Miller Outdoor Theatre Celebrates 100 Years of Wow!
As the curtain rises on the 100th Anniversary season at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houstonians can expect eight months of exceptional cultural arts programming plus four stellar 100th celebratory events, all free of charge to the public. The 100th season kicks off March 17 when the Trinity Irish Dance Company brings their progressive Irish Dance to Houston for St. Patrick’s Day. The following evening transports all to 1923, the “birth” of Miller Outdoor Theatre, for a roaring 20s themed extravaganza with Vaudeville performers, epic photo opportunities and more all two hours in advance of the Hot Sardines performance at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress in 20s attire. Additionally, the Board has launched a $12.5 million dollar capital campaign to raise funds to improve the visitor experience at the theatre including renovations to the theatre’s fixed and hillside seating and the creation of a signature entryway. As always, admission to Miller remains free to all. Everyone is encouraged to make Miller memories during the 100th anniversary season. Rolling down the hill is optional.
“Everyone has a special memory from Miller,” said Managing Director Cissy Segall Davis. “When you think about it, Miller Outdoor Theatre has been in about everyone’s life at one time or another. This theatre has launched careers, celebrated birthdays, engagements, and date night. I wish I had a dollar for every time a performer told me there is no other place in the world that feels like Miller does when you’re on that stage peering out in the crowds and that beautiful park. It really is just magical.”
How it all began
MOT was created in 1919 when native Houstonian Jesse Wright Miller donated land to the City of Houston. Funds generated from the land sale were used to build an outdoor theatre on the current site in Hermann Park. It was designed by William Ward Watkin and built by Tom Tellepsen in 1922 as an amphitheater surrounded by twenty Corinthian-style limestone columns.
Dedicated in 1923, the theatre served the community as a gathering space for free performances including amplified radio broadcasts such as the 1925 World Series and the 1927 World Heavyweight Boxing Championship.
Notable performers over the past 100 years include Tejano superstar Selena; Tony Award winner Tommy Tune; and Grammy Award winning performers Little Joe y La Familia, singer Arooj Aftab, Houston Chamber Choir and many more.
Today the Miller Theatre Advisory Board curates a wide spectrum of performances and programs to share and celebrate diverse artistic expression reflective of Houston. From rock to Bach, Miller offers the best in live music, dance, theatre, film and more. A few signature performances on the calendar include Juneteenth; the Houston Symphony Patriotic Fourth of July celebration with fireworks; Houston Shakespeare Festival; Cinco de Mayo; and countless other shows including the March 24 I am King: The Michael Jackson Experience and the extraordinary collaboration of Bella Gaia and The Earth Harp Collective for the season finale on November 11. With 130 performances throughout the season there’s a show for everyone.
“Miller is for everyone,” stated Romulo Tim Cisneros, Chair of the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. “Our goal as Board members is to invite the world’s performers to Houston to share their gifts with our community.”
Join the season-long celebration. For performance calendar, 100th event schedule and ways to support the capital campaign, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com.