Penfold Theatre Presents

The Theatre Guild on the Air

September 5 – October 3, 2021
At the Neill-Cochran House Museum

With readings of Macbeth, This Side of Paradise and Vanity Fair.

From 1945 to 1963, listeners across the nation tuned in to Theatre Guild on the Air. Created by the Theatre Guild, which produced 220 plays on Broadway, Theatre Guild on the Air broadcast radio retellings of classic and contemporary plays, bringing the Great White Way to Main Street, USA.

Now, Penfold Theatre is hosting a series of live readings, free-of-charge, from the Theatre Guild on the Air Collection at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. Performed in the live radio show format by local actors and a foley sound artist, audiences will hear the original Broadway broadcasts given new life.

After each hour-long reading, Penfold’s artistic directors will host a discussion between the audience and artists. All this takes place at Austin’s historic Neill-Cochran House Museum, originally an iconic mansion house built in the mid-19th century.

Price: Free (reservation required due to limited seating, donations appreciated)
Run time: 90 minutes
For ages: High school+

Need help? Email us or dial (512) 850-4849.

COVID Safety Measures

September 5th, 6PM


By William Shakespeare
Directed by Marcus McQuirter

Macbeth follows a Scottish general’s rise to power after receiving a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by power and spurred on by his wife, Macbeth’s ruthlessness threatens to destroy his nation, those closest to him and even his own sanity. This masterpiece by William Shakespeare is a timeless warning against unchecked ambition.

September 19th, 6PM

This Side of Paradise

By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Directed by Carl Gonzales

A brilliant Princeton poet, a World War I veteran and a passionate suitor to the beautiful Rosalind Connage, Amory Blaine’s future is bright. But in this probing character study, wealth, social standing and romance fail the young man, leading him down a painful but revelatory path to self-discovery. This Side of Paradise is the autobiographical, debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald that gave voice to a generation of disillusioned urbanites in the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

October 3rd, 6PM

Vanity Fair

By William M. Thackeray
Directed by Rosalind Faires

A marvelous, incisive social satire that gleefully exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars by tracing the changing fortunes of the scheming opportunist Becky Sharp, a poor but resourceful anti-heroine determined to reach the heights of society despite her station and her sex. This comic, sexy epic is considered the masterpiece of William Makepiece Thackeray, a friend and contemporary of Charles Dickens. Vanity Fair’s subversive attack on the hypocrisy of an avaricious world resonates 150 years later with implications for our own times.


Neill-Cochran House Museum

2310 San Gabriel Street
Austin, TX 78705
See map

Parking: In the rear parking lot or on the curb of 23rd Street.

Great Plays in Great Places Series

The Great Plays in Great Places Series features stories that are inspired by, in conversation with or performed in unique places across the region.

The Neill-Cochran House, a beautiful representation of Greek architecture in the heart of Austin, is the city’s 10th oldest historic site, dating back to 1856. Once a state school for the blind, a federal hospital and a private residence, the Neill-Cochran House is now a historically furnished museum that hosts numerous rotating art and history exhibitions. Penfold Theatre is excited to introduce its patrons to this iconic Austin treasure – the perfect backdrop for a collection of unearthed broadcast history.

COVID Safety Measures

Your health matters to us! We will be monitoring the City of Austin COVID Dashboard and will set protocols based on the City’s current risk level. We appreciate your help providing everyone a safe and healthy environment to enjoy live theatre.

Stage 2 and Below

  • Require masks for unvaccinated persons, per City recommendation
  • Ask those with symptoms or recent exposure to stay home
  • Disinfect surfaces for each event
  • Provide hand sanitizer and encourage regular hand washing

Stage 3

In addition to the precautions above,

  • Move performance to outdoor grounds of the Neill Cochran House Museum
  • Ask high-risk unvaccinated persons to stay home, per City Recommendation

Stage 4 and Above

In addition to the precautions above,

  • Require masks for vaccinated persons, per City recommendation
  • Ask unvaccinated persons to stay home, per City recommendation
  • Close concessions sales

You can read more about our COVID safety protocols here.

Season Sponsors

Cultural Arts - City of Austin Economic Development
Round Rock - Arts & Culture
Edward Jones - Larry Najvar
Old Settlers Association
P&B Print and Design Studio
Texas Commission of the Arts
Tri-M Foundation