From live off-Broadway productions to that new blockbuster on your local drive-in’s silver screen, there are tons of places to catch a show in the great state of Texas. We narrowed down this list of options to just the top seven awesome theaters around The Woodlands. So, use this guide and dive into the city’s booming performing arts scene today.

The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Two people performing on stage

ST_7462” licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr by WestConn

Located on Bagby Street in the middle of Houston’s theater district, this premier entertainment complex offers showgoers an upscale setting to enjoy highly acclaimed theatrical performances and special events. Organizers opened this state-of-the-art facility in 2002 to provide residents with the best of Broadway.

Experience the arts right in your backyard with The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts’ two theaters, a grand lobby, a contemporary American restaurant, and loads of convenient parking. The 2021 to 2022 season includes current, on-Broadway shows like:

  • Hadestown.
  • Hamilton.
  • Mean Girls.
  • Wicked.

Class Act Theater

McCullough Junior High School on South Panther Creek Drive is home to the Class Act Theater. Keith Brumfield and Kathi Goodfellow co-founded this youth-based production group in 1996. Each year, this community theater puts on eight full-scale musical productions right on the Nancy Bock Center for Performing Arts Center’s stage.

Organizers also give students the chance to perform a wide variety of classics like “Little Women,” “Les Miserables,” and the “Sound of Music.” Show titles from the most recent season 26 include “All Together, Now,” the holiday favorite “Elf, the Musical,” and the legendary “OKLAHOMA!”  Support the arts by attending these events or become a patron and make a donation.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Join your friends and neighbors at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for movie night. It’s sure to be a good time for kids ages 2 and up. Movie nights are an ideal way for the Pavilion staff to fulfill their mission to introduce residents to impactful performances and to teach kids that every style of art and music has value.  

People of all ages can enjoy pre-movie activities like arts and crafts booths and a variety of themed games. So bring your lawn chairs, or borrow a couple, and sit in the mezzanine or on the lawn: It’s free. Tickets for general admission orchestra seating include unlimited popcorn. 

You and the family can snuggle under a blanket of stars and watch feature files like “Rockin’ Movie Night featuring Trolls World Tour” playing on the park’s giant LED screens. Park for free in the on-site garage on Six Pines Drive or in one of the parking lots off Timberloch Drive.

National Youth Theater

National Youth Theater in the nearby town of Spring is a Texas-based Christian ministry with a mission to engage students through performing arts. Each production is a chance for your kiddos to encounter a life-changing experience as part of this enriching community organization.

Qualified theater instructors teach classes, camps and direct all of the organization’s shows. Actors ages 4 to 19 can enroll in classes and perform in onstage presentations of epic tails such as Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Stageworks Theatre

Located on Grant Road in Houston, directors founded Stageworks Theatre in 2005. The company presents various family-friendly productions, plays, and musicals. Its mission is to enrich The Woodlands community through theater and arts education and entertain, inspire, and challenge students with positive values. So if your child is looking for something to do after school, enroll them in a class. They’ll learn to develop their acting, singing, and dancing skills that could lead to a spot center stage.

Here, you can catch a Broadway-quality show at budget-friendly prices. You’ll be amazed by everything, from the cast, sets, and choreography to the lighting. This hometown theater offers productions such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” 

Parents will want to get a babysitter for this theater’s after-hours show. It’s performed in Stagework’s intimate Fischer Studio Black Box. You can take a trip down memory lane with old-school films, like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Showboat Drive-In

Bring back memories and make some new ones at Houston’s longest-running first-run drive-in theater. Showboat Drive-In on Farm to Market 2920 is your classic example of a drive-in theater. It’s the perfect place for family night or a romantic evening under the stars with your better half. This cash-only establishment in nearby Hockley shows double features of all your favorite new releases like “Venom: Carnage” and the festive “Addams Family 2” and hosts various live performances.

Bring a cooler loaded with delicious tailgating eats or grab something from the concession stand. It has everything you remember, from hotdogs, nachos, and pretzels to funnel cakes, pickles, and boxed candy. The movies play rain or shine, and you can even bring Fido along to this awesome theater. Just make sure to leash your dog or keep it inside the car.

14 Pews

Watch an indie movie at 14 Pews. This artist-run, nonprofit theater sits inside a former church on Aurora Street. A Houston landmark, it’s the last establishment of its kind left standing in the Heights.

The passionate staff host numerous multidisciplinary film screenings, music, and cultural events that engage and challenge its audiences through the visual arts. Since opening more than a decade ago, the organizers at 14 Pews have brought diverse cultural programs to residents of The Woodlands by:

  • Screening 800-plus Independent films.
  • Hosting eight film festivals.
  • Creating a weekly German film series.
  • Founding the 14 Pews film academy.
  • Curating 15 art shows.
  • Filming 10 short documentaries on local artists.

So, there you have it! Crème de la Crème of The Woodlands put together this list of awesome area theaters just for you. What do you think of our picks? Did we include your family’s favorite place to indulge in the performing arts? If we missed it, let us know! Drop us a line so we can share your ideas with other Texas parents.