Judy Thompson-Price: A Maker of Dances Gets Her Due

The Zilker Summer Musical honors the woman who has choreographed 20 shows

A round of applause for Judy Thompson-Price
A round of applause for Judy Thompson-Price (Photo by Sandy Carson)

It's hard to imagine an old-school Broadway musical without dancing, and it's hard to imagine the Zilker Summer Musical without Judy Thompson-Price. She's been responsible for most of the dancing on the Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater stage since 1981. Beginning with Fiorello! that year, Thompson-Price choreographed 15 Summer Musicals in a row and has also done five of the last six. And every time, her dances have charmed. It didn't matter whether the show was Camelot or Oklahoma!, Crazy for You or The Secret Garden, her steps added the right touch of sparkle and spectacle to the proceedings. Reviewers typically described her work as "cheerful," "exuberant," and "energetic." Now, considering that Thompson-Price was making her dancers do so much kicking and jumping and spinning in triple-digit heat and smothering humidity, and often in heavy period costumes, you might think their feelings for her would be less than warm. But the fact is, Thompson-Price is adored by the Summer Musical folks, as they showed Saturday, Aug. 9, before their performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. One by one, a cast member from each of the 20 Hillside productions she has made dances for came onstage and handed her a yellow rose in appreciation of her contributions to this great Austin tradition. Since the exact nature of the recognition had been kept secret, Thompson-Price was both surprised and moved by the tribute. It was a deserving honor, to which we'd like to add our appreciation of Thompson-Price's talent and dedication. Here's hoping the Hillside is blessed by them for many summers to come.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Judy Thompson-Price
Austin Playhouse's <i>She Loves Me</i>
Austin Playhouse's She Loves Me
This old-fashioned rom-com musical oozes charm and earns its Pollyanna platitudes

Bob Abelman, Dec. 6, 2019

Zilker Theatre Productions' <i>Shrek the Musical</i>
Zilker Theatre Productions' Shrek the Musical
The lovable ogre and company spring to life on the Hillside stage with loads of laughs and professional polish

Shanon Weaver, July 29, 2016

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Judy Thompson-Price, Zilker Summer Musical

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle