ZACH creates intimate theatre experiences that ignite the imagination, inspire the spirit, and engage the community.
We envision ZACH as a meeting tent where theatre connects and transforms a diverse, energized community.
Artistic Excellence & Integrity
Artistic & Business Discipline
Collaborative & Inclusive
Founded in 1932 as Austin Civic Theatre, ZACH Theatre is the longest continuously running theatre company in the state of Texas, and one of the ten oldest in the country. The company was renamed Zachary Scott Theatre Center in 1968 in honor of Austin-raised, Academy Award-nominated film star, Zachary Scott, best known for his popular films Mildred Pierce (1945) and Cass Timberlane (1947). In 1972, the 230-seat Kleberg Theatre opened, and in the late 1980’s ZACH embarked on a successful capital campaign to build the Whisenhunt Theatre, a new 130-seat theatre-in-the-round, classroom, administrative offices and costume shop space. In the early 1990’s ZACH moved to professional status with Actors’ Equity Association and was selected for a National Endowment for the Arts Advancement Grant. In 2012, the 420-seat Topfer Theatre opened, presenting Ahrens and Flaherty’s Ragtime, the opening production of the 2012-2013 DREAM Season. The new LEED-certified facility houses a proscenium stage with orchestra pit, fly tower, trapped floor, stage automation, and adjustable acoustics; donor lounge, and sever art pieces commissioned for the venue—all ushering in a new era of theatre producing for Austin and ZACH.
Each year, ZACH serves nearly 115,000 Central Texans – 50,000 of which are children and youth who participate in our education and outreach programs, as well as exciting camps and classes. ZACH productions span a dynamic range of programming that includes both professional Mainstage plays and musicals, and Theatre for Families. ZACH incubates original work, cultivating, commissioning, developing and producing new plays and musicals by playwrights and composers from Central Texas as well as internationally-acclaimed artists. Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley is committed to selecting work that is both timely and relevant to Central Texas audiences, re-envisioning ZACH productions in a way that creates meaningful, inclusive dialogues in our community. ZACH’s commitment to artistic excellence and contributions to the theatre field have been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The New York Times, as well as numerous theatrical awards.
In addition, ZACH is primed to host private and community events across the beautiful rental-ready spaces on our three-stage campus located in the heart of Austin along Lady Bird Lake. A non-profit organization, ZACH creates arts experiences that entertain, inspire, and engage the community. As Austin’s leading professional producing theatre, ZACH employs more than 300 actors, musicians, and designers annually to create its own diverse array of nationally recognized plays and musicals under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley and Managing Director Elisbeth Challener.