Continuing a 55+ year history of presenting diverse performing arts and arts education programs in Houston, SPA rebrands itself as Performing Arts Houston and announces its 22/23 season of nationally acclaimed touring artists and performers and international.
Applications are now open for New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project, an initiative that highlights the voices of artists in our own community by commissioning new work. With a focus on engagement and public access, a new membership program will launch today. Information on all programs is posted on our new website, performerartshouston.orgApril 12, 2022.
The new name, Performing Arts Houston, better reflects the organization’s mission and vision. It also reflects the depth and breadth of our performance, arts education and community engagement programs. Removing the word “Society” from our name reflects our value of welcoming all Houstonians to participate in the performing arts.
“We have a strong 55-year legacy of providing high-quality arts programming and arts education to the City of Houston. We are excited to continue this mission into a second half-century with a new name and a new look”,
says Meg Booth, CEO of Performing Arts Houston. “It also allows us to lose the acronym SPA. As therapeutic as the arts are, we are happy not to be confused in Google searches with spa treatments.”
Announcement of the 22/23 season
Performing Arts Houston features touring artists from around the world, of all genres. Announced today, Season 22/23 features more than two dozen programs featuring top musicians and bands, speakers and comedians, contemporary and classical dance, and major theater productions. Additional artists will be announced as national tours take shape throughout the year. Tickets are on sale to members now, with public on-sale beginning July 12. More information on performerartshouston.org.
Highlights of the 22/23 season include Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Taiwan’s premier contemporary dance company; Ragamala Dance Company, a classical Indian Bharatnatyam company run by mother-daughter team Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy; Dance Theater of Harlem, a New York institution that offers both classical ballet and contemporary dance; and Gregory Maqoma’s Vuyani Dance Theater from South Africa, performing CION: Requiem from Ravel’s Bolero.
The new season features a wide range of musical performances, from jazz and gospel to mariachi and classical styles. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a New Orleans icon Performing Arts Houston has presented since 1971, will celebrate its 60th anniversary with us this season. Grammy Award-winning gospel titans The Blind Boys of Alabama will perform a Christmas show with The Voice runner-up and Sarah Grace & The Soul of Houston. Chicago-based multi-Latin Grammy nominee Mariachi Herencia de México will make her Houston debut with special guest multi-Latin Grammy nominee Lupita Infante. Continuing a tradition that dates back 50 years, Performing Arts Houston will present the gold medal winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, to be held in Fort Worth, Texas in June. London’s renowned classical choir Tenebrae, one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world, makes its Houston debut. Mnozil Brass, known as “the Monty Python of the music world”, will perform GOLD, the greatest hits of their 25-year career. Classical violinist Randall Goosby, Itzhak Perlman protege and recent recipient of a 2022 Avery Fisher Career Fellowship, makes his Houston debut with music by Beethoven and more. Grammy winners Third Coast Percussion return with music by Philip Glass, in collaboration with street dance collective Movement Art Is. Jazz phenom Matthew Whitaker, Performing Arts Houston’s 2021 Virtual Gala featured artist and winner 2016 from Showtime at the Apollo, makes its live debut in Houston.
Family programming includes many large-scale productions. An America’s Got Talent favorite, DIAVOLO will perform Trajectory and a new work paying tribute to veterans. Cirque du Soleil’s Cirque Dreams Holidaze is an experience that blends musical theatre, holiday classics and circus arts. Mutts Gone Nuts!, one of Performing Arts Houston’s best-selling programs of all time, is a family comedy number with surprisingly
talented dogs. Gazillion Bubble Show, an off-Broadway hit for over 15 years, will have Jones Hall overflowing with bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Our Planet Live in Concert, a reimagining of Netflix’s acclaimed documentary series, featuring a live orchestra, takes audiences on an immersive tour of the wonders of planet Earth. Houston favorite STOMP returns with evening performances and a student matinee.
Our speaker series features three Performing Arts Houston debuts: YouTube hit My Name is NOT Mom, featuring social media stars Meredith Masony, Tiffany Jenkins and Dena Blizzard, explores the realities (and hilarity) of maternity. Twenty-year veteran stand-up comedian, actor, writer and podcast host Tom Papa brings his family reunion tour to Houston. He will also be selling copies of his latest book, You’re Doing Great, in the lobby. British cook, TV host and writer Nigella Lawson, whose bestselling cookbooks have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, is making her Houston debut.
Throughout the season, we will advertise arts education opportunities on our website and social media channels. Programs include Westwood Trust Creative Chats, a student matinee of STOMP, open rehearsals and HEB Performance Preludes – a series that celebrates local students and community performing arts groups through showcases in the lobby connecting them to a wider audience.
Applications Open for New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project Performing Arts Houston launched New/Now: The Houston Artist Commissioning Project in 2020, with the goal of amplifying the voice of Houston artists through commissions for the creation of new works in all performing arts disciplines.
“Now, more than ever, it’s critical for performing arts organizations to connect within their communities,” said Meg Booth, CEO of Performing Arts Houston. “New/Now celebrates the extraordinary talent and rich diversity of artists working and living in Houston and creates opportunities for our hometown artists to perform and be seen in the theater district. The program also accelerates the artistic innovation in Houston.”
The inaugural New/Now performances in fall 2021 resulted in six world premieres on stage at Jones Hall. For many, including Mayor Sylvester Turner, the variety of Houston performers featured on one of the city’s most iconic stages was important. “In Houston, we are very diverse, but every day we seek to be inclusive, and we do that here,” Mayor Turner said.
During the 22/23 season, Performing Arts Houston will build on the momentum of the project’s pilot year, with up to four world premieres at Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater on February 24-25, 2023. The winners of the New/Now 2022 commissions each receive a cash prize of $6,000, creation of marketing assets, and a full presentation of two performances of their new work in Houston’s theater district. New/Now artists will also participate in engagement programs throughout the season, including virtual talks, a panel discussion with other winning artists, an on-site program at one of the educational and community partners of Performing Arts Houston and an open rehearsal for the Houston area. students.
Nominations for the awards are open until midnight Friday, May 20, 2022. The organization welcomes project proposals for new 20-25 minute works from artists and artist groups working in the Greater Houston metropolitan area . Details and applications on performerartshouston.org/newnow.
With the start of the 22/23 season, Performing Arts Houston is launching a new membership program. Starting at $25, members get early access to the best seats at upcoming shows, ticket discounts, invites to exclusive events, and more.
“Our audiences want greater flexibility with their tickets, an easier way to support the arts and arts education they value, and behind-the-scenes experiences,” said Performing Arts Houston Director of Development Jordan Drum. . “Memberships provide greater value for our supporters, ease of access, and a more meaningful relationship with our organization, while directly supporting Performing Arts Houston and our impactful programs.”
Memberships are on sale now. More than performerartshouston.org/memberships.