Outstanding musical theatre for every audience.
This is the promise Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) has upheld for nearly fifty years, whether that audience includes a spellbound crowd in Sarofim Hall, a troupe of technical theatre students, or a cluster of tap-dancing kindergarteners at a local hospital.
A non-profit based in Houston, Texas, TUTS offers a world-class musical theatre experience that ranges from full-scale Broadway productions to educational initiatives that extend beyond the stage and into the community –– for actors and aficionados of all ages and abilities.
Performed downtown at the Hobby Center, TUTS seasons feature a spectacular mix of touring musicals and self-produced shows, from witty, innovative farce to tales as old as time. The center also houses TUTS’ educational arm and renowned training program, Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. To deepen our community outreach and engage in an even wider array of arts education programming, TUTS merged with The River Performing and Visual Arts Center in 2010, which allows children with disabilities, disadvantages or chronic illness to delight in the joys of singing, dancing and acting. In short, if you can’t make it to the theatre, TUTS will bring the theatre to you.
Two hundred seasons, 98 musicals, 12 world premieres and 85,000 impacted students later, TUTS has distinguished itself on both the local and international stage as a Houston institution dedicated to enriching the lives of all audiences through the incomparable experience of musical theatre. No matter which side of the curtain you’re on, TUTS has something just for you.
TUTS was founded in 1968 by native Texan and budding impresario, Frank M. Young. At the time, Young was a pre-med student working part-time at Baylor, part-time at the Houston Grand Opera. He saw the newly built Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park as the perfect opportunity to put on a free summer show during the slow season, and pulled together a team to make it happen. What Young and his volunteers ended up producing was not an opera, but a musical: a single evening performance of Bells Are Ringing that brought a crowd of 4,500 to its feet, and a tradition of top-notch musical theatre to the community for decades to come. Theatre Under The Stars was born.
Singing, dancing, directing, producing — Young could do it all, from choreographing a show to conducting the orchestra. With his multitude of talents, impeccable standards and infectious passion, Young and his dedicated coterie of talent quickly burnished TUTS’ reputation for theatrical excellence; many a legend has graced the face of the TUTS marquee. The company expanded from Young’s two-bedroom apartment to a fully professional mode of operation — and while the free outdoor shows remain a beloved summer staple for the Houston public, TUTS’ role in all facets of theatre arts has flourished well beyond its origins in the open air.
From the swashbuckling Zorro to The Unsinkable Molly Brown, from Spamalot to Camelot to little orphan Annie, the stories brought to life on TUTS’ stage are as unique as they are numerous. Performed in the Hobby Center’s 2,650-seat Sarofim Hall, TUTS seasons offer a 6 show lineup. Shows range from fresh new musicals and inventive revivals to blockbuster favorites and critically acclaimed world premieres.
With its edgy, contemporary approach to the world of theatre, TUTS Underground features a lineup of jaw-dropping, show-stopping fun for the next generation of theatre junkies. TUTS Underground harmonizes dramatic numbers with clever comedy for audiences who like their musicals shaken, not stirred, and has been lauded for its innovative and affordable new productions performed in the Hobby Center’s 500-seat Zilkha Hall.
Humphreys School of Musical Theatre
Founded in 1972, HSMT offers courses, workshops and seasonal camps in acting, voice and dance. Programs are offered to students from pre-school to adult, from introductory classes to advanced curriculum for professionals. Both open-enrollment and audition-only courses (for TUTS’ training academy) are available.
Classes in the Community
TUTS teams up with schools, hospitals, retirement homes and social service organizations to bring the magic of musical theatre out into the community, from creative and cross-curricular workshops to troupes of traveling performers.
To extend arts access to children of all abilities, TUTS provides flexible, affordable fine arts education for children and young adults who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, or are economically disadvantaged. Siblings are also welcome to join in on the fun.