The Times Are A-Changin’

Our Fall Arts Guide, Coronavirus Edition

Here’s what’s happening (and not happening) this season in Houston's arts and culture world.

By Emma Schkloven

If you choose to go out in public, remember to follow social distancing guidelines (at least six feet between you and anyone else), wash hands often and thoroughly, and wear a face mask.

Fall is officially here, ya’ll. It’s become pretty obvious that Covid-19 is sticking around a while longer—no matter how much we wish it would just leave us alone *sobs*. Organizations throughout the Bayou City’s vibrant arts and culture scene are already making adjustments to their upcoming fall schedules, and we’re keeping track of all those changes right here, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Want to add your event to this list? Email [email protected] 

Still Happening

  • Zoo Boo returns to Houston Zoo starting October 2. Due to Covid-19, there will not be a pumpkin patch or candy giveaway at this year's event, which runs through November 1. However, there will be pandemic-appropriate activities (including a Spooky Train Village, Zoo Boo photo ops, and a Scary-Go-Round), as well as a weekly digital costume contest. 
  • The 46th annual Texas Renaissance Festival will run from October 3 to November 29 at Todd Mission. New safety measures have been put in place for this year, including social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Masks are required for all attendees.
  • Inprint is hosting the 40th season of its Margarett Root Brown Reading Series online. The series began September 21. 

Season Changes

  • Houston Ballet has cancelled its production of The Nutcracker (November 27 to December 27). Other fall programs Love Letters (September 11–20, 2020) and Mayerling (September 24 to October 4) have also been scrapped, though they might be rescheduled. Instead, the company will kick off a run of digital programming starting with A Night at Jacob's Pillow on October 9. The second repertoire is slated to premiere in mid-November, The Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance will be held as a a one-night-only digital event on December 4, and a new holiday show premiere in mid-December. 
  • 4th Wall Theater Company is delaying the start of its season until January 2021. The season has also been shortened and will feature three productions.
  • The Alley Theatre has delayed the start of its season until November. The upcoming 2020-2021 season, which will feature six productions, has also been shortened and will now run from November 20, 2020, to August 1, 2021.
  • Opera in the Heights has cancelled its fall production of Il Trovatore and postponed its 25th anniversary All-Star concert. Its season will resume in the spring with Lucia di Lammermoor and Le Nozze di Figaro. A new date for the All-Star concert has yet to be announced.
  • Stages, which took its season openers online starting in July, will continue putting on virtual productions with A Woman of the World (September 10–20). The company plans to resume in-person performances with Honky Tonk Laundry (October 2 to December 27).
  • Broadway at the Hobby Center has delayed the start of its 2020-2021 season. The season will now begin in with Tootsie, which will run from January 5–10, 2021. Productions of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Blue Man Group, and My Fair Lady have been rescheduled.
  • HGO has cancelled its fall productions of Carmen (October 23 to November 13) and Werther (October 30 to November 15), as well as the winter world premiere of The Snowy Day (December 10–20), among others. The season will now begin with Breaking Waves in April and continue with The Sound of Music.
  • Theatre Under The Stars has delayed its 2021 season until May 2021. The season will now begin with Come From Away (May 18–30). TUTS will host its annual gala online on November 7, featuring special guest Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Cancelled Events

  • The Bayou City Art Festival has cancelled its fall in-person event, originally scheduled for October 10–11. Instead, it will host an online event, the Bayou City Art Virtual Experience, from October 5–11.
  • The 46th International Quilt Festival has cancelled its convention, slated for October 29. It will return in October 2021. Virtual events will take place in the meantime.
  • Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Market will not be held in person at NRG this year. Instead, it will be held virtually November 11–December 11.
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