Last week, schools across the nation participated in the annual event “Musicals In Our Schools Week”; an advocacy program that shines a spotlight on the importance of musical theater in our schools through the support of iTheatrics. Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), along with The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) and The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, is honored to provide continued quality arts programs within the Houston community year round. “Each day, TUTS actively pursues its mission of producing musicals and education programs for adults and children in schools, community centers, hospitals and parks. We reach over 220,000 people each year all over the greater Houston area, of all economic backgrounds and all physical abilities.” said Bob Lawson, Director of Education at TUTS.
As one of the largest nonprofit musical theatre companies in the country, TUTS consistently gives back to the Houston area through various types of community engagement initiatives. In a single year, the Education department reaches over 48,000 individuals through successful collaborations with Houston Independent School District, YMCA of Greater Houston, M.D. Anderson Children’s Cancer Center and the Texas Children’s Hospital, just to name a few. Some of the programs offered to the community include performance workshops, after-school programming, theatre field trips and adaptive art classes for children with disabilities.
The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre trains the future stars of Broadway with their year-round, diverse, technique-driven curriculum. As a way of providing free entertainment to the Houston community, HSMT produces a week of performances each summer at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Last June, a record breaking audience of 10,500 attended their magical performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. Currently, HSMT is providing free performances to The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr. for low income elementary school students March 26 – 28, 2013.
To invoke the spirit of keeping musical theatre alive in the dreams of hundreds of local high school students, Theatre Under The Stars holds the annual Tommy Tune Awards each spring. The Tony Award-style ceremony recognizes excellence in students and teachers throughout the nine county metropolitan areas. Since its inception in 2002 the Tommy Tune Awards have grown to be the largest celebration of high school musical theatre in Houston. An impressive 45 participating Houston-area high school productions were reviewed and evaluated in the 2012-2013 school year! TUTS also supports the Best Leading Actor and Actress winners to go on to compete at the national level for the Jimmy Award at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City.
For more information on Theatre Under The Stars’ Education initiatives, please visit www.tuts.com/edu.
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is Houston’s acclaimed nonprofit musical theatre company whose mission is to enrich life through the experience of quality musical theatre and to positively impact lives beyond the stage through innovative education & community engagement programs. Currently TUTS engages more than 200,000 people annually through productions at Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center and at Miller Outdoor Theatre. TUTS was the first theatrical organization in Houston to perform free to the public when it was founded in 1968 at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park and is the only Houston arts organization that has performed there free to the public every year since the theatre opened. Founded by Frank M. Young and currently under the direction of President and CEO John C. Breckenridge and Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including many local, national and world premieres such as Kopit and Yeston’s Phantom, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jekyll & Hyde, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas as well as critically acclaimed re-inventions of classics Cabaret and Les Miserables. Through its membership in the Independent Presenters Network, TUTS has helped bring Bombay Dreams, 9 to 5, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, Ragtime, Curtains and The Color Purple to Broadway and ultimately back to Houston audiences.
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