The Hillside

The Zilker Hillside Theater

The Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre is a beloved outdoor theatrical venue, located in Zilker Park on the picturesque banks of Barton Springs. The Zilker Hillside Theater has been home to engaging events, shows, and concerts for over 50 years. The Hillside is host to many exciting annual events such as Shakespeare in the Park, Zilker Theatre Productions’ Summer Musical, and The South Asian New Year hosted by the Texas Bengali Cultural Alliance. For more information, please visit AustinTexas.gov.

Theater Location
2206 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746

Theater Information & Protocol

Zilker Theatre Productions and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) appreciate your compliance with the following rules. Please contact one of our volunteers at the Info Table when you get to The Hillside if you have any questions.

Seating

  • Please bring your own blankets. They may be put down on The Hillside at any time. However, please note that ZTP is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. (Note that plastic tarps are not allowed.)
    In order to make the most efficient use of The Hillside, we encourage you to place blankets as close together as possible. And please take up only as much room as you actually need! Austin in known for its friendliness so if you end up having space left over, consider offering to share your blanket with those in less fortunate viewing spots!
  • ADA compliant upgrades now allow for designated seating for audience members with special challenges. A portion of the first level will be clearly marked for these patrons. This area is blocked off until 7:30, so please arrive before then if you need ADA accommodations.
  • ZTP often needs to block off spaces for our donors and cast members’ families. Please respect these marked areas.
  • Full-height lawn chairs are only allowed behind the low rock wall approximately 3/4  up the hill and along the walls at the top of The Hillside as they block the view of other patrons.  Please be respectful of patrons on blankets when placing full height chairs.
  • A clear walkway on the second level must be maintained at all times.
  • Please be aware that strobe lighting is used in some ZTP presentations. Please contact us for strobe lighting information for a particular show.

Chairs Available For Rent

To make your audience experience more enjoyable, ZTP is happy to offer low profile stadium chairs for a donation of $5 per seat. These chairs can be placed anywhere on the hillside for the duration of our performance. Please look for our rental booth and bring a photo ID. Chairs are available while supplies last!

Pets

Pets* are not allowed. Due to the large number of people in close quarters, as well as distractions for your fellow play-goers and the actors, please leave your pets at home.
* Except service dogs

Food & Drinks

Feel free to bring a picnic basket and/or cooler. A variety of ice cold drinks and snacks can be purchased from ZTP’s Concession Stand. (Proceeds benefit the production.)
No glass containers allowed.
Smoking is not allowed in the seating area, or anywhere in Zilker Park.
Please help us keep The Hillside clean by putting your trash and recycling in the available containers – and packing as much out with you as you can.

Download: ZTP’s Hillside Tips Checklist

Transportation Options to The Hillside

ZTP encourages you to consider using pedal power or public transportation to attend the Zilker Summer Musical.
Biking, hiking, carpooling, and ride share are usually easier than on-site parking. Ride Austin has a special drop-off spot near the Zilker Hillside Theater! Use the #RoundUp option to support ZTP!

Bus and biking information can be found here.

Driving & Parking

The entrance to The Zilker Hillside Theater is on the northbound MoPac service road just before you reach Barton Springs road. The Theater is across from Barton Springs Pool.

Via MoPac:
Take MoPac (Loop 1) to the Rollingwood/2244 exit. If you’re coming from the north, make a U-turn under the freeway; from the south, pass through the light and keep heading straight. Follow the access road around the park to your right. The entrance to parking will be on your right.
Via I-35:
Take the Riverside exit. Head west on Riverside towards downtown. The first light past Congress Ave. is Barton Springs Rd. Turn left and follow Barton Springs about 1.5 miles to Zilker Park. The entrance to parking will be on your left.
We suggest you enter via EASTBOUND Barton Springs Road from Mopac. Westbound lanes can back up and cause delays in arriving to the park. If you are approaching the park via the westbound lanes, we suggest you take the turn-around at Mopac and 2244.
Parking is at a premium in Zilker Park this summer. Please plan on allocating plenty of time. On-site parking is first-come, first-served, and is very limited in the summer months, especially on weekends.
A limited number of handicapped parking spaces are available in the lower parking lot near the stage. They are first-come, first-served. Please arrive by 7:30 if you will need ADA seating at the Zilker Hillside Theater.
The City of Austin offers FREE parking in the Polo Field above the Hillside Theater on Thursday through Sunday evenings starting at 6 pm.
Please note that parking in the pool area is reserved for cast, crew, staff, and special guests who have a City of Austin issued parking pass.
ZTP Parking Staff help to direct parking. They are not City of Austin employees, but will do their best to assist.

Biking

Public Transportation

Bus stops near the Beverly S Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater are:

  • STOP #4079 (BARTON SPRINGS (ZILKER PARK)
  • STOP #4081 (BARTON SPRINGS & ZILKER)
  • STOP #4080 (2221 BARTON SPRINGS (ZILKER)
  • STOP #2206 (2220 BARTON SPRINGS (ZILKER)
  • STOP #4167 (MOPAC & ZILKER)
  • STOP #5264 (MOPAC & BEE CAVES)
  • STOP #4166 (MOPAC & NATURE CENTER)
  • STOP #2202 (1900 BARTON SPRINGS & ROBERT E LEE)
  • STOP #2144 (BARTON SPRINGS & BARTON)
  • STOP #2160 (1718 BARTON SPRINGS & KINNEY)
  • STOP #4488 (MOPAC & WALLINGWOOD)

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