In place of the once annual Theater District Open House, Houston First Corporation and the Theater District Houston Association have collaborated to launch the first Houston Theater Week, August 22 – 29, 2022.
Modeled after New York’s Broadway Week (a bi-annual event that offers 2-for-1 Broadway tickets), Houston Theater Week features the opportunity to purchase Buy One, Get One Free tickets to more than 100 concerts and shows presented by more than 20 local arts organizations in the 2022 – 2023 season.
“Think of it like the Black Friday of the performing arts season,” said Holly Clapham, Chief Marketing Officer of Houston First.
Houston First also called the new week-long event “the largest consumer promotion celebrating live theater and performing arts in Houston’s history.”
The previous annual tradition of Theater District Open House took place for 26 years until 2019. While that event was a day-long festival of ticket deals, as well as activities and performances, Houston Theater Week will focus on providing significant discounts to benefit patrons and to drive ticket sales that will help the local performing arts community continue to recover from the pandemic, according to Houston First.
Clapham told Houston Arts Journal that it was “hard to keep the momentum” of the Theater District Open House in the face of modern technologies, such as social media – and that the new concept of Theater Week “marries well with the way people shop … and engage with products.”
However, with the construction of Lynn Wyatt Square – a new plaza framed by downtown’s major performing arts venues – expected to be finished in early 2023, there is still the potential for a reimagined in-person event in the future, Clapham said. She anticipates that the new plaza will allow for “endless possibilities” to engage the public, and that arts leaders will be taking note of how Houstonians use and respond to that space.
In the meantime, Houston Theater Week provides the return of a collective citywide celebration of the performing arts season – and one that aims to include acclaimed local arts groups that perform beyond the downtown Theater District, such as the Ensemble Theatre, which recently won the Theatre Longevity Award at the 2022 National Black Theatre Festival.
“Houston Theater Week was developed to showcase and strengthen Houston’s diverse professional performing arts portfolio,” said Michael Heckman, Houston First President and CEO, in a statement.
“We are proud to partner with resident companies in the heart of downtown, as well as community theater groups located throughout our city, and look forward to this campaign continuing to grow in popularity and success,” he said.
Participating local arts groups include:
- 4th Wall Theatre Company
- Alley Theatre
- Ars Lyrica Houston
- Chamber Music Houston
- Da Camera
- Dirt Dogs Theatre Company
- The Ensemble Theatre
- The Hobby Center
- Houston Ballet
- Houston Brass Quintet
- Houston Chamber Choir
- Houston Grand Opera
- Houston Symphony
- Kinetic Ensemble
- Main Street Theater
- Mercury Chamber Orchestra
- Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company
- Performing Arts Houston
- Tee Zee Productions
- Theatre Under the Stars
Details on Houston Theater Week will be updated and available here.
UPDATE, 8/16/22, 4pm: This article was updated to reflect the increase in the number performances eligible for discounts from 86 to 93, and to include the addition of the Ensemble Theatre’s participation in Theater Week.
UPDATE, 8/22/22, 9:30AM: This article was updated to include the added participation of Chamber Music Houston, Houston Brass Quintet, Houston Chamber Choir, and Stages. The number of performances eligible for discounts was updated to “more than 100,” and the number local arts groups participating updated to “more than 20,” to reflect the changing numbers on Houston Theater Week’s website.