From the Zilker Summer Musical to Broadway
The Zilker Summer Musical (aka “ZSM”) is a beloved Austin tradition, and also the “yellow brick road” for quite a few actors who have taken the journey from the summer sun at the Zilker Hillside to the bright lights of Broadway.
Here, we’ll update you on the stories and journeys of ZTP stars who shared their talents with Zilker Summer Musical audiences and have realized their dreams on Broadway.
In Summer 2018, we were thrilled to welcome ZTP’s Oklahoma! (2014) cast member J. Quinton Johnson back to the Zilker Hillside stage when he was on a brief respite from Hamilton on Broadway.
For those of you who believe in big dreams, your tax-deductible donation makes it possible for ZTP to offer the Zilker Summer Musical – and the entire audition process – admission-free to stars of the future and their families!
Here’s a photo of J. Quinton Johnson as “Will Parker” with a budding actor during the H-E-B sponsored Saturday “Li’l Ropers” pre-show for Oklahoma!
The ZTP team also loved hearing that Nicholas Rodriguez (Big River, 1999) was recently in the Off-Broadway Hamilton spoof “Spamilton” and is now starring in Carousel.
You also may remember some of the other Zilker Summer Musical alums who have gone on to Broadway, including:
Barrett Davis (Secret Garden, 2004, and Annie Get Your Gun, 2005)
Cathy Taylor (6 ZSMs including Miss Liberty, 1986)
Demond Green (Will Roger’s Follies, 2001)
Ernie Pruneda (Into the Woods, 2002)
Julie White (Fiddler on the Roof, 1977)
Steve Hauck (Fiddler on the Roof, 1977)
Susan Branch Towne (Costume Designer for 7 Zilker Summer Musicals!)
Recently, Cathy Taylor shared her memories of the Zilker Summer Musical with us:
The Zilker Summer Musical holds a very special place in my heart. It is where I spent 6 wonderful summers. My time at Zilker was a very happy experience for me and I met some wonderful people with amazing talent. Anyone who has ever done a show on The Hillside will understand how special it is. It was a fabulous mix of incredible people sharing great times with the City of Austin. And Austin audiences just can’t be beat! Those experiences were the impetus for me to head to New York. Zilker Forever!
*Please do contact us here if we have missed any of our talented actors, production team, or crew members from the rich history of 59 seasons of the Zilker Summer Musical!
Finally, you may remember ZSM alum, Jordan Barron, who now lives in NYC, and is Broadway-bound.
And, this summer, he returned to Austin for a few months to star as The Tin Man in ZTP’s The Wizard of Oz.
According to his dad, ZTP’s Board Past-President Craig Barron, Jordan got the acting bug after seeing his first Zilker Summer Musical, South Pacific, in 1998. Starting at age 11, he went on to be part of almost every show on The Hillside between 2005 to 2012.
Jordan shared this reflection with ZTP:
Being part of the Zilker Theatre Productions’ family taught me the importance of putting love and teamwork into your art. The people who come together for these shows are there to give something to the audience and create something special together for the community. Being introduced to the theatre world through the love of a community like ZTP is a deep rooted part of what has helped me find motivation in all my theatrical endeavors, including those in New York.
“Break a Leg!” on Broadway, Jordan!
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