Rude Mechs is an ensemble-based theatre company founded in Austin, TX in 1995. Since our inception, we’ve produced close to 30 original theatrical productions, received over 180 nominations for artistic excellence, have been honored as “The Best Theatre Company in Austin” by the Austin Chronicle for a record four consecutive years, and in 2010 were honored for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre & Performing Arts in Austin by the B. Iden Payne Awards Committee.

Here’s what we do, click on the links to learn more about each program:

Create New Plays

We collaboratively create original work in Austin. We don’t produce the “old chestnuts” or even new chestnuts by other people. All of our work is home grown. We promise to always use our best thinking, our fiercest arguments, and the last of our midnight oil to make mentally nervy and physically ecstatic shows. We believe Austin has a unique voice. We are proud to represent it here, and to export it with sass as we tour nationally and internationally.

Run Performing Arts Venue

We manage The Off Center, Austin’s most affordable performance venue. It is home to our Scenic Co-op (see below), visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, and theatre companies. By keeping our rental rates low, and often giving the space away for free, we subsidize the work that goes on in The Off Center to the tune of about $15,000 to $20,000 per year.

Co – Produce New Works

We keep Austin’s performance scene fresh by co-producing local artists in our Rude Fusion series and by co-producing the best touring shows in the country.

Artists! If you would like to submit a proposal for Rude Fusion, click here to download the guidelines.

Serve our Community

The Off Center’s houses re-usable scenic and properties elements and offers them to Austin’s live performance artists free of charge in an effort to reduce the amount of ecological waste our industry generates each year. In 2006, Co-Producing Artistic Director Thomas Graves imagined and created this service as part of his Master’s thesis, and Rude Mechs was happy to provide the square footage to help him realize this project which has been going strong for several years. The Off Center also features a scene shop, which is available to the community at very affordable rates. Contact Thomas Graves for information about renting the Scene Shop.

Rude Mechs is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to see our productions, regardless of economic status. To that end, we offer Pay-What-You-Can admission, and we mean it quite literally. Every Thursday and Sunday night of every mainstage production patrons may select their own ticket price based on what they can afford to pay. We also offer sliding scale admission ($12 – $25) on Fridays and Saturdays.

Immediately following each Thursday night performance of Mainstage shows, we invite you to stick around to join the cast, crew, and creators for a lively and engaging discussion about the work.

We are incredibly proud to have launched Off Center Teens – our program for teens focused on writing for performance.


We offer observerships and internships in production, administration and arts education.

We believe it’s important to serve as a bridge to the next generation of artists, and offer exposure to just about everything we do.

If you are interested in working with Rude Mechs, please fill out an application. We will give first priority to University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance students. Our internships do not pay cash money. We wish we could, but we cannot provide housing for out-of-town students.