Mission & Outreach
Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre strives to enhance cultural awareness through performing arts and develop aspiring performers with diversified performing skills, as well as stimulate public participation and regional involvement.
Founded in 1976 by Lynette Mason Gregg, Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre (BAHBT) strives to be a destination for artists and audiences seeking a highly unique and evolutionary performance experience which combines the rich heritage of the classics with the excitement and limitless possibilities of contemporary dance, theatre and performance art. A variety of programs have been developed over the years to enhance the community’s awareness of cultural arts through performing arts. The company produces a season each year in their performing residence, the University of Houston Clear Lake, which includes an eclectic array of classical ballet, contemporary dance, and a musical. In addition to their season, BAHBT is an Honor Company of Southwest Regional Dance America and has participated in their annual festival.
The company also performs on a regular basis at various local events such as the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Ball, Panhellenic, Go Texan, and Lunar Rendezvous fashion shows, and various other events. Appearances are on a pro bono basis to demonstrate the company’s support and interest in collaborative projects and interactive experiences that are mutually beneficial for both organizations and particularly the entire Bay Area Houston.
Since its beginning, BAHBT has brought many world renowned performing artists and choreographers to work and perform with the company. The 2003-2004 season marked an evolution of the company with the addition of Artists in Residence to the BAHBT roster. A significant artistic advance came in 2008 when Luis Fuente was appointed as BAHBT’s Ballet Master. In addition to an impressive and highly regarded career with the Joffrey Ballet, Fuente brought his equally impressive gift of choreography to BAHBT. He created an original production of Firebird for the 2009-2010 season and an original production of Dracula with BAHBT’s Ballet Mistress, Natalie Zundel, for the 2010-2011 season. During the 2013-2014 season, we welcomed world-renowned ballet teacher and mistress, Olga Kostritzky, as an Artistic Advisor.
In 2009, the company ventured past the confines of the theatre setting and took our art form to the streets, with the addition of site specific performances. In February 2011, in support of NASA’s GO BOLDLY campaign, BAHBT’s DANCE BOLDLY season included a site specific performance at NASA’s Rocket Park. BAHBT returned to Rocket Park in 2013 with Celestial Mechanics for an art installation.
The 2014-2015 season, Embrace Artistry, marked yet another milestone in BAHBT history. The world renowned ballet luminaries and frequent guest artists, Lorna Feijóo and Nelson Madrigal, officially joined BAHBT in August 2014. Nelson serves as the Artistic Director of BAHBT in conjunction with the Associate Artistic Director Natalie Zundel.
This 2015-2016 season celebrated its 40th Anniversary Season. Leading off with yet another innovative program, BAHBT introduced a new program, taking the ballet directly into schools. Many area schools saw a production of Snow White, followed by a question and answer session. For most of the students it was a first time experience to see a ballet.
In keeping with the company’s mission of providing diversified performances as well as opportunities for aspiring Broadway bound company members, BAHBT had produced an annual musical. Gypsy, BAHBT’s first musical, featured the Tony Nominated performer, Andrea McArdle, who was the original Annie on Broadway. BAHBT has been fortunate enough to have Kevin Cahoon, a highly regarded Broadway veteran, to direct productions of Grease, Annie, Seussical, Bye Bye Birdie, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Given the numerous professional performers that BAHBT has produced, BAHBT created a Jete Society for its alumni. A Distinguished Alumni Award, the Jete Award, is given bi-annually.
BAHBT is proud to continue its long-standing commitment to bringing cultural enrichment to Bay Area Houston while providing an incubator for the aspiring artists of tomorrow.
Support from the community, be it financial donations, attendance at performances, or participation in our annual fundraising events – Galas, or Breakfast with the Sugar Plum Fairy, is greatly appreciated.