HOUSTON: Alley Theatre has announced changes to its 2020-21 season, which will now begin in November. The world premieres of Noir, with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow, Amerikin by Chisa Hutchinson, and What-a-Christmas! by Isaac Gómez, previously scheduled for the 2020-21 season, will be moved to future seasons. All productions will be performed in the company’s Hubbard Theatre to ensure social distancing.
“Everyone at the Alley is eager to get back into the theatre to make plays and interact with audiences again,” said artistic director Rob Melrose in a statement. “Our 2020-21 season is small but mighty. It leans into the Alley’s strengths with our exceptionally talented resident acting company as well as our many wonderful resident artists and artisans. While we are only presenting six plays, the season includes two world premieres, an exciting Pulitzer Prize-winning play in collaboration with the Ensemble Theatre, a 20th-century classic, and A Christmas Carol for the holidays.”
The season will open with Doris Baizley’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 20-Dec. 27), in which a company of actors assemble to perform a simplified version of the classic Christmas story, with two missing actors and a tiny budget. Alley associate producer and casting director Brandon Weinbrenner will direct.
Next will be the world premiere of Born With Teeth (Jan. 22-Feb. 14, 2021), by Liz Duffy Adams. Melrose will direct this play about Kit Marlowe and Will Shakespeare meeting in the back room of a pub to collaborate on a play cycle, navigate a totalitarian regime, and flirt.
Following will be Beckett’s absurdist classic Waiting for Godot (March 5-28, 2021), also directed by Melrose.
The season will continue with Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone (April 16-May 9, 2021), directed by Weinbrenner. This play, which follows a woman who impulsively answers the ringing phone of a dead man, has been rescheduled from 2020 dates canceled due to COVID-19.
Next up will be the Pulitzer-winning Sweat (May 29-June 20, 2021), by Lynn Nottage and produced in collaboration with Houston’s Ensemble Theatre. Melrose will direct this story of three women who find themselves pitted against each other when layoffs and picket lines come to their factory floor.
The season will conclude with the world premiere of Texan playwright Vichet Chum’s High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest (July 9-Aug. 1, 2021), which was developed in the 2020 Alley All New Festival. The play follows a group of high school seniors in Texas as they rebound from an unprecedented loss. Houston native Tiffany Nichole Greene will direct this coming-of-age comedy.
The Alley also announced that there will not be an Alley All New Festival this season, though the company still intends to develop new work through its Alley All New initiative. Details on public events will be announced at a later date.
Founded over 70 years ago, Alley Theatre seeks to educate, entertain, and innovate in American theatre.
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