Ben and Austin are two directors and producers living in Columbus, Georgia. They were both born in the neighboring Harris County and were quickly engulfed in the theatre world from a young age. While a love of the arts and their own personal theatrical endeavors carried them away from their hometown, they’ve made a commitment to come back and serve the town they love.
“We were both born in Columbus and we both quickly left Columbus. In so many ways, we felt like we never belonged in this town. Having found success in many different places around the country, it seems serendipitous that we would find ourselves back in Columbus, fighting for the same vision. As a pair, we compliment each others’ strengths and come from varied ways of thinking about art and theatre; however, the common thread we share is a love and respect for this town. We see the potential in every brick, every street and every empty building. We were born from the muddy waters of the Chattahoochee and we pridefully embrace the fact that no matter how much we grow and succeed, we are two Georgia boys—raised from simple means and we consider it a great privilege to serve the community who made us who we are.”
Austin and Ben
Austin Sargent is an artist, administrator, and advocate raised in Harris County. Austin earned his stripes in the theatre departments of Harris County Carver Middle School and Harris County High School, then went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Administration from Viterbo University. As a professional, Austin has toured with companies like Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre and CLIMB Theatre; worked to devise original productions with companies like Pangea World Theatre and Imagination Stage; and used theatre as a teaching tool with companies like the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse and the Springer Theatre Academy. Austin moved back to Columbus in 2016 to pursue greater Artistic Leadership positions, and recently became a co-producer with his project “Broken Bone Bathtub & the Hopeful Healing Hour”. Austin has a deep passion for arts education and is a longtime workshop presenter for Georgia Thespians teaching workshops like: Intro to Arts Administration, Artistic Leadership, and the Keys to Ensemble. Austin’s life long dream has been to run a theatre, and he thanks you for your support of the Muddy Water Theatre Project.
Ben is an actor, director and producer living in Columbus, GA. He is a former student of the Springer Academy, The Columbus Ballet, Rose Hill Family Theatre and the Schwob School of Music. He grew up in Harris County, where by 8th grade, he had been recognized on regional, state and national levels for his work in the theatre. He attended high school at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts for theatre and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Elon University. Shortly after, Ben was cast as Riff in the Broadway National Tour of West Side Story and continued to perform in New York City and across the country. Favorite credits include the New York Revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Fiorello!, the Best New Musical winner Propaganda! (New York Musical Theatre Festival), Pvt. Downey in A Few Good Men (Theatre Raleigh) directing the world premiere of Children of Eden Jr. and his local work in A Tuna Christmas (Arles Track), Of Mice and Men (George) and The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric) at the Springer Opera House. Most recently, Ben created, directed and choreographed his own musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet called R + J: Theory at the Columbus Riverwalk Amphitheater.