Zach Theatre

First look at a new stage

Zach Theatre
Courtesy of Andersson-Wise Architects

So what will the third theatre in Zach Theatre's burgeoning South Lamar and Riverside compound look like? The company gave us a sneak peek last week with the release of two exterior images by Andersson-Wise Architects. The building is oriented to the west, facing the current main stage, the Kleberg, and the image of the front shows a lot of glass encasing the two-story lobby, with the rest of the space sealed in clean, boxlike forms of composite concrete and blue-gray brick identified in the press release as Swiss Pearl. Playing off against the cool modern geometrics will be even more natural greenery than the site currently contains; the architects plan to add more than 80 trees around the building. The second view, from the northeast, shows some of the glassed-in lobby views that open toward Lady Bird Lake, with a roughly four-story fly tower at the rear of the structure, backing up to South Lamar. The theatre, which will be named in honor of local philanthropists Mort and Bobbi Topfer, is described as seating 420 patrons – fewer than the 500 originally planned for but still considerably more than the Kleberg's 230 seats, and the overall square footage, 29,700, is a major bump up from the older theatre's 8,000. With $16.3 million of the estimated $20 million cost already raised, $3 million of which was secured in the past year (during, it's worth remembering, a time when the economy was in its worst shape since Zach was founded 76 years ago), theatre backers are confident of a groundbreaking in 2010 and a grand opening in 2012. For more information, visit www.zachtheatre.org.

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  

READ MORE
More Zach Theatre
A Year Later, the Time Is Right for Another Conversation About <i>Notes From the Field</i>
A Year Later, the Time Is Right for Another Conversation About Notes From the Field
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Zach Theatre streamed its staging of the 2019 production and led a discussion on Zoom

Robert Faires, June 19, 2020

Zach Theatre's <i>Every Brilliant Thing</i>
Every Brilliant Thing
This production of Duncan Macmillan's solo show gives audiences a reason to live – make that a million reasons

Robert Faires, Feb. 14, 2020

More by Robert Faires
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in <i>Tales of a Blerd Ballerina</i>
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in Tales of a Blerd Ballerina
The actress looks back at what it was to be young, geeky, and Black

April 9, 2021

Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
For the seventh year, Golden Hornet referees this composition competition while you decide the winner

March 26, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Zach Theatre, Austin arts construction projects, cultural makeover, Andersson-Wise Architects, Mort Topfer, Bobbi Topfer

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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