Do come in.
Do come in.
Photo by Kimberly Mead
Courtesy of Penfold Theatre Company
Scenic Design: Christopher Conrad
Lighting Design: Patrick Anthony
What, Why, How
The Gateway Theatre Project, through a series of thrilling, audience focused experiments, seeks to discover each individual's capacity for sensation, reflection, and change in an increasingly shut down and disembodied age.
At GTP we suspect that relishing one’s consciousness is not something that just happens. It requires contact and care. Like the battery in a derelict car, a habit of neglect - toward our own curiosity, toward having focused, meaningful experiences - can, over time, make us cold and unresponsive to the notion of our very existence.
Live theatre is one of the most efficient, accessible, and exciting ways for our consciousness to “do a few laps.” Austin is fortunate to have some of the country’s best theatre artists working on our local stages. Which means Austin is one of the best places in the country to learn and nurture the motion of your own existence.
Every year at GTP we take a small handful of people, who currently don’t attend live theatre, and (in less than 12 months) attempt to unlock an appetite, curiosity, and passion for live performance. GTP has two long term goals. First, we aim to cultivate engaged new audiences for Austin's adventurous and diverse theatre companies. More importantly, we want to open the door on a more vital way to encounter leisure, life, and human-kind for every person in Austin who craves the experience.
If you’re drawn to witnessing an event,
not just monitoring a screen,
if you crave the charge of being with
real people, in real space, in real time,
if you long to have your breath taken away,
have we got an experience for you.
Come spend time on a GTP experiment.
Spend time in an Austin theatre.
Turn on all your senses
and find out what “live” feels like.
Our 2020 Experiment
"...I just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful performance and just everything about the night. It was an amazing, inspiring experience - transformative, really. I just loved everything about it, and am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a guest for such a special occasion...I will honestly remember it forever." - Tom I.
In February of 2020, GTP launched their first experiment. It was a semi-immersive production of Ghosts in the parlor of a historic home in Clarksville. There were only supposed to be fourteen seats in the house per night. We managed to squeeze in a few more. Half of the seats were filled by people who had signed on as “mentors” with GTP. Each of our mentors brought with them one guest who didn’t, at that time, follow local theatre.
Every night of the run was co-hosted by a leader from one of our
local theatre companies. They greeted our new guests at the door, poured the wine, ushered them into the parlor, and basically made them feel at home.
After experiencing the show, the guests got to spend some time with the cast, share a drink, and make a personal connection with them and with each other.
Every night was electric! An unforgettable celebration of a shared experience.
When the night was done, our guests were sent off with two tickets to the next show in the co-hosting company's season. When the time comes for them to see that second show, they’ll be invited to bring someone new to theatre with them. Now if they want, they can mentor someone else into another memorable night of live theatre.
"I'm still thinking and talking about it."
- Dale C
"You made us all high! My friends were blown away by last night's performance. We couldn’t go home so we headed to Magnolia and talked about all 'the ghosts' in our own lives." - Linda N.
"Ghosts was AMAZING!!!!! We cannot thank you enough for providing such a wonderful, enriching experience of sitting in the middle of a play in a beautiful home!!!
The Gateway program is working because we will definitely be going to more of these!" - DeeDee R.
"I feel haunted today, that's for sure ."
- Jo W.