If you’ve never experienced the magic of an outdoor performance with your family, sitting on a blanket under the stars, you’re missing out. And when more than 100 FREE performances happen every year right in your own backyard, you have every reason to give it a try.
Ninety-five years ago, before television or even household radios, a “permanent bandstand” was built in Hermann Park. Families from miles away would come together to watch shows and listen to music and live radio broadcasts of national sporting events.
Today, after a rebuild in the 1960’s and multi-million dollar renovations since, Miller Outdoor Theatre is a first-class proscenium theatre, professionally operated and committed to providing quality and diverse performances. And it just so happens they are celebrating this 95th Anniversary Season with activities and a lineup that will rival years past.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is excited about the special occasion and issued a challenge. “I invite every Houstonian to join me in attending at least one performance with a guest and setting an all-time attendance record for Miller Outdoor Theatre’s 95th Anniversary Season ─ and don’t forget to share your selfie at a performance with #CelebrateMiller!”
Miller is a one-of-it’s- kind venue in the United States by offering an eight-month-long season of culturally diverse entertainment. Hundreds of thousands of Houstonians attend every year. It’s the largest “always free” program in the country. And you can’t beat the family fun of that beautifully landscaped hill anytime of day anytime of year.
Pick up a schedule or take a look at their website, and you’ll find daytime programs for young children to family-friendly performances of pop concerts. Families can spread a blanket on the Hill or grab an assigned seat nearer to the stage to enjoy classical music to jazz and even dance. Plays, films and musicals are also family favorites.
Here’s a link to the lineup for the 95th Anniversary of Miller Outdoor Theatre: http://milleroutdoortheatre.com/events
Here’s a link to the timeline of Miller Outdoor Theatre: http://milleroutdoortheatre.com/past-and-present/
And here are just a few answers to the most frequently asked questions.
The price is right All performances are always free!
To the Right, or to the Left on the hill?
Take a family vote on where you’d like to sit to enjoy the performance. Tickets are not necessary for hillside seating. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Please note that lawn chairs must be placed on the left side of the hill. Sit on the right side of the hill if you prefer to sit on a blanket.
How do you get a seat in the covered seating area for evening performances?
Approximately 1,700 new seats were installed under the canopy in 2009. Admission is free for all performances. All evening shows (except movies) require tickets for admission for seats under the canopy. For those performances, assigned seat tickets are available, on a first-come basis and while supplies last, on the day of performance only between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the box office behind the theatre. A maximum of four tickets per person over age 16 is allowed. Any remaining tickets are released one hour before curtain. TICKETS MAY NOT BE RESERVED BY PHONE.
Can I lose my seat even though I had a ticket?
All unclaimed seats are released 5 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin. We encourage all patrons to be in their seats 15 minutes before show time to insure that their seat will not be released. Again, there is NO charge for tickets.
Please note: At management’s discretion, all unoccupied seats may be released at any time for any reason.
How do you get a seat in the covered seating area for daytime performances?
The Daytime Children’s Series offers teachers and parents alike an excellent opportunity to expose youngsters to the delights of the performing arts with a series of productions designed especially for children. Performances begin at 11 a.m. and last approximately 1 hour. No tickets are necessary for covered seating area. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Paper or Plastic?
You choose. But, definitely NO glass containers of any kind are allowed.
You’ll never go hungry here
Miller Theatre’s concession stand offers refreshments and other supplies for picnics. Purchasing concessions at Miller Theatre supports the free performances.
Miller Theatre is a NO SMOKING zone. Smoking is not allowed in any City of Houston Park, including Hermann Park. No smoking at the theatre, on the plaza or on the hill. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
What to pack
Decisions, decisions…there are so many choices. Pack a picnic basket with fried chicken or caviar. It’s up to you. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Definitely bring the whole family. Yes, you may even pack alcohol. But please, leave the glass containers at home.