Past Productions

The Vineyard

The Vineyard by Nicole Oglesby, is a daring, sensuous new play about a group of vagabonds living at a winery in Central Texas. Using fringe technology and science, they explore the boundaries of self-healing and transcendence. The Vineyard is uniquely-told, heartfelt story about falling in love and coming of age in a world filled with uncertainty and boundless scientific discovery.

Creative Team:

Director & Producer: Marian Kansas
Playwright & Producer: Nicole Oglesby
Dramaturg & Producer: Katy Matz
Stage Manager: Nicole Sanchez
Lighting Designer: Lindsey McGowen
Set & Props Designer: Taylor Travis
Graphic Designer: Daniel Berkowitz
Musician & Composer: Walter Nichols
Assistant Producer Intern: Deja White


Joan: Rosalind Faires
Susanna: Khali Sykes
Georgia: Brooke Eden
Kevin: Will Gibson Douglas
Leo: Brennan Patrick

“Adding to the show’s freshness is its use of body horror, a genre that has historically been underexplored onstage. Even without blood or special effects, moments of reckless bodily mutilation create the same squirm-in-your-seat feeling as big-­budget gorefests – because the cast sells it.” – Trey Gutierrez, The Austin Chronicle

“Ultimately, so much between these characters goes unsaid, communicated instead by a tangible electricity that crackles between them. It’s these individuals’ messy five-way chemistry – a hypnotizing clusterfuck of love, anger, and betrayal — that makes The Vineyard a complete experience…” – Trey Gutierrez, The Austin Chronicle

“It’s a production whose themes and takeaways transcend the limits of its minimal set, small cast, and cramped performance space to become a larger, more complex whole.” – Trey Gutierrez, The Austin Chronicle

Read the full review here. 

THE VINEYARD is being presented with the assistance of SCRIPTWORKS through the FINER POINT FUND FOR NEW PLAY PRODUCTION.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.


Cowgirl Church is an original piece devised by the Heartland Theatre Collective. Cowgirl Church was selected for Best of Week and Best of Fest at Frontera Fest 2019.

Cowgirl Church was restaged at the Fallout Theatre for a fundraiser performance on May 19th, 2019. A huge thank you to everyone who came out to support us, especially the Fallout Theater for donating the space and Garage improv for performing with us. Thanks y’all!

Director: Marian Kansas
Performer/Writer: Nicole Oglesby
Performer: Katy Matz
Performer: Franny Harold
Performer: Alani Chock


Little Bird tells a haunting, feverish tale of two young girls living on a bayou in east Texas. As they grow, they become aware of the presence of ghosts and the eyes of something dangerous watching them behind looming cypress trees. The story takes place over eight years, focusing in on specific traumas the girls encounter through nightmarish, fantastical montages, and realistic, heartfelt moments. It also incorporates dance, poetic language, and live music. Little Bird explores friendship, trauma, and and the dangers of growing up in a girl’s body.

Little Bird premiered June 7 – 9, 14 – 16, 2018 at the Dougherty Arts Center.

Graphic design by Daniel Berkowitz.


Peg – Kenzie Stewart
Willa – Franny Harold*
Margot – Laney Neumann
The Hunter – Keith Adam Paxton

Creative Team:

Marian Kansas – Director/Producer
Nicole Oglesby – Playwright/Producer
Katy Matz – Dramaturg/Producer
Christopher Anderson – Stage Manager
Cindy Page – Costume Designer
Lindsey McGowan – Lighting Designer
Amanda Perry – Set & Props Designer
Movement Choreographer – Kelsey Oliver
Composer & Violinist – Christabel Lin**
PJ Kelly – Costume Consultant

*Nominated for the Austin Chronicles Best of 2018 – Best Actress
**Nominated for the B. Iden Payne Awards Council Outstanding Original Score and Outstanding Live Music Performance

Reviews for Little Bird

“‘Little Bird’ weaves a rich, emotionally nuanced tapestry around a story that is vital to women.” – Andrew Friedenthal, Austin360. Read the full review here.

“Oglesby’s exploration of spectral existence takes us to unexpected places and provides some of her play’s most human moments: the blossoming of friendships between spirits, the liberation from fears that troubled one in life, the frustration with time passing, the exhaustion of watching the world from an unbreachable remove, the yearning to comfort a loved one and be remembered by them. The dead, we see, are no less vulnerable than the living.” – Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle. Read the full review here. 

“The Heartland Collective’s Little Bird is perfect, full and beautiful, and it arrives in the #MeToo movement like a heaven-sent rain.” – Caroline Gorman, Read the full article here.

“Creating this piece, Oglesby and Kansas have transformed and muted themes we endure daily in our culture’s focus on dominance, conflict and violence. Their delicate fable reminds us that innocence must be protected and women face unacceptable pains and costs inherent in the organization of our society. And at the same time their vision as realized by the collaborating artists offers the gentle uplift of hope.” – Michael Miegs, CTX Live Theatre. Read the full review here. 


Dust by Nicole Oglesby is a full length play about three sisters fighting to stay alive in the Texas panhandle during the dust bowl in the shadow of a dying farm and a miraculous apricot tree. With little money or hope, they choose to love dangerously and question the dark parts of their heritage and faith. What unfolds is a meditation on motherhood, heartache, and what it means to be a young woman in Texas.

Dust premiered October 2016 at the Pony Shed at The VORTEX.

Poster and logo design by Daniel Berkowitz


Liz – Baylie Figueroa
June – Allison Wojtowecz*
Annie – Molly Martinez-Collins
Vera – Hope Higgins
Jed – Chance Steward

Creative Team:

Playwright – Nicole Oglesby**
Director – Marian Kansas
Stage Manager – Austin Dowling
Assistant Stage Manager – Joshua Sauseda
Costume Designer – PJ Kelly
Set/Lighting Designer – Oscar Franco
Dramaturg – Francesca Ghizzoni

*Allison Wojtowecz was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama by the B. Iden Payne Awards for her performance as June in Dust.
**Nicole Oglesby was nominated for the David Mark Cohen New Play Award by the Austin Critic’s Table for Dust.
**Dust won first place in the 11th Annual Southwest Playwrighting Competition and will be presented as part of the New Play Readings Festival at the Stage West Theater on Sunday, April 22.

Reviews for Dust:

Dust is the first production from a new Austin theatre company, The Heartland Theatre Collective, and if it is to be any measure, then Heartland is a name we’ll be hearing remarkable things about in the years to come.” – Andrew Friendenthal, American-Statesman freelance arts critic. Read the full review here.

“Dust is a courageous beginning to the self-proclaimed feminist theatre troupe’s first show . . . is a thoughtful, pain-filled, and poetic take on the hardships of the dust bowl and relationships during that time period.” – Catherine Dribb, CTX Live Theatre. Read the full review here.