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TUTS and Houston Zoo partner to present Avenue Zoo
Theatre Under the Stars

June, 2013

Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is proud to partner with the Houston Zoo for a brand new way for families and children of all ages to learn and have fun at the same time this summer. It’s Avenue Zoo

An innovative addition to the Houston Zoo’s daily educational presentations, Avenue Zoo will be presented Thursday through Sunday with performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day (weather permitting) from June 13 through August 18.  Avenue Zoo is included in regular Zoo admission. Each performance is approximately 25 minutes in length.

Featuring animal puppetry, lively songs and music and lots of familiar Houston references, Avenue Zoo follows the adventures of Zoe, an enthusiastic devotee of conservation with an abiding love of animals.

Zoe enjoys visiting all the animals that live at the Houston Zoo, where it feels like home to her.  On this particular visit, Zoe encounters some of her favorite Zoo animals including colorful birds, a friendly lion, and a knowledgeable python.  On her journey, Zoe learns all about their species, their habitat and how she can get more involved with the Zoo and wildlife conservation.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Houston Zoo to fulfill part of our mission, to enrich the Greater Houston community through innovative educational programs,” says TUTS’ Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin.  “Bringing musical theatre to the Houston Zoo in our production of Avenue Zoo is an exciting way for TUTS to provide a theatrical experience in a summer-centric environment, outdoors!”

Avenue Zoo features a cast of local actors thanks to the exciting partnership between the Houston Zoo and Theatre Under The Stars, a Houston-based non-profit institution dedicated to enriching lives through the experience of quality musical theatre.  

To bring this innovative production to Houston, the Houston Zoo worked with the scriptwriter of Avenue Zoo, Broadway veteran Sharon Wheatley who provided puppeteering expertise and helped with stage direction. 

This live stage presentation was created and produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and adapted for the Houston Zoo. 

About TUTS
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is Houston’s acclaimed nonprofit musical theatre company whose mission is to enrich life through the experience of quality musical theatre and to positively impact lives beyond the stage through innovative education & community engagement programs.  Currently TUTS engages more than 200,000 people annually through productions at Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center and at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  TUTS was the first theatrical organization in Houston to perform free to the public when it was founded in 1968 at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park and is the only Houston arts organization that has performed there free to the public every year since the theatre opened.  Founded by Frank M. Young and currently under the direction of President and CEO John C. Breckenridge and Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including many local, national and world premieres such as Kopit and Yeston’s Phantom, Disney’s Beauty and the BeastJekyll & Hyde, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas as well as critically acclaimed re-inventions of classics Cabaret and Les Miserables.  Through its membership in the Independent Presenters Network, TUTS has helped bringBombay Dreams, 9 to 5Thoroughly Modern MillieSpamalotLegally BlondeRagtimeCurtains and The Color Purple to Broadway and ultimately back to Houston audiences.

In support of TUTS’ mission, TUTS’ Education & Community Engagement programs provide instruction and stage experience for more than 48,000 Houstonians annually.  The Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT) offers technique-driven classes for all ability levels and ages, ranging from four to adult.  ThroughThe River Performing and Visual Arts Center (The River), TUTS provides an accessible and inclusive arts education for individuals of all abilities that will enhance their development into confident, balanced individuals.  TUTS Education & Community Engagement provides extended on-site programming as well as off-site programming for children in schools, hospitals and other community-based sites.  TUTS’ community partnerships include collaborations with the Houston Independent School District and Region IV school districts, the YMCA of Greater Houston, M.D. Anderson Children’s Cancer Center, Texas Children’s Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital – Houston, among several other Houston-area organizations.  TUTS also annually presents the Tommy Tune Awards, honoring the best and brightest in Houston's high school musical theatre programs.

About the Houston Zoo
Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving more than 1.8 million guests annually.  Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.  Visitors can experience the wonders of Africa at The African Forest, the new 6.5 acre, $40 million addition featuring chimps, rhinos, and giraffes.  Travel to Africa.  No Passport Required.

The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in beautiful Hermann Park.  The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Central Standard Time (last admission at 5 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. during Central Daylight Time (last admission at 6 p.m.).  The Zoo is closed Christmas Day.  Regular admission is $14 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $10 for children ages 2-11 and FREE for children under 2.  Visit the courtesy booth at your neighborhood Fiesta Mart and purchase an adult Zoo admission for $12 and a child Zoo admission for $9.  Zoo memberships start at only $65.  For information on all the great benefits of becoming a Zoo member visit our Web site at http://www.houstonzoo.org/membership.

Ride METRORail to the Houston Zoo from the Fannin South Park and Ride lot.  With frequent service, METRORail is a convenient answer to traffic congestion in the Texas Medical Center/Hermann Park/Museum District corridor.  For METRORail information, visit www.ridemetro.org.

Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.

The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information visitwww.aza.org.



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