The Alley Theatre has shuffled its 2020–2021 season plans, adding the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat by Lynn Nottage while delaying Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow's Noir, Amerikin by Chisa Hutchinson, and What-a-Christmas! by Isaac Gómez. Those three previously announced shows will be presented in a future season.
Dates have changed for all remaining upcoming productions and moved to the Hubbard Theatre (the larger of its two venues) to allow for social distancing. In addition to the reshuffling, Director of Design Michael Locher has created a flexible set to use all season with multiple variations and elements that can be changed for each show.
“I’m proud of the Alley team for doing such an amazing job of being nimble and flexible and keeping everyone’s safety the top priority,” said Artistic Director Rob Melrose. “Our 2020–2021 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.”
The Houston, Texas, venue will now remain closed through October 2020 and reopen with Doris Baizley’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (November 20–December 27). The production is directed by Brandon Weinbrenner, the Alley’s associate producer and casting director.
The new year begins with the world premiere of Liz Duffy’s Born with Teeth (January 22, 2021–February 14), directed by Melrose. Following that is the Melrose-directed production of Waiting for Godot (March 5–28). Then, Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone (April 16–May 9) returns after being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Weinbrenner directing.
Sweat (May 28–June 20) is a co-production with Houston’s The Ensemble Theatre, directed by Melrose and associate directed by Eileen J. Morris, artistic director of The Ensemble. Rounding out the season is the world premiere of Vichet Chum’s High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest (July 9–August 1).
The previously announced productions of Clue, based on the cult favorite 1985 film by Jonathan Lynn, and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig have been canceled with no plans to reschedule at the moment.
To maintain health and safety in the theatre, the Alley’s leadership team and emergency preparedness committee are currently in the process of creating practices and guidelines that comply with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Texas’s recommendations.
While there will not be an Alley All New Festival this season, the theatre plans to continue developing new works through the initiative. In addition, the Alley’s Education and Community Engagement department continues its El Zócalo programming, led by Baldemar Rodriguez, to celebrate, grow, and interact with Houston’s Latin culture and artistic community.