Houston's Theatre Under The Stars has announced that Sheldon Epps has been appointed artistic advisor. Epps makes the transition from the Pasadena Playhouse, where he has served as artistic director since 1997; he succeeds Bruce Lumpkin, former artistic director.
Lumpkin made headlines in 2014 for his unauthorized, rearranged production of Hands on a Hardbody. The director had reconceived and changed the Broadway musical without the writers’ consent or knowledge. The show’s composer and lyricist, Amanda Green, was invited to see the production and alerted licensing company Samuel French, who promptly sent a cease-and-desist letter to TUTS.
With the appointment of Epps, the Houston theatre has stated that it is currently in transition. “We are eager to see TUTS into the next era,” commented Amy Pierce, chair of the Board of Directors, in a press statement. “Our company has been an integral part of our community for nearly 50 years, and recognize that in order to continue to meet the needs of our ever-growing audiences, we must evolve. We sought the partnership of an experienced artistic advisor to help us through this transition.”
Prior to his tenure at the Playhouse, Epps served as associate artistic director of the Old Globe Theatre for four years.