Wortham Theater Center

501 Texas Ave Houston

Theater Tour: Houston/Wortham Theater Center
VAMONDE Houston
Written By VAMONDE Houston

Wortham Theater Center

The Wortham Theater Center, which officially launched on May 9, 1987, is a performing arts center located in downtown Houston, Texas, United States.

The Wortham Theater Center is also home to the Houston Ballet, which began its residency at the center on September 2, 1987 with a world premiere of Ben Stevenson's production of Romeo and Juliet. This was followed by Houston Grand Opera's first season, on October 15 1987, with Plácido Domingo and Mirella Freni in a production of Verdi's Aida.

Performance facilities

The Brown Theater, with 2,405 seats, is used primarily for opera and large ballet productions by two resident companies: the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera. The Cullen Theater, with 1,100 seats, is used for smaller productions and other events.

Architectural Fact

The 88-foot tall glass entry archway was originally designed to be the end of a glass atrium, but the atrium concept was considered incompatible with Houston's hot summer weather and the danger of hurricanes, so the atrium was omitted during construction. There had been a debate about how to redesign the entry section as a non-atrium structure, but the decision was made to leave the connecting archway, as designed, and simply enclose it with glass.

2017 Hurricane Damage

Fears of hurricane damage came true when the center was hit by a flood caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Water breached the backstage door, spilling into the orchestra pit and the first few rows of seats. While the structure was undamaged, the storm and its aftermath left 12 ft of water, dirt, and debris in the lower levels of the center.

The flood destroyed mechanical equipment, electrical gear, and building systems located in the basement level and damaged the stage flooring and other finishes on the ground level. Thankfully the theater and rehearsal spaces were restored to their original glory so the curtain could rise again in time for the fall 2018 Opera season.

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*Information courtesy of Wikipedia

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Theater Tour: Houston

Wortham Theater Center

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