has come out of retirement with a message to share about his feminist awakening. It only took a couple bouts with prostate cancer to teach him what he needed to learn. Better to live like a human being with an inefficient penis than be a complete dick.

    Friday, February 9 (TICKETS HERE)
    Tonight's shows are now listed in performance order.
    Don't Stop Believing: A Theatric Remix of the 1980s, by Torrey Shine. A heartfelt coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the music of the 1980s. This solo show explores themes of independence, love, heartbreak and having faith in yourself. The script mashes lyrics from over a hundred songs from the 1980s into a mix of dialogue and song similar in style to Moulin Rouge. Clever, witty writing delivered through a sassy, theatric performance. Written and performed by award-winning writer Torrey Shine (Glastonbury, Moth StorySLAM Champ, TEDx, Edinburgh Fringe, Spirit of the Fringe @PghFringe).

    Best First Date, by Ken Webster. In August of 1979, Jimmy Carter was President, Ken Webster was in rehearsal for his first play in Austin, and he went on a memorable first date.

    Don't Be Afraid of the Water, by Marissa Castañón-Hernandez & Maria Delgado. Maria's lived in NYC for over seventy years. She's heard some things, seen some things, and done some things. She's one tough lady, but one thing she never wants to do again is to see the dead. Based on a true story.

    Dance, Cupcake, Dance! by Brian Wittenbrook. When a junior executive needs to find a way to cut costs fast, she turns to an unusual source. A comedy about magic and pizza pockets starring Jennifer Bateman, L.B. Deyo, Shannon McCormick, and Brian Wittenbrook. Kathryn Rogers is assistant director.

    Texas Gothic, by Janet Maykus & Tom Booker. Join Ma & Pa Gothic on the front porch of their home at The Texas Gothic Farm & Ranch, located in the exact center of Texas, as they discuss the current topics, issues, and happenings while dispensing some Texas-sized homespun wisdom that will make you laugh and think.


    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 Kenneth's Hair Salon, just south of HPT, and at the Hyde Park Church of Christ on the northeast corner of 43rd & Avenue B. We are grateful to them all 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.