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Monday, October 15, 2007
**TUTS Holds a Holiday Student Matinee Performance as a World Premiere***
 

HOUSTON, TEXAS…Santa and his elves will ride into town when TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) presents the new musical, The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves from December 4-7 at 9:30 a.m. and/or 11 a.m. at the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall (800 Bagby at Walker). Inspired by a classic German folk tale, the children’s musical features a Houston-based creative team including Kate Pogue (writer), Rob Landes (composer) and Chesley Krohn (director/choreographer), who have previously worked together on many shows for the Children’s Theatre Festival at the University of Houston. Open to students grades K-5, The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves is held as a part of a new community outreach initiative. The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves is aimed at bringing quality musical theatre to young audiences. The initiative also highlights the importance of supporting local artists in developing new works. As a performer who began studying piano at the age of three, native Houstonian and composer Landes realizes the importance of introducing musicals to young audiences. Landes says “I think these children's productions are important in that these young audiences are the adult audiences of tomorrow! These productions are a valuable tool in leading young people to the world of the arts.” Landes is a well known pianist, organist, harpist, arranger, conductor and published composer. As a composer Landes’ credits include America the Beautiful, Blessed is He, O Worship the Lord, Did I Hear the Music? and Jazz Gloria and he has performed throughout the world with Liza Minnelli and Marilyn Maye. Landes has written musicals for the Children’s Theatre Festival at the University of Houston for eight years alongside Dr. Sidney Berger. Together they have written eight musicals, two of which have been published. The talented composer has been a faculty member at TUTS’ HSMT, served as a board member on the University of Houston’s Alumni Association and was a panelist for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves takes audiences on a zany adventure as the Elves help the Shoemaker get his work done in time for the party, but the silly Shoemaker can't figure out how it's happening! This year, the Elves will share with us all how belief in miracles can go hand-in-hand with belief in yourself. Student matinee tickets to The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves are $6 per student/teacher/chaperone. Receive one ticket free when you purchase 20 tickets, so your bus driver can enjoy the show too! As a holiday gift, bus subsidies are available for a limited time. For tickets to The Shoemaker and the Christmas Elves, contact Group Sales Manager, Natalie Young at (713) 558-8888 or at groupsales@tuts.com. Prior to the show, teachers are encouraged to incorporate the show’s themes into their lessons. To aid teachers, TUTS has developed an educational study guide with discussion questions and show background. To inquire about a study guide, contact Group Sales Manager, Natalie Young at (713) 558-8888 or at groupsales@tuts.com. Since 1972, Theatre Under The Stars’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre has provided a superb and thrilling forum for musical theatre training for children and adults. Housed at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, The Academy and The Studio at TUTS allow students to flourish in a year-round schedule of classes. Conducted by an outstanding professional faculty and renowned resident artists who inspire and train students in every aspect of musical theatre, TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre offers everything from vocal technique and choreography to costume design and prop construction. Specifically designed for the career-track student, The Academy offers Intermediate and Advanced Studies in Tap, Ballet/Jazz, Voice and Theory, Acting, Musical Theatre Workshop, and Directing. The Academy at TUTS gives students numerous opportunities to put their training to work in performance, with a final showcase at the end of each semester. At The Studio, there is truly something for everyone toddlers, kids, teens, and the young at heart. The Studio offers a variety of classes for those on a non-audition basis. The Studio at TUTS is an exciting program for learning and fun that includes early morning and evening classes, Saturday workshops and summer and winter camps. Founded in 1968, Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is Houston’s acclaimed non-profit musical theatre company and is currently under the direction of President and CEO John C. Breckenridge. Dedicated to producing new works and classic masterpieces, the 2007-2008 “Dream of a Season” celebrates TUTS’ 40th Anniversary Season of bringing world-class musical theatre to Houston audiences. TUTS was the first theatrical organization in Houston to perform free to the public 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 building opened. Since its founding by Frank M. Young, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including many local, national and world premieres such as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as International tours including Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Juliet Prowse in Mame, Robert Goulet in Man of La Mancha, the Tony Award-winning revival of Carousel and the Deaf West Theatre production of Big River. As a way to continue the tradition of musical theatre, TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre provides instruction and stage experience for more than 1,700 students annually through both The Academy and The Studio, which allow students to flourish in a year-round schedule of classes. Housed in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, TUTS also annually presents the Tommy Tune Awards, honoring the best and brightest in Houston’s high school musical theatre programs.

 
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