Alley Theatre Names Rob Melrose Artistic Director

The Houston theatre taps the San Francisco director as its new leader after the contested departure of longtime a.d. Gregory Boyd.

HOUSTON: Alley Theatre has named Rob Melrose as its new artistic director. Melrose, who co-founded San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater in 1999 and served as artistic director until his wife, Paige Rogers, took over in 2016, will relocate to Houston in early 2019 to begin planning the 2019-20 season, working alongside interim artistic director James Black. Melrose succeeds Gregory Boyd, who retired last January following allegations of misconduct.

Rob Melrose.

“Rob is an exceptional theatrical director who is innovative, creative, and has an uncanny ability to both surprise and delight audiences,” said managing director Dean Gladden in a statement. “He has a collaborative working style and his commitment to the community make him the perfect choice for the Alley. He is dedicated to nurturing and expanding the resident company, and I look forward to partnering with him to continue to enable the Alley to flourish as a flagship theatre company in America.”

In addition to his work at Cutting Ball Theater, Melrose has directed at the Public Theater (Pericles, Prince of Tyre); the Guthrie Theater (Frankenstein, Happy Days, Freud’s Last Session, Pen, Julius Caesar); the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Troilus and Cressida); Magic Theatre (An Accident); the Old Globe (Much Ado About Nothing); PlayMakers Rep (Happy Days); Black Box Theatre (The Creature); as well as Actors’ Collective; the Gamm Theatre; and Crowded Fire, among others. Melrose has written plays, including Helen of Troy, The Flat Earth, Divorsosaurus, When Human Voices Wake Us, Asylum, and Serpentyne. He also penned a rock musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz with the San Francisco electro-rock group Z.O.N.K. Melrose has taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, USF, the University of Rhode Island, and Marin Academy. He received a BA in English and theatre from Princeton University, and an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.

“I’ve always thought of the Alley as the home to great artists, and I am thrilled to lead the theatre into this new chapter,” said Melrose in a statement. “The Alley has an exceptional history with high artistic standards and an appetite for risk and innovation. I am looking forward to pushing that path forward by strengthening and broadening the resident company, encouraging artistic collaboration, growing a culture where artists and staff are at ease, and most importantly creating productions and cultivating an audience that are as diverse and vibrant as the city of Houston.”