HOUSTON – For the past two years, Theatre Under The Stars has hosted its popular Spotlight Series at the Rotunda Theatre in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The free program allows audiences to meet cast and creative team members for upcoming productions, and it features in-depth interviews about the process of creating musicals for TUTS. Guests are also treated to sneak-peek live performances of songs from the shows.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the non-profit professional theatre company has postponed fall programming until next year, so the Spotlight series is also on hiatus until audiences are able to gather once again. During this challenging time, TUTS is exploring new ways to connect with its fans. Next week, they will expand the Spotlight brand with the launch of two new digital offerings, the TUTS Spotlight Webcast series and the TUTS Spotlight Podcast.
The TUTS Spotlight Webcast premieres live on the organization’s Facebook page on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. The episode titled “Houston Strong” features a conversation with artistic directors from several Houston theatre companies including The Alley Theatre, Stages, Meca, Teatro de Gente and the Ensemble Theatre – hosted by TUTS Artistic Director, Dan Knechtges.
“We hosted a conversation on Facebook Live recently about digital virtual-reality theatre, and we received great feedback from viewers,” said Knechtges. “We’re excited to officially launch this series next week by discussing the impact of COVID-19 on Houston’s performing arts community. This is a difficult time for theatre, but also a time of great innovation and recommitment to the value of cultivating local artists.”
Future episodes of the webcast will include interviews with prominent Broadway Tony-Award winners, discussions with members of the TUTS Artistic team, and a look back at some of Houston’s ground-breaking musical premieres from the past.
Also launching on Sept. 9 is the TUTS Spotlight Podcast. Hosted by Israel Jimenez, TUTS Director of Community Engagement, the monthly podcast explores the TUTS vault of cast recordings, a massive collection that includes classic musicals to modern hits – as well as the totally obscure.
“This podcast is going to be really fun for musical theatre fans around the world,” said Jimenez. “Listeners are going to love diving into these albums and learning about the stories behind the music. We’ll even offer up a signature cocktail for each episode, for those who want to make an evening of it.”
The TUTS Spotlight Webcast series will take place on the theatre’s Facebook page at tuts.com/theatreunderthestars. Musical theatre fans can subscribe to the TUTS Spotlight Podcast on iTunes.
THEATRE UNDER THE STARS (“TUTS”) – (Dan Knechtges, Artistic Director; Hillary J Hart, Executive Director) – Founded by Frank M. Young in 1968, Houston’s non-profit home for musical theatre, is dedicated to enriching lives through innovative musical theatre, inclusive educational curriculums and dynamic community engagement. For more information, visit tuts.com.