It's about time
Everyone's online now: Houston's smaller performing arts groups get tickettechnology — with a city assist
It's about time! In case you were unaware, a lot more goes on at the Wortham Theater Center and Jones Hall than The Nutcracker and performances by The Houston Symphony.
And until now, obtaining tickets to those performances — like those by Dance Houston and The Houston Met's Quirky Works — often meant heading to the box office the day of and hoping you were early enough to secure good seats. Sure, some of Houston's smaller performing arts organizations offered tickets online, but some didn't, and finding out information on where to get tickets to the shows could be dicey at best.
Now, the City of Houston Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department — which manages Wortham Center and Jones Hall — is changing that, making tickets for all the smaller, independent organizations available online. The city is employing Tessitura software (which is used by 300 organizations in six countries, including The Met) to handle the online ticketing, which Theater District Marketing Manager Laine Twining says takes a lot of burden off the organizations.
Some of the groups who will handle their ticketing through the new online service are Dance Houston and Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. Events like Houston Fashion Week in October, and a one-time appearance by Garrison Keillor Nov. 20, presented by KUHF will also be included.
Most of the arts groups' seasons have yet to start, and there are still some kinks to work out. Although right now you have to navigate to each individual organization's website and then click through to buy tickets, eventually the ticketing site will also include a comprehensive list of upcoming events. Twining says that list will fill out toward the end of September. And while there are no plans yet for a centralized page, there may be once the websites for the Wortham Center, Jones Hall, Theater District and Theater District Parking are revamped.
It sounds like accessing tickets will only get easier.
"The smaller theater at the Wortham exists for the smaller art groups, and we saw a niche that needed to be filled," Twining tells CultureMap. "We've have had nothing but very positive feedback, and people are really excited."
The Houston Ballet, Symphony, Grand Opera, Society for the Performing Arts and Da Camera of Houston will continue to handle their own ticketing.