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Culture / Entertainment

Hurricane Harvey Brings Performing Arts Groups Together Like Never Before

Free Houston Strong Mega Show Set

BY // 09.23.17

While Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Houston Theater District and the road to recovery remain paramount in plans of the city’s performing arts leadership, it has also brought all seven groups together for one special night — “Houston Strong: A Theater District Benefit Honoring Local Heroes.”

At first glance, it seems a logical and congenial coming together of the resident groups that share the downtown landscape. But on second thought, when was the last time that these groups, which could perhaps be territorial, came together in a single mission?

Over lunch at Brasserie with Theater District executive director Kathryn McNiel and board member Chree Boydston, McNiel glowed over the easy union of the seven pillars of the city’s performing arts. They are getting along “fabulously,” she said.

John Breckenridge (retired TUTS CEO) is producing the show and I think there is a new love fest between the new executive director (Hillary Hart) and the retired CEO and all the general managers,” McNiel said. “I think it’s the first time that all the arts groups are producing their own show.”

Indeed, at last week’s planning session held in the Houston Ballet board room, there was an unprecedented gathering of Houston performing arts leadership. Working in tandem around the vast table were Houston Grand Opera’s managing director, Perryn Leech, Houston Ballet managing director Jim Nelson and artistic director Stanton Welch, Theatre Under the Stars executive director Hart and artistic director Dan Knechtges, Da Camera artistic and general director Sarah Rothenberg and general manager Ab Sengupta, Society for the Performing Arts general manager Lee Strickland, and the Alley Theatre’s assistant director Brandon Weinbrenner.

Add Miller Outdoor Theatre managing director Cissy Segall Davis to the potent mix.

The free show, which includes presentations from all seven arts groups, is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 27 at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

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