Theatre Under the Stars

Theatre Under The Stars strives to create events and opportunities that reach beyond our walls to connect with the people of Houston. With programming such as Musicals for Young Audiences and the Tommy Tune Awards, we share our artistry with students in the Greater Houston Area, giving them opportunities to experience and participate in unique musical theatre events. Our programs introduce young people to the art of musical theatre, and offer opportunities for self-expression and dialogue to build understanding and connection.


Theatre Under The Stars became an affiliate of the Public Theater with the launch of Public Works Houston in 2018. This unique program, which celebrates building community through nontraditional partnerships and collaborations amongst nonprofit organizations, exists in two parts — Creative Programming and Productions at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Creative Programming

TUTS Teaching Artists work with participants from Houston-area non-profits to tailor programming that meets the needs of their communities, whether that’s teaching a movement class at a senior center or using music to help children engage in learning. Creative Programming occurs over the course of nine months leading up to the production at Miller.

Productions at Miller Outdoor Theatre

The culmination of the annual program is a musical production for Houston audiences at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Participants from each community partner organization work alongside theatre professionals and students from the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre and The River to create a full-scale musical.

TUTS Public Works Houston is one of the most uniquely collaborative programs that Theatre Under The Stars offers.


The Tommy Tune Awards is an annual competition that celebrates the educational value, artistry, and community of high school musical theatre in the Greater Houston area. This program offers an opportunity for students and educators to share their creative accomplishments while instilling in young people the value of engaging in the performing arts as a lifelong pursuit.

Through the Tommy Tune Awards, TUTS has awarded scholarships to 160 students totaling $494,350.


The Spotlight Series offers a chance to get an insider’s perspective on what it takes to launch a musical. This intimate conversation with TUTS Artistic Director, Dan Knechtges and members of the creative teams explains how a production — whether it’s new or a classic from the musical theatre canon — is created. In addition to the in-person event, TUTS has launched a Spotlight podcast and Facebook Live events to further explore the magic of theatre.


In August 2019, TUTS and Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts announced a new partnership that provides theatre students at Kinder HSPVA with a four-year comprehensive musical theatre education.

TUTS Teaching Artists engage students in a musical theatre curriculum developed specifically for this partnership. In addition to TUTS Core Teaching Artists,The students have opportunities to train and work with renowned industry professionals as they rehearse and perform on TUTS mainstage.

The curriculum for the musical theatre program has been developed to guide each student through a comprehensive study of the art form, from the history of musical theatre to rigorous training in the techniques of the craft.


Theatre Under The Stars provides unique and inclusive ways to enhance musical theatre for individuals with disabilities. This program is designed to fully reach every corner of our diverse city to ensure each person that desires can come and experience the magic of musical theatre in their own special way.


Theatre Under The Stars offers the opportunity for students from across the Greater Houston area to experience shows from our mainstage season during special student matinees.


The Arts in Medicine Program is a collaboration of the preeminent Child Life and Expressive Therapies team at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital (CMHH). and Dedicated and experienced TUTS Teaching Artists make weekly visits to CMHH, helping to help patients to cope with their hospitalization experience the hospital in a positive manner. The use of music, language, dance, art and mime provide pediatric patients a break from their daily medical routines and open the doors to opportunities for creativity and fun.

The Arts in Medicine program not only supports the children. It also focuses on the needs and well-being of their families. Additionally, the program will offer resiliency workshops for doctors and nurses to enhance their ability to communicate effectively and compassionately with their patients.

Public Works is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit