The Great Society
by Zach Theatre

Jan. 25 - Mar. 05, 2017

ZACH Theatre is proud to announce the cast for the newest addition to its 2016-17 Season – The Texas Premiere of The Great Society, the second of Robert Schenkkan’s LBJ plays exploring Texas’ own political mastermind and his memorable years in the White House. The Great Society plays on stage in the Topfer Theatre January 25 – March 5, 2017, directed by Dave Steakley, ZACH Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, and stars Steve Vinovich in his return to the role of President Johnson.


Despite division over the Vietnam War and ongoing civil rights issues, Johnson championed the most ambitious legislative work – an end to poverty and racial injustice, education for all schoolchildren, healthcare for seniors, and voting rights – in his vision of a Great Society. In this political thrill ride, The Great Society examines who we are, asks how we got here, and dreams of how great we could yet become. Steve Vinovich returns to the role of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, after his acclaimed performance in ZACH’s All the Way.  


“In Steve Vinovich, Steakley has landed a skilled and winning actor to embody the 36th President. He has the look of LBJ, though that won't carry you far in such a demanding role; it's far more crucial that the actor has Johnson's history in his bones –and that Vinovich has. He shows a Lone Star native's love of a good yarn and a good fight in this sly smile that he flashes both when he's unspooling a dirty joke and when his LBJ has somebody by the balls. It's a smile that says he loves knowing where the bodies are buried and employing that knowledge for his own ends.” 
– The Austin Chronicle


“In the role of LBJ, Steve Vinovich shines as the prickly Hill Country native.” 
– The Austinot


“Eerie and electrifying… Steve Vinovich is an astonishing LBJ.” 
– Central Texas Live Theatre


Feature: Michael Barnes interviews Dave Steakley for the Austin Statesman, January 18, 2017

Feature: Morgan O'Hanlon interviews Dave Steakley for the Daily Texan, January 23, 2017

Feature: Deborah Hamilton-Lynne Interviews Steve Vinovich for, January 25, 2017

Feature by John DeMers at, January 26, 2017


The Great Society Cast

Steve Vinovich – President Lyndon B. Johnson

Cecil Washington, Jr. – Martin Luther King

Meredith McCall – Lady Bird Johnson/Ensemble

Jeff Jeffers – Senator Bobby Kennedy/Seymore Trammel/John McCone/Charles Robb/Ensemble

David R. Jarrott – J. Edgar Hoover/Walter Cronkite/Clark Clifford/Ensemble

Shelby Davenport – Humphrey/Ensemble

James Davies – Gov. George Wallace/Richard Nixon/Sheriff Jim Clark/Mayor Richard Daley/ Norman Morrison/Ensemble

Michael Miller – Senator Everett Dirksen/Cartha DeLoach/Garner Appel/Col. Al Lingo/Stanley Levison/General Wheeler/Ensemble

Vincent J. Hooper – Stokely Carmichael/Hosea Williams/Marquette Frye/Ensemble

Zell Miller III – Bob Moses/James Bevel/Rev. Dobynes/ Ensemble

Miles Chick – Adam Walinsky/Robert McNamara/Rep. Wilbur Mills/Ensemble

Garry Peters – Gen. Westmoreland/Gardner Ackley/Ensemble

Richard Romeo – Ralph Abernathy/Rep. Adam Clayton Powell/John Lewis/Ensemble

Michelle Alexander – Sally Childress/Coretta Scott King/Ensemble

Nash Ferguson – Jimmy Lee Jackson/Ensemble

Amber Quick – Sheriff's Aux/Muriel Humphrey/Lynda Bird Johnson/Pat Nixon/Ensemble


The Great Society Creative Team

Dave Steakley - Director

Russell M. Dembin - Dramaturg

Cliff Simon - Scenic Designer

Michael McDonald - Costume Designer

Serret Jensen - Hair and Makeup Designer

Michelle Habeck - Lighting Designer

Craig Brock - Sound Designer

Steve Baglio - Properties Designer

Catherine Anne Tucker - Stage Manager


About the author, ROBERT SCHENKKAN: Plays: The Kentucky Cycle (Pulitzer Prize; Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations and LA Drama Critics Award), By the Rivers of Babylon, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, Handler, Heaven on Earth, Final Passages, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Tachinoki, The Devil and Daniel Webster, A Single Shard, The Dream Thief. Musicals: The Twelve, A Night at the Alhambra Café. Film: The Quiet American. Television: The Pacific (two Emmy nominations and a WGA Award), The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, and Spartacus. All The Way won the inaugural Edward Kennedy Award, and the National Critics Association/Steinberg Best New Play Award. Its sequel, The Great Society, premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July, 2014.


About ZACH Theatre

A non-profit organization, ZACH creates intimate theatre experiences that ignite the imagination, inspire the spirit, and engage the community. As Austin’s leading professional producing theatre, ZACH employs more than 300 actors, musicians, and designers annually to create its own diverse array of nationally recognized plays and musicals under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley and Managing Director Elisbeth Challener. Each year, ZACH serves nearly 115,000 Central Texans – 55,000 of which are children and youth who participate in our education and outreach programs, as well as inspiring camps and classes. ZACH Theatre is honored to host private and community events across the beautiful rental-ready spaces on our three-stage campus located in the heart of Austin. Founded in 1932 and in its 84nd season, ZACH is the longest continuously running theatre company in the state of Texas, and one of the ten oldest in the country. Visit for more information.


ZACH Theatre’s 2016-17 Season is sponsored in part, by AT&T, Austin Catering, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dell, H-E-B, Holiday Inn-Lady Bird Lake, Kirk Tuck Photography, Marquee Event Group, OnRamp Access, and Schlotzsky’s; and by grants from The Shubert Foundation, the Junior League of Austin, The National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Cultural Arts Division of The City of Austin Economic Development Department.


Connect with ZACH:
Twitter @ZACHtheatre

The Great Society
by Robert Schenkkan
Zach Theatre

January 25 - March 05, 2017
Zach Theatre
1510 Toomey Road
Austin, TX, 78704

Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday matinees February 4 - March 4 start at 2:00 p.m.

Special events in celebration of The Great Society:

  • GLBT Pride Night: Thursday, January 26, 2017
  • Wednesday Post-Show Talkback – February 1, 2017
  • Sign Interpreted and Open Captioned Performance – February 1, 2017
  • Champagne Opening Night – Thursday, February 2, 2017
  • Z Lounge: Musical entertainment in the Topfer Theatre’s Main Lounge.

Tickets start at $25 and are available online at, by phone at 512-476-0541 ext. 1, or in person at the ZACH Theatre Box Office, in the Topfer Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. (corner of Riverside Drive and South Lamar Blvd.) Monday through Saturday, 12 noon – 7 p.m.  ZACH Theatre is wheelchair accessible.  Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more. Student Rush Tickets are $18 one hour before show time (with valid ID)

Recommendation: Thirteen and up. Adult language.

Run time: Three hours including two intermissions.