Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play
by Vortex Summer Youth Theatre

May. 28 - May. 31 (2020)

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play is an dark American comedy by Anne Washburn, featuring music by Michael Friedman. Mr. Burns tells the story of a group of survivors of a global catastrophe (!!!) recalling and retelling The Simpsons “Cape Feare” episode. The play moves into the future as the cultural mythology of this tale takes and an absurd evolution into cult-like engagement. This award-winning play originally premiered at the Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington D.C. in 2012 and then Playwrights Horizons, New York City. It has received award-winning productions locally at St. Edward’s University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Directed by Jennifer Jennings. Musical Direction by Vikki Schwarz.

Assistant Director, Hayley Armstrong. Assistant Musical Director, Ali Stuckey. Company Manager, Jelena Stojilkovic Rhynes Stage Manager, Joi Green. Producing Artistic Director, Bonnie Cullum.


Anne Washburn is from the West and Northwest and as a result prefers her foliage and landscapes a little on the drastic side. Her plays include, The Internationalist, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, The Ladies, I Have Loved Strangers, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and a transadaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, E.S.T., London’s Gate Theatre, NYC’s Soho Rep., DC’s Studio Theater, and NYC’s Vineyard Theatre, among others. Her plays have been published by American Theatre, Theatre Magazine, and by Playscripts, and are included in the anthologies New Downtown Now, New York Theater Review 2007, and The Civilians: an Anthology of Six Plays. Support includes a Bug ‘n’ Bub Award, residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo, and a Guggenheim. She has been commissioned by The Civilians, Soho Rep, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and Yale, is a member of 13P and The Civilians, and a New Georges affiliated artist.



Jennifer Jennings was most recently seen eating up all the okra as Weezy the Talking Goat in the Rolling World Premiere of Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly. Jen is making her directorial debut with Mr. Burns after assistant directing Alice’s Wonderland last summer. A VORTEX Rep Company member, her productions include Performance Park (winner of four 2018 Austin Critics Table awards), Wild Horses (2018 B. Iden Payne Outstanding Actress in a Drama; Robert Faires' Top 10 (+1) Theatre Riches of 2017; 2018 Austin Critics Table Performance by an Individual), Storm Still (2018 B. Iden Payne Small Cast Performance in Scripted Theatre), Terminus (2016 B. Iden Payne Outstanding Cast Performance), Sing Muse (2013 B. Iden Payne Outstanding Original Score), Air, :humpty, Lear, Sleeping Beauty, Oceana, and Secret Life of the In-Betweeners. Favorite regional productions include Much Ado About Nothing (Penfold Theatre and Present Company), Agent Andromeda (Sky Candy), title of show (Austin Theatre Project), The History of King Lear (The Hidden Room), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Austin Theatre Project), and Still Now (Shrewd Productions). Super Team J 4-eva.




For several generations, SYT has provided high-caliber theatrical productions to Austin audiences as the jewel of VORTEX’s community engagement. The Austin Chronicle named SYT “Best Theatre Program that Treats Kids like Grownups.” Nominated for dozens of local awards, SYT has received B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Production of a Play for Youth for The Commedia of Errors and Machinal, Outstanding Direction of a Play for Youth for The Commedia of Errors, The Physicists, Moby Dick, and The Frogs, Outstanding Acting for The Physicists and Moby Dick, and Outstanding Sound Design for Machinal. Every year, students work with adult artists who are among Austin’s most celebrated theatre professionals. Producing Artistic Director, Bonnie Cullum, who founded SYT in 1991, was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2009.

Audition Sign Up Form for Summer Youth Theatre 2020



The VORTEX seeks students ages 13-17 to participate in Summer Youth Theatre 2020 (SYT). This year’s program is highly competitive for a position with a select youth ensemble including actors, musicians, technicians, understudies, and production assistants. All students and their families will be required to wear face-coverings, practice social distancing, and participate in all health and safety protocols.

Now in its 29th year, this award-winning tuition-free program rehearses and performs evenings and weekends June 1-August 1, 2020. Rehearsals culminate in a full production of Mr. Burns: a post-electric play, presented to the public over two weekends. 

Students of any ethnicity, heritage, gender, disability, or economic background, and students of all experience levels are welcome to audition for a small ensemble of diverse youth who will train together as they rehearse and perform this remarkable new play. Adult theatre professionals mentor students in all aspects of theatre including acting, design, technical theatre, and publicity.


Click HERE to go to webform application at the Vortex website. 


AUDITION/INTERVIEWS: By appointment at

  • Please submit an application online or by mail.

  • Prepare a memorized, one-minute monologue from a play.

  • A parent/guardian is required to attend the interview.

  • All students and their families will be required to wear face-coverings/masks, practice social distancing, and participate in all health and safety protocols.

Actors who are also singers and musicians encouraged to audition. We are also accepting applications for students interested in design and tech.

To receive an application by mail or to set up audition/interview time, email