Houston Treasures

Frank Young

Houston Treasure for 2007

Photo by: Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design

young frank 12133 41f57Frank M. Young, founder of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), one of Houston’s most enduring and valued arts organizations, was born in Pasadena, Texas and graduated from Pasadena High. He attended University of Houston, University of Texas, and graduated from UCLA. After military service he joined Houston Grand Opera with duties as singer, dancer, stage manager, production coordinator and conductor.

In 1968, Frank founded TUTS with a single, free performance at the new Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Over the next 38 years, he led TUTS to rank among the most acclaimed musical theatre producers in the nation. He has written, produced, directed, choreographed, and/or conducted over 300 musicals, including 12 world premieres, 29 Houston premieres, 8 national/international tours, and has transferred three Houston productions to Broadway. The company expanded to include performances in the old Music Hall, and in 2002 Frank’s dream was realized–a new state-of-the-art home designed expressly for TUTS and musical theatre—the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Frank’s accomplishments include establishing the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre; developing TUTS’ Professional Graduate Internship Programs with UT, UH, and Sam Houston State; and creation of TUTS’ Tommy Tune Awards honoring high school musicals. Frank founded and served as first president of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, which includes 140 theatres in the U.S. and seven foreign countries and which honored him as 1990 “Producer of the Year.”

Other honors bestowed on Frank include commendations from President George H. W. Bush, Governor Ann Richards, and five Houston mayors; the first Houston “Leadership in the Arts” Award; “The Corporate Arts Award” from Texas Non-Profit Theatres; Downtown Houston’s “Heart of the City” Award; Houston’s “Cultural Leadership” Award; and citations from the Woodlands Arts Council, Warner/Bravo Cable Network, and Actors’ Equity. He was named by TheatreWeek Magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful People” in American theatre.

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