The upcoming schedule of free events from the Miller Outdoor Theater

Since 1923 Miller Outdoor Theater has provided entertainment and community for Houstonians. It is the signature structure in Hermann Park and one of its biggest offerings is during the summer concert season. But year-round, Miller offers free, paid performances in music, theater, dance and film, all of which resumed last April after an agonizing two-year hiatus.

Miller is intertwined with Houston because it has grown with the city. William Ward Watkin, founder of Rice University’s architecture department, designed the centuries-old amphitheater. In the 1940’s, earth excavated from the Fannin Street development was used to build Miller’s Hill, the landscape that now overlooks the amphitheater and offers extended sightlines. When the park needed renovations in the 1960s and again in the 1990s, the city partnered with the Hermann Park Conservatory to improve the theater and add restrooms. As the city contributes more, the park has been able to expand its offerings, adding gardens, a railway, and pedal boats.

Hermann Park is often packed with people exercising on the hill, picnicking under trees, walking the many trails, or taking a break outdoors after visiting the zoo or nearby museums. In the height of summer, you can catch increasing numbers of Houstonians bringing baskets, bags, and coolers full of food and drinks along with blankets, umbrellas, and portable chairs to camp on the sloping lawn overlooking the 1,700-seat open theater. At some of the larger events, nearly 5,000 people surround the stage, protected by the amphitheater’s tent-like structure.

If you’re getting the kids out of the house, going on a date at the park, or just want to get some fresh air, here are a few events happening at the park over the next few months.

Incredible India: A Cultural Kaleidoscope


Indian Performing Arts Samskriti invites Houston locals on a cultural journey through India. Mixing classical and folk dance from different regions of India, the performance aims to showcase the country’s vibrant mix of cultures. With colorful dance costumes, expressive storytelling and choreography by Anisha Rajesh, Anita Menon, Aparupa Chatterjee, Ekta Popat, Soma Dasgupta and Rathna Kumar, the performance promises to convey the beauty of Indian dance.

Miller Summer Mixtape

24-26 August

One of the Miller Outdoor Theatre’s newest traditions, Miller Summer Mixtape is a three-day independent music showcase featuring local artists of all genres, produced by marketing agency Rukaz Kultura. Check back every day for new performances in every genre; expect rock and folk on the 24th, indie-pop on the 25th, and hip-hop and soul on the 26th. And look out for performances by fan favorites like Texacajun, Mexican-American rock band Shame On Me, indie-pop trio camera cultand alternative soul band Tony Badd.

Arooj Aftab

September 2nd

Asia Society Texas Center Brings Pakistan’s First Grammy Awardaward-winning singer-songwriter Arooj Aftab to Houston. Aftab’s music is a blend of traditional, meditative vocals, jazz and indie pop, with lyrics inspired by Asian poets such as Rumi and Mirza Ghalib. Her concert will include songs from her latest album, vulture princeand audiences can look forward to hearing her lyrical storytelling and breathtaking vocals live.

The Houston Jazz Festival

17th of September

Jazz friends, unite! The Houston Jazz Festival brings the best of jazz to Bayou City. The star of the festival is the critically acclaimed hard bop band The Cookers, made up of jazz icons Billy Harper, Billy Hart, David Weiss, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee and Donald Harrison. Opening for the band is New York CityMusician and singer Nellie McKay performing from her album Sister Orchid. Finally, look out for the artwork by National Medal of Arts winner Jack Whitten, inspired by jazz music and musicians, that will be on stage during the performances.

treasure island

October 17th

Panto Company USA, known for delivering the best in children’s theater, comes to the Miller Outdoor Theater this fall with a performance of treasure island. Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, this family-friendly show will entertain viewers of all ages with its timeless, adventurous tale of pirate mutinies, perilous voyages and buried treasure.

Leave a Comment