Early in 1999 the minister of First UU Church of Austin assembled church members who had expressed an interest in drama. The original group functioned as a drama resource for the minister, creating what we call Sunday Shorts, presented in the sanctuary during Sunday services. To this day we continue to present occasional Sunday Shorts.
Within a year this small but ambitious theater company extended their vision to a broader audience under the leadership and guidance of Ann Edwards and Paullette MacDougal. Ann became the Managing Director and eventually, when the theater grew to the point of needing a more formal structure, Ann served as Chair of the Paradox Players Leadership Committee. Paullette, a nationally recognized playwright, served as Artistic Director from the theater’s inception until 2012. Gary Payne served as Artistic Director until 2017. Barbara Abbate currently serves as Artistic Director.
In May 2000, we produced our initial Main Stage public production. Over the years since Paradox Players has grown significantly in audience size and reputation. We currently produce three plays a year, each production running three weekends. Our mission is to present plays that inspire hope and provoke thought and discussion. Our goal is to promote fellowship among all participants in a production.
As an outreach of the First UU Church of Austin, Paradox Players reflects the church’s mission to meet in community to nourish souls, transform lives and do justice. The First UU church community lends strong support to productions, reliably providing at least 40 volunteers to fill crew and front-of-house positions.