We’re thrilled that this year’s Zilker Summer Musical is so family-friendly! You can take the kids to see Shrek The Musical on the Zilker Hillside Theatre through August 13 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:15 p.m. Admission is free (with donations appreciated). Zilker Theatre Productions always presents an amazingly high-quality show for the Austin community. It’s such a fun experience to watch a Broadway-style show under the stars.


Photo credit: Dave Keslick, courtesy of Zilker Theatre Productions

We were so impressed with this production when we saw it on the hillside last week! Shrek The Musical brings all of the beloved characters from the film to life on stage. This Broadway show was actually nominated for 8 Tony Awards and 12 Drama Desk Awards, and has jokes and entertaining moments that appeal to all ages. It tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on an adventure with a wise-cracking donkey and becomes an unlikely hero who fights a dragon and rescues a princess. Kids will love the silly antics of Donkey & Shrek, parents will chuckle at the jokes geared towards grownups, and everyone will appreciate the big song and dance numbers. Everything from the costumes to choreography to singing is top-notch!


Photo credit: Dave Keslick, courtesy of Zilker Theatre Productions

If you’re planning to take young children, there are a few considerations we think you’ll wan to keep in mind…

  • The shows don’t start until 8:15 p.m., so yes, you will be in for a really late night.
  • The dragon in the show is AMAZING, but her scenes are dark and might be worth talking about with the kids if you think they would get nervous about dark lighting and a huge dragon puppet on the stage.
  • For some extra fun, you can plan on going for some pre-show dancing on Saturdays. Each Saturday at 7 p.m., members of the cast of Shrek will invite children come on stage for a Little Ogres Swamp Stomp.
  • It’s really dark when the show ends, so bring a flashlight to help you find your way back to your car.

IMG_1457— What to Know Before You Go:

Where is the Zilker Hillside Theatre, and where can I park?
Beverly S. Sheffield Theater is located across from to Barton Springs Pool. The parking entrance is located at 2201 Barton Springs Rd. within Zilker Park.

  • Parking is always free all day on Thursdays and Fridays in every lot at Zilker Park.
  • Parking will be free in the Polo Field (the lot above the Hillside Theater) on Saturday and Sundays as of 6 pm through August 13th!

(Please note that parking in the pool area is reserved for cast, crew, staff, and special guests who have a City of Austin issued parking pass.)

Where can I sit?
Everyone is invited to bring their own blankets and folding chairs to sit on the grassy hillside and watch the show. Blankets may not be put down before 6 p.m. and plastic tarps are not allowed. Full-height lawn chairs are only allowed behind the low rock wall approximately 3/4 up the hill and along the walls at the top of The Hillside as they block the view of other patrons. Low-height, low-backed “beach chairs” and blankets are allowed in the section behind the lighting poles on the second level. Also note that there are some centrally located spots that are reserved for donors and cast members families.

This year you can rent low-back chairs to use anywhere on the Hillside. Rental cost is $5 per chair. Please bring your photo ID to the rental booth.

ADA accessibility allows for designated seating for audience members with special needs. The first level (stage level) will be available for these patrons. Please contact Zilker Theatre Productions at 512-479-9491 if you need any special assistance.

What can I bring?
Pack a picnic basket and/or cooler. A variety of drinks and snacks can also be purchased from the theater’s concession stand (proceeds benefiting the production). Don’t forget your bug repellant. And if you have any hand-held fans, you might wish to bring those, too, or anything that helps you stay cool in the warm summer temperatures.

  • No glass containers are allowed.
  • No smoking is permitted in the seating area.
  • No pets are allowed.

What is the bathroom situation?
There are port-a-potties on site as well as the restroom by Barton Springs Pool (although take note that those facilities operate on pool hours.)

What if it rains?

  • If the rain stops at Zilker Park by 6 p.m. on the night of a scheduled performance, they will try to dry the stage and go on with the show… if at all possible.
  • In cases where there has been a large amount of rain before a performance, the stage and/or hillside may be too wet to insure the safety of the performers and audience.
  • For information on the status of an evening’s performance, call the Zilker Theatre Productions Hotline at 512-479-9491. The hotline message will be updated as quickly as possible to reflect the current status of the performance.

Where to get more info?
For more information, visit the Zilker Theatre Productions website.

–> Do512 Family is a proud sponsor of this year’s show! You can stop by our table at the hillside for free summer activity calendars on Thursday, July 14; Saturday, July 16; and Saturday, July 30.

Have fun!