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The Great Society

January 25 - March 5

Topfer Theatre

Texas Premiere

By the end of The Great Society, you’ll be surprised to learn this political thrill ride was written three short years ago. Timely and all-too relevant today, Robert Schenkkan’s play which has been unedited since its debut at Seattle Repertory Theatre in December of 2014, reflects our not-too-distant past and our all-too-real present.

This is the second of Robert Schenkkan’s LBJ plays exploring Texas’ own political mastermind and his memorable years in the White House. Despite division over the Vietnam War and ongoing civil rights issues, Johnson championed the most ambitious legislative work – an end to poverty and racial injustice, education for all schoolchildren, healthcare for seniors, and voting rights – in his vision of a Great Society. The Great Society examines who we are, asks how we got here, and dreams of how great we could yet become.

Run time: Three hours including two intermissions.
Recommendation: Thirteen and up. Adult language.

What the critics are saying

Dave Steakley “has presented one of his most powerful productions.” — Austin Chronicle

“a vital study for all those who wish to learn from the past in order to gain some idea of what we might do in the present.”— Austin American-Statesman

“a richly rewarding evening of theatre and history… The Great Society is an important play and a strong tonic to these divisive times in which we live and gets my highest recommendation. This is must see theatre!” — Broadway World

“Impressive in its scope, surprisingly energetic and shines a bright, clear light on a pivotal moment in American history . . . I came away more impressed than I was with All the Way—and, ultimately, more moved.”— The New York Times

“Dynamic. Didactic. Enthralling.” — Seattle Times


The President Waits for No One – Lyndon B. Johnson runs a tight ship, and the show will start promptly on time. If you arrive late, there is a possibility you may not be able to take an available seat until first intermission.


Please note that The Great Society Saturday matinee begins at 2 p.m., earlier than most ZACH matinees.

Executive Producers

Kathleen and Harvey Guion
Carolyn and Marc Seriff
Carl and Claire Stuart


Mindy Ellmer
Brian McCall

Supporting Sponsors

Production Team

Dave Steakley
Cliff Simon
Scenic Designer
Michelle Habeck*
Lighting Designer
Eliot Haynes
Projection Designer
Michael McDonald*
Costume Designer
Alana Anthony
Costume Design Assistant
Madison Cagle
Costume Design Assistant
Emily Gilardi
Costume Design Assistant
Serret Jensen
Hair and Makeup Designer
Craig Brock
Sound Designer
Steve Baglio
Properties Designer
Amanda Cooley Davis
Dialect Coach
Russell M. Dembin
Catherine Anne Tucker *
Stage Manager (to 2/19/17)
Bryan Bradford *
Takeover Stage Manager (2/20/17 - 3/5/17)
Megan Barrett *
Assistant Stage Manager
Megan Smith
Assistant Stage Manager

The Cast

Steve Vinovich *
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Cecil Washington, Jr. *
Martin Luther King
Meredith McCall
Lady Bird Johnson / Ensemble
Jeff Jeffers
Senator Bobby Kennedy / Seymore Trammel / John McCone / Charles Robb / Ensemble
David R. Jarrott
J. Edgar Hoover / Walter Cronkite / Clark Clifford / Ensemble
Shelby Davenport *
Humphrey / Ensemble
James Davies *
Gov. George Wallace / Richard Nixon / Sheriff Jim Clark / Mayor Richard Daley / Norman Morrison / Ensemble
Michael Miller
Senator Everett Dirksen / Cartha DeLoach / Garner Appel / Col. Al Lingo / Stanely Levison / General Wheeler / Ensemble
Vincent J. Hooper
Stokely Carmichael / Hosea Williams / Marquette Frye / Ensemble
Zell Miller, III
Bob Moses / James Bevel / Rev. Dobyens / Ensemble
Miles Chick
Adam Walinsky / Robert McNamara / Rep. Wilbur Mills / Ensemble
Garry Peters
Gen. Westmoreland / Gardner Ackley / Ensemble
Richard Romeo
Ralph Abernathy / Rep. Adam Clayton Powell / John Lewis / Ensemble
Michelle Alexander
Sally Childress/ Coretta Scott King / Ensemble
Nash Ferguson
Jimmy Lee Jackson / Ensemble
Amber Quick
Sheriff's Auxiliary / Muriel Humphrey/ Lynda Bird Johnson / Pat Nixon / Ensemble
*AEA Member
**United Scenic Artists
***Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Z-Lounge Entertainment


February 15    Rebecca Schoolar with Dan McMurrough

February 16    Rebecca Schoolar with Dan McMurrough

February 17    Laura Benedict Scott with Dan McMurrough

February 18    Margaret Wright

February 18    Laura Benedict Scott

February 19    Margaret Wright

February 22    Kenny Williams with Dan McMurrough

February 23    Kenny Williams with Dan McMurrough

February 24    Kenny Williams with Dan McMurrough

February 25    Margaret Wright

February 25    Kenny Williams

February 26    Margaret Wright

March 1           Rebecca Schoolar with Dan McMurrough

March 2           Rebecca Schoolar with Dan McMurrough

March 3           Rebecca Schoolar with Dan McMurrough

March 4           Margaret Wright

March 4           Ryan Smith

March 5           Margaret Wright

Season Sponsors sponsor1sponsor2sponsor3sponsor4sponsor5sponsor6sponsor7

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

ZACH Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization located in Austin, Texas.

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