Our story



Our mission is to empower artists to create work of the highest caliber and to engage diverse audiences through stories that inspire and impact our community.


Penfold was founded in June 2007 by Ryan Crowder, Nathan Jerkins and Sean Martin. The trio set out on a road trip across the central United States and brought home a vision for professional theatre in north Travis and Williamson counties. Upon return, they assembled a National Advisory Board, consisting of prominent theatre leaders from across the country. With their help, Penfold underwent an extensive period of planning and development, from which it emerged in the spring of 2008.


In its first nine seasons, Penfold produced 29 plays and 11 special events, which together garnered 114 local awards and honors, including Austin Critics Table Award for Best musical (two years in a row), Austin Critics Table and B. Iden Payne Awards for Best Actor and several years in the Austin Chronicle’s Top 10 lists.  Penfold has also been featured in the Austin Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman and Community Impact Newspaper.


Every year, the company offers an annual season of plays and musicals, multiple special events, a series of murder mysteries aboard the Austin Steam Train and summer camps for ages 6 to 13.