Our History

Since our founding in 1957, Theatre Southwest has maintained a strong reputation for delivering quality theatre to the Greater Houston community.

Mimi Holloway, daughter of Marie and Les Pearsall— the founders of Theatre Southwest—has been the driving force behind our many artistic successes. She holds a BFA in drama from the University of Texas. As Artistic Director, Mimi has directed Theatre Southwest's continued success by selecting well-rounded, artistically challenging seasons and consistently producing our renowned Festival of Originals, which receives submissions from playwrights around the world.

Theatre Southwest was born when Marie and Les Pearsall held a summer carnival in their backyard to raise money for a Houston theatre. They had met as students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and shared a love of theatre. Marie remained the backbone of the theatre until her death in 1988. Marie and Les's daughter, Mimi Holloway, inherited their love of theatre, and is now our Artistic Director.

The original name of Theatre Southwest was Bellaire Theatre Guild. The first show was performed at the Bellaire Community House, which the theatre rented on a nightly basis. In its earlier years, the target audience was mostly residents of Southwest Houston who lived close by. As the quality of the work at the Houston theatre became known, it naturally branched out. For many years now, Theatre Southwest has drawn audiences and artists from all of Houston's surrounding areas.

Theatre Southwest has moved a few times over the decades, yet remains and thrives. It has gone from a three-play season to a season that includes six subscription plays, the Festival of Originals, a Reader's Theatre, and monthly workshops. We have had monthly meetings and workshops the third Wednesday of every month for more than 50 years. During all the changes, there has been continuity with audiences and artists. There also has been a unending flow of new participants, increased audiences, and growing diversity. The original by-laws Marie and Les devised are still in operation. Although they have been revised and amended, they continue to work.

Artistic Director: Mimi Holloway

President: Justin Holloway

Vice President: Schrenia Bockholt

Secretary: Brit Garcia

Treasurer: Sriram Vengalathur

Trustee (3-year): John Stevens

Trustee (2-year): Sam Martinez

Trustee (1-year): Joseph Moore