Recognizing the Importance of Production Underwriters

Houston Ballet honors the company’s production underwriters of its fiftieth anniversary season with a sumptuous dinner

Photo Credits: Wilson Parish, Alida Bonifaz

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

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The Celebration

The Brown Stage of the Wortham Theatre Centre welcomed production underwriters from the 2020-2021 season, friends, top donors, and special guests to celebrate the generosity of production underwriting.  The honorees were the production underwriters of the fiftieth anniversary season: Melza and Ted Barr, Myra Brown, Anne and Albert Chao, Leticia Loya, Allison and Troy Thacker, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Hallie Vanderhider, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Lynn Wyatt. Trey McIntyre, Oliver Halkowich, Nancy Euverink, and Houston Ballet principals and first soloists were the evening’s special guests.

The Story

By invitation only, the intimate celebration began when guests arrived at Wortham Theater Center’s stage door and entered the building through a silver-draped tunnel lit by shimmering candelabras. Following the VIP red carpet, particpants arrived stage right where they sipped cocktails, enjoyed hors d’oevres, and chatted. The royal wedding theme, inspired by Ben Stevenson’s production of The Sleeping Beauty, was reimagined and brought to life by Richard Flowers and The Events Company. A spectacular three-tiered fountain adorned with bathing cherubs, from The Sleeping Beauty set, formed the fabulous centrepiece during the reception. The walls were hung with images from the fiftieth anniversary season’s underwritten performances, each one identified by its title and supporter.

At the sound of the chimes, guests turned their attention to the stage where the curtain rose on a duet of long tables, set up family style, festooned with colorful fruits and flowers. From the ceiling hung the magnificent 2D chandeliers featured in The Sleeping Beauty. City Kitchen Catering created the royal feast, which was capped off with a delightful strawberry and basil tart with black mascarpone and Saba for dessert.

The Moments

Between the first and second courses, Houston Ballet Artistic Director, Stanton Welch AM, welcomed attendees and gave a special homage to each production underwriter.

The Production Underwriters and Their Corresponding Productions

Melza and Ted Barr for Stanton Welch AM’s Romeo and Juliet

Myra Brown for University of Houston’s Moores School Performance with Houston Ballet Academy

Anne and Albert Chao for Disha Zhang’s Elapse

Leticia Loya for Arthur Pita’s World Premiere

Allison and Troy Thacker for Trey McIntyre’s Pretty Things

Stephanie and Frank Tsuru for Oliver Halkowich’s Following

Hallie Vanderhider for Edwaard Liang’s Murmuration

Margaret Alkek Williams for Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance

Lynn Wyatt for Stanton Welch AM’s Giselle

Upon leaving, guests were presented with a flower arrangement of their own to commemorate the wonderful evening.

Guests: Melza and Ted Barr, Gary Beauchamp, Myra Brown, Kate Fowler, Richard Flowers and Angel Rios, Jay Jones, Jim Jordan, Kris McGee, Martha and Marvin McMurrey, Cabrina and Steven Owsley, Akemi Saitoh, Liliana Soltero, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Hallie Vanderhider and Bill King, Margaret Williams, Lynn Wyatt, Beth and Nick Zdeblick, Jim Nelson, Stanton Welch AM, Trey McIntyre, Oliver Halkowich, and Connor Walsh.

About Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet is committed to maintaining and enhancing its status as: A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works; A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form; An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences; A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers; A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals, and ongoing operations.

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