UT Revives the Hogg Auditorium with a $27 Million Makeover
By Melanie Faz
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Auditorium reopened its doors to UT students in October after two years of renovations.
Located next to the Texas Union, the auditorium underwent a $27 million remodel which began in 2021. Former UT Student Government vice president Ashley Hayes initiated the project in 2011.
Known affectionately as The Hogg, the theater first opened its doors in 1913 and was the first theater on campus. In the 1950s, it served as the main stage for UT’s drama department in the 1950s. The auditorium has served as a hub for the performing arts since its opening and regularly hosts student-led events.
Some sold-out past events include UNITY, a talent show that brings together the Asian student population, and Texas Revue, the university’s largest talent show. The repairs forced these events to either move to smaller on-campus venues or off campus.
Director of operations Claudette Campbell said staff wanted to pay close attention to making this area a student-centered university community space that is student-centered.
“The Hogg has been dark for so long,” Campbell said. “We’re just trying to figure out all possible ways to get our student population to come back, to either want to do events there or attend events.”
The auditorium’s lobby received a major overhaul as crews ripped out the ticket window to create more open space. Assistant director of operations Juan Guerra said they replaced 1,000 wooden seats and added gender neutral bathrooms along with a state-of-the-art sound system and an ADA seating area.
“As soon as they walk in, everybody looks at them like, ‘Wow, this is gorgeous,’ which is really nice to hear, like, it gets me really excited and I love giving tours of the building,” Guerra said.
University staff said they hope to draw student attention back to The Hogg through free events. Recent events included a visit from Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and a performance by Gary Clark, Jr..
Laughter filled the auditorium on Nov. 6 as comedians Ralph Barbosa, Jesus Castillo and Luis Juarez cracked joke after joke.
Guerra said he was nervous about contacting Barbosa, but was happy to book him.
The event was free for UT students and had some guests buzzing about the renovated venue.
Adrian Carrera said he attended because he’s a fan of Barbosa, but was impressed by the auditorium.
“It’s a really cool venue and it’s nice that we have stuff like this, especially if it’s free,.” Carrera said.
The Hogg Auditorium will show the Barbie movie on Nov. 16. Organizers plan to transform the lobby into a Mojo Dojo Casa House.