Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is unique in the United States, offering an eight month season of professional, artistically-excellent and culturally diverse entertainment completely FREE of charge to the public. Miller Theatre is the largest “always free” program of its kind in the country.  Performances regularly feature classical music, jazz, ethnic music and dance, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theatre and classic films – all of which are family-friendly.

Highlights

  • The Theatre – The Miller Outdoor Theatre is located in Hermann Park. It hosts performances of classical music, jazz, live dancing, Shakespeare, ballet, musicals, films, and more. There are also children performances during the day. The theatre consists of a 64 x 41 foot stage, curtains and scenery, an orchestra pit that can be raised or lowered, and 54 lines of hanging lights. Behind the scenes, the complex is fully equipped with dressing rooms; offices, theatrical facilities, and a unique 110-ton air conditioning system to cool the stage.

Miller Theatre

  • Seating – All seating at the theatre is free. Evening events (excluding movies) offer ticketed, assigned seating in the covered area. Hillside seating is not ticketed. The right side of the hill is for those sitting on the ground. The left side is for those who wish to use a lawn chair. There are 1,705 seats and 20 wheelchair spaces. The hill accommodates approximately 4,500 people.

  • Hermann Park – Hermann Park is named after George Hermann, who gave the park to the city of Houston in 1914. This 445-acre park is located in the heart of Houston, and is one of the most popular and historically significant green spaces in the city. Hermann Park is also home to several other attractions.

HermannPark

Tips

  • Tickets – Tickets are available on a first-come basis. They are available at Box Office between 10:30am and 1:00pm on day of performance. Only four (4) tickets are allowed per person age 16 and up. Non-ticketed hillside seating is also available.The box office is located on the northeast corner of the Theatre with  remaining tickets given out one hour before curtain. Tickets may not be reserved by phone.
  • Unoccupied Seats – Arrive 10-15 minutes before the performance as unoccupied seats are released 5 minutes before the performance.
  • BYO – You can bring your own beverages and food to performances but don’t carry glass containers and bottles. Other snacks are on sale sometimes during performances
  • Nearby Attractions – Many other attractions are located within and around Hermann Park. Also located in the park are the Houston Zoo, Museum of Natural Science, Hermann Park Golf Course, Children’s Playground, Japanese Garden, Houston Garden Center, and McGovern Lake. Rice University and the Museum District are also near Hermann Park.

Transport

  • Bus – Bus numbers 1, 8, 11, 34, 68, 73, 87.
  • METRORail – Exit at Hermann Park/Rice U Station, then 5 minute walk to Miller Outdoor Theatre. Cross Fannin Street at the crosswalk, then turn left on the gravel path in the park. The Miller hillside is just pass the reflection pond. For more information on METRORail, visit RideMETRO.org or call the METROLine at 713-635-4000.

History

  • 1922 – The original Miller Outdoor Theatre was built as a “permanent bandstand” by Tom Tellepsen. It was designed by William Ward Watkin as an amphitheatre and surrounded by Corinthian-style limestone columns.
  • 1938 – The Parks and Recreation Department developed weekly programming for the theatre.
  • 1948 – Dirt from Fannin Street excavations was used to create Miller’s “hill.”
  • 1968 – A new theatre was built by the City of Houston. It was designed by Eugene Werlin and Associates, winning several awards.The original theatre’s columns were moved to the Mecom-Rockwell Colonnade Fountain. Richard Nixon used the theatre for a major campaign speech before it was officially re-opened.
  • 1996/1997 – The 1968 theatre was refurbished, planned and funded by the Friends of Hermann Park and the City of Houston

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