Theatre Under the Stars

The 2024 Leading Ladies Luncheon on Friday, April 5th raised over $115,000 for Theatre Under The Stars! This is not only the most we’ve raised at the Leading Ladies Luncheon but also the most we have ever raised during the Luncheon itself and the fourth straight year that we were able to break the event’s overall fundraising record.  

From the deep friendship of Donna and Shirley to the impact arts education as made on the families of Rozie and Julie, our 2024 Leading Ladies Awards honorees’ touching remarks were a wonderful reminder of how passionate our TUTS community truly is. Congratulations again to:  

Shirley Stein Outstanding Champion in the Arts and Education – Donna Vallone 

Arts Educator of the Year – Rozie Curtis 

Volunteer of the Year – Julie Schweers 

Our thanks go to June Deadrick for chairing the Leading Ladies Luncheon for the third straight year and our wonderful host committee for their hard work to make this event a success. 

To see all event photos, click here

To be a part of the 2025 Leading Ladies Luncheon Planning Committee, please contact Emily Manck White at 

Special thanks to Tony’s, Priscilla Dickson Photography, Texas Business Theatre, and Uplifted Concepts for their support of this event, as well as J. Landa Jewelry and LUCHO Ladies Shoes. 

Thank you to our event sponsors: The Stein Family, ConocoPhillips, Patrice Baumann McKinney and Jay Landa, Amy & Rob Pierce, Marsha & David Taylor, The Underwood Family, June Deadrick, Demetra & Frank Jones, Lu Ann Stella Katz, Donna Vallone – Tony’s Restaurant, April & Wells McGee, FORVIS Private Client™, Leading Strong, Smart, and Bold Friends, The Leibman Family, LUCHO Ladies Shoes, Pierpont Communications, Inc., Andi Raizner, Cheryl Golub, and Donna Glass, and Julie & Joel Schweers. 

Thank you to our auction donors: 4th Wall Theatre Company, All We Need Farm, Chloé, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, June Deadrick, Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe, Guard and Grace, Hamilton Shirts, Houston Astros Foundation, Houston Axe Throwing, Kendra Scott, Local Foods, Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, LUCHO, Main Street Theater, Manready Mercantile, Messina Hof, Amy & Rob Pierce, Piermarini, Andi Raizner, Robin Jackson Photography, Stages, The Leaning Pear, and Total Wine & More. 


Shirley Stein Outstanding Champion in the Arts and Education

  • Paula Harris (2023)
  • Cissy Segall Davis (2022)
  • Carrie Woliver (2021)
  • *Shirley Stein z”l (2019)

Educator of the Year

  • Justin Doran, St. Francis Episcopal High School (2023)
  • Melanie Bivens, International Leadership of Texas Charter School (2022)
  • Kristina Sullivan, Queensbury Theater (2021)
  • Roshunda Jones-Koumba, G.W. Carver Magnet High School (2019) 

Volunteer of the Year

  • Jennifer Lamb (2023)
  • Dawn Neal (2022)
  • Liese Kelly, Gia Ochsenbein, and Alyssa Sunew (2021)
  • Dawn Powers (2019)

*Shirley Stein z”l was the first and greatest Leading Lady at Theatre Under The Stars. Shirley dedicated her life to what she loved most, her beloved family and friends, and her passion for the arts and arts education. TUTS was blessed that Shirley believed in our mission and for all the unconditional support, fierce loyalty, and contagious enthusiasm she gave our organization. As a true champion of the arts, the Leading Ladies honor her legacy with “The Shirley Stein Outstanding Champion in the Arts and Arts Education” to encourage other outstanding women in our community to step forward in bold ways to make a lasting impact for Houston’s arts and arts education.

Leading Ladies enjoy meaningful and exclusive TUTS experiences through social events, volunteer needs, leadership development, philanthropy, and members-only perks. For more information about TUTS Leading Ladies, click here.