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Community Engagement

July 18-19, 2019

Houston, TX

Join us for a Management Roundtable on community engagement, hosted by Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, TX. We’ll discuss best practices for venturing beyond our fourth walls into our communities to make theatres vital parts of their cities and beyond, and hear case studies from members on implementing Public Works programs, helping communities to heal after a disaster, and more. Whether you have a vibrant community engagement program with its own staff, you’re interested in getting started, or somewhere in between, you won’t want to miss these conversations.

Attendees will have the opportunity to see TUTS’ first Public Works production, Seussical, before hearing from multiple members about how they’ve adapted this unique program in different cities and venues.


Thursday, July 18, 2019 (All times CT)
7:00 pmWelcome Picnic

Miller Outdoor Theatre
6000 Hermann Park Drive

Please gather in the Hampton Inn lobby at 6:30pm for transportation to the Miller Theatre. If you’re meeting us at the theatre, please arrive before 8pm or your tickets will be released to the public.

8:15 pmPublic Works: Seussical

Miller Outdoor Theatre
6000 Hermann Park Drive

“In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, this is going to be the most epic show ever produced at Miller Outdoor Theatre,” says TUTS Artistic Director Dan Knechtges, who will direct and choreograph the production. “This touching musical is the perfect show to launch our new Public Works Houston initiative because it speaks to the power of creativity and how it can positively impact our communities.”

Theatre Under The Stars Public Works Houston is a community engagement program that seeks to connect with the people of Houston by inviting them to be creators and not just spectators. This nine-month program culminates in the musical theatre company’s summer show in July at Miller Outdoor Theatre when individuals from the community partners participate in the production with professional actors and artists.

Through the Public Works Houston initiative, TUTS provides tailored programming for four community partners – Dress for Success Houston, Wesley Community Center, New Hope Housing Reed, and YMCA of Greater Houston.

Public Works Houston is an affiliate of the Public Theater’s highly-successful Public Works program in New York City, founded in 2013.

Reserve your tickets when you register.

Friday, July 19, 2019 (All times CT)
8:00 - 8:45 amBreakfast

Hampton Inn Houston Downtown
710 Crawford Street

Join us for breakfast (included with your Hampton Inn stay), before we head to the TUTS offices to begin our Roundtable.

9:00 - 9:15 amIntroductions

TUTS Board Room
800 Bagby, 2nd Floor

We will depart from the Hampton Inn at 8:45 am.

If you’re traveling to TUTS on your own, the offices are located across the breezeway from the Hobby Center Building. You will see the entrance to the Humphreys School, look to the right of those doors and you’ll see a single  glass door with an elevator inside. Take the elevator to the 2nd Floor, where you’ll find the TUTS offices. Please check in with their receptionist.

9:15 - 10:00 amMaking Your Theatre the Center of the Community

How can your theatre partner with other organizations to become a destination in and a service to your community? How does this fit with your mission and programming?

10:00 - 10:45 amMaking Your Community the Center of Your Theatre

How do you expand engagement beyond your four walls? What are the best ways to ask and listen to the community, to respect what they want and need? Where does this work intersect with what you do “at home?”

10:45 - 11:00 amBreak
11:00 am - 12:00 pmModels for Doing the Work

Participants will share how (or if) community engagement is set up at their organizations. Is there a dedicated staff? Is it part of another department? Who controls or guides the programming? What have you found works and what doesn’t? If you’re just getting started, what do you most want to know? Every theatre and community is different, so we’ll discuss a wide range of possibilities across the NAMT membership.

12:00 - 1:00 pmGetting the Word Out...and In

How do you get everyone in your organization on board and excited about integrating the work that you’re doing throughout the organization? How do you build successful marketing strategies of the programs you are doing when the work itself may not directly generate revenue?

1:00 - 2:00 pmLunch
2:00 - 3:00 pmTUTS Public Works: Artist Q&A
3:00 - 4:00 pmPublic Works Case Studies

Q&A with The Public Theater, Seattle Rep and TUTS about how the Public Works program came to be, and how theatres around the country have adopted and adapted it to suit their spaces and cities.

4:00 - 5:00 pmPreparedness and Emergency Response

Theatre can be a catalyst for a community’s healing process, and a theatre – both the building and the art – can be a resource in a time of crisis. We’ll hear from experts at the Houston Arts Alliance about Houston’s recovery after Hurricane Harvey, and more.

5:00 - 5:15 pmWrap-Up
8:15 pmPublic Works: Seussical

A second opportunity to see Seussical for those who can’t make it on Thursday. Reserve your tickets when you register.

As of 7/12/19. SUBJECT TO CHANGE!


Broadway Rose Theatre
Dan Murphy
Managing Director
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company
Scott Levy
Producing Artistic Director
Goodspeed Musicals
Erin Coffey
Manager of Audience Engagement
Houston Arts Alliance
Lauren Hainley
Special Projects Manager
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Adam Grosswirth
Member Services Director
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
Betsy Militello
Executive Director
Pittsburgh CLO
Kiesha Lalama
Director of Community Engagement
Red Mountain Theatre
Drew Francis
Director of Operations
Seattle Rep
Angie Kamel
Public Works Director
Shea's Performing Arts Center
Michael Murphy
Shea's Performing Arts Center
Thembi Duncan
Director of Arts Engagement and Education
Stages Repertory Theatre
Mitchell Greco
Artistic Associate
The Public Theater of San Antonio
George Green
CEO/Artistic Director
Theatre Under The Stars
Dan Knechtges
Artistic Director
Theatre Under The Stars
Megan Larche
Associate Artistic Director/Director of New Works
Theatre Under The Stars
Amy Lampi
Theatre Under The Stars
Olson Kelly
Artistic Associate and Co. Mgr
Theatre Under The Stars
Bobbi Brand
Director of Human Resources and Administration
Theatre Under The Stars
Dan Krohne
General Manager
Theatre Under The Stars
Sara Brunow
Director of Community Engagement
Theatre Under The Stars
Hillary Hart
Executive Director at Theatre Under The Stars
ZACH Theatre
Chad Dike
Director of Education and Community Engagement

This page was last updated on 07/18/2020