Gary Austin Headshot

The Austin is an award which we give in honor of a much-loved and much-missed member of the ANDTheatre community, Gary Austin.

If you go to Wikipedia or any online source, you will read about how Austin went from college theatre major to founding one of the pre-eminent theatrical improv companies, The Groundlings. His bio includes a who’s who list of significant actors and improvisors (Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, Paul Feig, Helen Slater, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens, the late Phil Hartman, Academy Award & Emmy nominee Lindsay Crouse, Tony winner Lillias White, Jennifer Grey, the late Pat Morita, Donna Summer, Loretta DeVine, Robert David Hall and Daphne Zuniga).

25 years ago, Gary came to New York to extend his workshops to this coast.  Here, he met Artistic New Directions, now ANDTheatre, and was asked to participate in our first Summer Improv Retreat where he met Michael J. Gellman and Carol Fox Prescott who, along with Jeffrey Sweet, became the basis for AND’s thrust into theatrical improvisation.

THE AUSTIN is given by AND’s Board of Directors to honor distinguished artists who have graced our company by bringing their special talents to AND projects, much as Gary did for many years

2017 Award Winners

Patricia Birch (Director, Choreographer)

Jeff McCarthy (Actor)

2018 Award Winner

Michele Pawk (Actor)

The Classroom Workshop