Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston

“Places, places everyone!” I can still hear every theatre teacher I had growing up shout loudly. The stage, set with each basic major prop awaits the progression of conversation and revelations into the world you are transported to through the simple stroke of a hand by it’s author.

As an audience member you are asked to leave your baggage at the door. Walk in the shoes of the progression of thought presented by every character. You innately are tied to the story through the participation level that you are willing to sacrifice to the moment.

I think the same thing can be said for rolling down a large grassy hill. The more guarded and tucked in you hold your body, the faster and less present to the moment you become. You arrive almost punch drunk and woozy once “the ride” has stopped, most of the blood rushing inside your body from the thrill of the wind across your face and the excitement of the speed you obtained. To slow down and recognize the process you have to open up. But the less guarded you are, the more susceptible to injury you become. Gravity is something you can conquer, you assure yourself as you run up to the top of the hill and try again.

(Editor’s note: no broken bones nor major injuries were ever sustained by this participant, but pay attention if you decide to take a spill, and we encourage you to participate. Take your family to run around and enjoy a little time)

When I was much younger, I spent many an evening ruining clothes with grass stains from a good tumble down the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The venue hosts concerts, plays, and the occasional nostalgic adult pondering how old “too old” is for that hill roll. What I admire most about Miller is their commitment to unite the city free art. They do have paid seating in the amphitheater, however, I have been known to just as easily bring a lawn chair and post up on the large grassy field behind the paid seating. A quick run to the concession stand helps to forward their work, and I am able to expand my worldview. For example, this picture was taken at a Texas Accordion Music Festival. (yep, you read that correctly) It took a little convincing to bring me to the specific event, but I actually did learn something about the way that an instrument transcends genres and has an intricate part in our history.

While I might have spared you the Polka this week, I do hope that you take a look at some of the awesome work that Miller Outdoor presents, because it is one way that art is accessible to all in our city. You can find their performance calendar here.

The track this week is Coldplay’s “In My Place” from “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”. The wordplay in seeing a cold play at Miller stands out to me, as well as my time held tradition of rolling down the hill and having blood rush around to my head stand out to me.

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