The Explorers' Club
by Austin Playhouse

Apr. 01 - May. 01, 2016

London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and they have the worst bartender in town. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Throw in a deadly cobra, an irate irishman, and a trouble-making tribesman; then shake, stir, and garnish with fresh feminist ire. Austin Playhouse is excited to present Nell Benjamin’s new, hijinks-happy cocktail The Explorers Club.



David Stahl, Michael Stuart (photo by Jess Hughes)


The Explorers Club stars Austin Playhouse company members Brian Coughlin as Sir Harry Percy, Claire Grasso as Phyllida Spotte-Hume, Huck Huckaby as Sir Bernard Humphries, Stephen Mercantel as Luigi, Tom Parker as Professor Sloane, David Stahl as Professor Cope, and Michael Stuart as Professor Walling with Aaron Johnson as Lucius Fretway and Zac Thomas as Beebe.


The play is directed by LaraToner with set design by Mike Toner, costume design by Buffy Manners, lighting design by Don Day, and sound design by Joel Mercado-See.


Austin Playhouse 16th Anniversary Season.  Our 2015-2016 season opened with Tom Stoppard’s most moving play The Real Thing, September 18 - October 11, 2015, followed by the beloved romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry, November 20 - December 20, 2015, a jazz-infused drama about the king of baseball Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, February 12 - March 6, 2016, and a hilarious spoof on Victorian adventurers The Explorers Club by Nell Benjamin, April 1 - May 1, 2016. The final show of our season will be Stephen Sondheim’s wildly romantic musical A Little Night Music, May 27 - June 26, 2016. In addition to our five-play season, Austin Playhouse also produced the regional premieres of Austin playwright C. Denby Swanson’s The Norwegians, October 23 - November 7, 2015, and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize award-winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, January 15 - 31, 2016.


Austin Playhouse is a professional theatre currently performing its 16th season. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Don Toner and Artistic Director Lara Toner Haddock, Austin Playhouse has grown from a three-play season on the campus of Concordia University, to a year-round operation producing an average of eight plays a year. Austin Playhouse is currently performing at the Austin Community College Highland campus. The theatre has recently been renovated to include an expanded lobby, rehearsal hall, and restroom facilities.


Interview of J. Ben Wolfe by Shanon Weaver, Austin Chronicle, April 21, 2016



The Explorers' Club
by Neil Benjamin
Austin Playhouse

April 01 - May 01, 2016
Austin Playhouse
6001 Airport Boulevard
Austin, TX, 78752

April 1 - May 1, 2016

Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

at Austin Playhouse at ACC’s Highland Campus, 6001 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78752


TICKETS: $28 Thursday/Friday, $30 Saturday/Sunday, $35 Opening Night

BOX OFFICE: Call 512.476.0084 or email

DISCOUNTS: All student tickets are half-price. $3 discount for Seniors 65 and up. Group rates available.


Brian Coughlin, Ben Wolfe, Claire Grasso and Aaron Johnson (photo by Jess Hughes)