Husband-and-wife team Johnny and Diane Simons, both TCU grads and veterans of the Texas theater scene, met Douglas Balentine when he was just 16. The introduction sparked a working relationship that led to the formation of the Hip Pocket Theatre, which had its inaugural season in 1977. In the decades since, HPT has staged more than 200 performances—including some 150 world premieres—and has developed a loyal following for its plays, puppetry, and countless other events.
HPT’s beginnings were humble, as the group performed in a renovated motel until moving into the Oak Acres Amphitheater in 1980. They stayed at Oak Acres for nearly a quarter century, until 2004, when they landed in their current locale on Silver Creek Road. Each season at HPT offers five programs, including works adapted for the stage such as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. But that’s not all. From the Backyard Music series to active outreach programs to hosting the annual Cowtown Puppetry Festival, HPT maintains a busy schedule throughout the year.