FULL ZTP & ME INTERVIEW: KATE HIX
For this November 2017’s ZTP & Me interview, we chatted with Kate Hix, ZTP’s Executive Director, to learn more about what she loves about the Zilker Summer Musical, and what she’s excited about for ZTP’s 60th anniversary season.
ZTP: What was the first Zilker Summer Musical you ever saw?
Kate: I remember Oklahoma! in 1993 so clearly. Scotty Roberts was my absolute favorite. It was all so magical, I begged my mom to bring me again and have been coming ever since!
ZTP: What are some of your favorite memories on The Hillside?
Kate: In addition to bringing my own kids to The Hillside every summer, one of my favorite moments every year is watching the faces of the kids in the crowd light up during the show every night.
Also, I will always remember the audience erupting in applause like I’d never heard before on the closing night of Hairspray (2015). It warmed my heart, and made me proud knowing that the cast and crew had worked so hard and were rewarded with such big, enthusiastic audiences.
ZTP: Why did you support ZTP even before you got involved as a volunteer, and later Executive Director?
Kate: My mom – who still comes to the Zilker Summer Musical every season – would give me cash to drop in the buckets and I loved it. I asked for more bills so I could approach as many of the actors as possible. It was a small way to be a part of the magic of the show. Now my own daughter loves to drop money in the buckets and meet the actors.
At age 4, Maya is already a seasoned veteran, having attended Hairspray, Shrek The Musical and The Wizard of Oz multiple times. My youngest, Hudson, also enjoyed hanging out with me at The Hillside this summer. I know that Maya can’t wait to share her favorite part of the Zilker Summer Musical with him: eating cotton candy while everybody sings her favorite songs. The fact that a child so young can enjoy a musical over and over again (without disturbing other patrons like I’m sure she would inside a traditional quiet, dark theater) is such a magical experience to witness!
As a parent and a musical theater lover, I support Zilker Theatre Productions because I believe the Zilker Summer Musical is a crucially important Austin cultural treasure…and because I love to see the look on my daughter’s face when the first actors step onto the stage and the orchestra starts the overture at sunset. It is truly one of the most magical theater – and outdoor – experiences imaginable. Even if I weren’t the Executive Director of ZTP, I would still tear up at the magical moment the “curtain rises” on a Zilker Summer Musical!
ZTP: What is your Zilker Summer Musical dream show?
Kate: I have a soft spot for “Bye Bye Birdie” even though it’s pretty dated and everyone says it’s overdone and not popular enough with young people. My dream role is Rosie.
ZTP: After 60 years, the Zilker Summer Musical has evolved and changed. What are some of the changes you’ve witnessed? What do you want to see in ZTP’s future?
Kate: I started as a volunteer during The Music Man (2009)and became a Board member shortly after that show. I became Executive Director in 2013. All Shook Up will be my 10th summer with Zilker Theatre Productions.
Every year, ZTP is becoming more of a professional theatre company. In the future, I am excited to see how our growing staff, elevated production values, and expanded educational programming will impact the Austin community in even more ways.
MORE ABOUT KATE
Kate is looking forward to all the festivities during the Elvis-inspired musical comedy All Shook Up – especially the Catered Preview for donors which will be the event of the season on The Zilker Hillside. Stay tuned to ZTP’s newsletters for details.
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