Dan Knechtges, a Tony nominee for his choreography for the Broadway musical Xanadu, has been named the new artistic director of Houston's Theatre Under The Stars.
In a statement director-choreographer Knechtges said, “My time directing for TUTS this last year was incredibly fulfilling both creatively and personally. So much so, that I was drawn to becoming a permanent part of the community in Houston. I look forward to forging new creative alliances within the Houston community and introducing them to a larger, national theatre community. TUTS will continue to be one of the bright cultural stars not only within Houston, but for Texas and the nation. I am honored to become a part of it.”
Amy Pierce, Chair of the Board, added, “It is a great honor to have Mr. Knechtges join our TUTS family. His enthusiastic personality, passion for education, and fresh artistic vision are perfectly geared for our ambitious future. Dan compliments our new leadership perfectly and will add to the positive momentum TUTS has enjoyed this past year as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary.”
It was in spring 2016 when long-time CEO John Breckenridge retired, and the company restructured to include an executive director and an artistic director. During the search for a permanent replacement, Sheldon Epps served as artistic advisor. In 2016 Epps invited Knechtges to serve as guest director for a production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.
In January 2017, Hillary Hart was appointed as executive director of Theatre Under The Stars.
Hart stated, “We are beyond thrilled to welcome Dan to TUTS and to the Houston community. His genuine commitment to collaboration, community engagement, and his dedication to masterful storytelling will be an incredible asset to our organization and the community we serve.” Knechtges directed and choreographed the Tony Award-nominated Lysistrata Jones. His other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in the Shade, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
The new 2017-18 Theatre Under The Stars season begins this fall with The Secret Garden, directed by David Armstrong.