Zachary Scott Theatre Center: A stage for a diva

The new theatre being built by the Zachary Scott Theatre Center already has a name: the Karen Kuykendall Stage, in honor of the Austin native and award-winning performer

Karen Kuykendall
Karen Kuykendall (Photo By Bret Brookshire)

The new theatre being built by the Zachary Scott Theatre Center is still a few seasons away from its first opening night, but its stage already has a name: the Karen Kuykendall Stage, in honor of the Austin native who is to many in the city our one true diva. (And so she was named in the Chronicle's 1999 "Best of Austin" Critics Picks.) Kuykendall has a tremendous history as an artist and arts supporter – with Ballet Austin, singing cabaret with Sterling Price-McKinney, even performing with the Rude Mechanicals, and her efforts earned her a place in the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2004 – but she has a special spot at Zach, where she has performed regularly – and always with distinction – for decades. Think of Angels in America, The World Goes 'Round, her Ann Richards in House Arrest, her Andy Warhol in The Rocky Horror Show, her sublime solo turn as Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop. You could go on all night. So it seemed fitting for this divine performer's name to grace the stage of the new 500-seat theatre Zach will build on the corner of South Lamar and Riverside. Zach Artistic Director Dave Steakley informed Kuykendall and her family of the decision on March 28, then shared the news with friends at a reception in Kuykendall's home. As part of the capital campaign to fund the new facility, a Kuykendall Steering Committee will be formed to raise $2 million in support of this tribute. "I've worked with Karen for 16 years," says Steakley. "No one in Austin deserves this honor more." For more information, visit www.zachscott.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Zach, Karen Kuykendall, Dave Steakley

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