Penfold Permanent Home in Round Rock

ROUND ROCK CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO APPROVE ARTS GRANT ALLOWING PENFOLD THEATRE COMPANY TO LOCK IN PERMANENT VENUE

After 16 Years the Theatre Company Will Call Round Rock Homebase

Penfold Theatre

ROUND ROCK, TX –Penfold Theatre Company (Penfold) will soon create a permanent performing arts venue in Round Rock, TX, thanks to a unanimous decision by the Round Rock City Council.

After sixteen years of producing at various venues in the area, Penfold looks to grow roots at Rock Creek Plaza in Round Rock with the goal of opening in fall of 2024. On Thursday, February 22 the Round Rock City Council approved a $326,330 Arts Grant allocation from hotel occupancy tax (HOT) funds, which will be used to cover the cost of the venue’s rent for 18 months following the venue’s rent commencement date.

Through a tri-party agreement with the City of Round Rock and Danly Properties, Penfold will transform space inside Rock Creek Plaza into a vibrant performing arts venue able to house a wide variety of programs, incubate local arts organizations and address Round Rock’s need for an indoor performing arts facility.

Bordered by I-35 and North Mays Street, the new venue boasts 6,400 square feet and 15-foot ceilings, making it an ideal size for an intimate performance venue with a flexible seating capacity of 100 to 150. The venue’s existing layout as an assembly hall with a lobby, event space, public restrooms and backstage support areas means Penfold can avoid significant construction or renovation costs.

Community feedback from the City of Round Rock’s 2023 Arts & Culture Plan, “Round Rock Creates,” shows the desire and need for more arts and culture in the city. Nearly 86% of survey participants responded that the “City of Round Rock should either fully support or play a major role in expanding arts and culture opportunities.” In addition, 63% of survey respondents rate either adapting or building new facilities for arts and culture as a high or extremely high priority.

“These agreements are in line with the City’s objective to nurture creative enterprises and expand entertainment choices for our residents—a mission that Penfold has consistently supported through the years,” said Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan. “I believe this project is the right fit for Round Rock and I look forward to this new chapter in Penfold’s efforts to enrich our cultural landscape.”

As a recognized leader in the Central Texas arts community, Penfold has been a long-time trusted partner of the City of Round Rock, teaming up annually with the City’s Parks & Recreation Department since 2010 to present “Penfold in the Park,” which offers free theatre under the stars at the Centennial Plaza Amphitheater. Penfold has worked closely with the City’s Office of Arts & Culture on community-wide initiatives and events for over a decade, including being a founding member of the Round Rock ISD Council of the Arts, and has provided workshops, internships, externships, camps and performances to students and teachers.

Penfold has produced more than 50 professional productions in Round Rock, Austin, Cedar Park and Georgetown. With more than 160 local awards and honors, including the Austin Chronicle’s “Best in Austin” and awards for Best Musical, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Theatre Outside Austin City Limits, Penfold has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, the Austin American StatesmanAustin ChronicleCommunity Impact Newspaper and others. In 2018, Penfold was selected by the Bloomberg Foundation to participate in the prestigious Arts, Innovation & Management Program with a cohort of other Central Texas organizations.

“With a permanent home, Penfold can build deeper, more focused relationships with area audiences, artists and supporters,” said Producing Artistic Director Ryan Crowder. “Penfold will serve as the venue’s manager and primary tenant, producing an annual season of plays and musicals. In addition, Penfold will offer affordable rental space to other arts organizations and welcome artists who are displaced or without performance space.”

With a planned opening in Fall 2024, Penfold Theatre expects to host its first performance in October of this year. A full season for 2024-2025 will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the City of Round Rock grant agreement, Penfold received $35,000 from the Next Act Foundation for capital expenses associated with opening the permanent venue, accounting for 35% of its $100,000 goal. To help make its new home performance ready, Penfold looks to raise the remaining $65,000 in cash and in-kind goods and services to lightly renovate flex space for rehearsals, readings, classes and community events, as well as cover external signage, riser seating, lighting and sound equipment, and necessary furniture and equipment for the behind-the-scenes technicians and administrators that make every show possible. Those interested in supporting the campaign can learn more at www.penfoldtheatre.org.

Rendering of Penfold Facade

Rendering of Facade

Aerial shot of Rock Creek Plaza

Sponsors: Apology, City of Round Rock, Next Act Foundation, Old Settlers Association of Williamson County, P&B Print and Design Studio.

About Penfold Theatre Company

Penfold Theatre Company has served the Austin-Round Rock metro area for 16 years by telling intimate stories of hope and empathy. The company has reemerged from the pandemic with a particular focus on reimagining classics, which is reflected in the season line-up, as well as in several new initiatives.

In addition to the professional plays and musicals Penfold is known for (Penfold in the Park and the annual holiday radiocasts) new company initiatives include a five-year New Play Commission Series, a new Great Plays in Great Places Series and an Arts Leadership Apprenticeship in partnership with Texas State University.

The aim is that these new programs will have increased impact on the City, Sector and Penfold: City, by investing in Central Texas artists and creating community and dialogue around their work; Sector, by consciously reimagining the classical repertoire for a modern, diverse, local audience; and Penfold, by telling transportive stories that rekindle a sense of shared humanity, empathy and hope.

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