Houston, TX 77002
The Alley Theatre, founded in 1947 by pioneering educator Nina Vance, is a professional resident theatre company. Recipient of the 1996 Special Tony Award, the Alley performs year-round in its two-theatre complex at home in downtown Houston, and has toured 40 American cities and abroad.
Nine towers and open-air terraces give the Alley Theatre a castle-like quality. Inside, a beautiful staircase spirals from the entrance vestibule to the second-floor lobby. The theatre includes two stages: the Hubbard Stage and the Neuhaus Arena Stage, seating 824 and 296 respectively.
Alley Theatre Schedule
The Elephant Men (Apr. 12 to May 5, 2013)
Tony Award-winning and Drama Desk winner, The Elephant Man, is based on the true story of the "elephant man," so-called because of his hideous deformity. Its powerful and moving story chronicles the life of John Merrick, detailing his desperate existence in a Victorian freak show to his days as the toast of London high society. Pomerance weaves Merrick's tale into a parable on beauty, innocence and human dignity. Suitable for most audiences; some mature subject matter and brief nudity.
Warrior Class (May 3 to Jun. 2, 2013)
Kenneth Lin returns to the Alley with his newest play, Warrior Class, as part of the Alley Theatre's New Play Initiative, which facilitates the creative collaboration between playwrights, directors, actors, and designers during all stages of a new play's development. In 2010, the Alley produced Lin's world premiere of Intelligence-Slaveas part of its New Play Initiative. Warrior Class centers on Julius Weishan Lee, a New York assemblyman who's been dubbed "The Republican Obama." Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants and a decorated war veteran with a seemingly limitless political career ahead of him. Then someone from his past threatens to reveal a college transgression, and Lee must decide how far he'll go to keep the incident out of the public eye. Whatever his decision, the consequences may be costly.
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club (May 24 to Jun. 23, 2013)
Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" and featuring beloved characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jeffrey Hatcher (Mrs. Mannerly, 2010) crafts a smart new Sherlock Holmes mystery. Having played Sherlock Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood (2009) and Sherlock Holmes (2003), Alley Theatre Company Artist Todd Waite will again play the iconic and illustrious detective in a spectacular, lavish production Dark forces may be manipulating the deaths of prominent men in a plot so far reaching that the fate of Europe is at stake. It is up to the brilliant Detective Holmes and his old friend Dr. Watson to uncover the chilling secret of the "suicide club."
You Can't Take It With You (Sep. 20 to Oct. 20, 2013)
This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic by the team of Kaufman and Hart (The Man Who Came to Dinner, 2009) is perhaps the greatest American comedy ever written. Alice Sycamore must introduce her fiancé’s straight-laced family to her rather more eccentric family. When the wildly different families meet, the worlds of the wealthy, uptight Kirbys and the off-kilter Sycamores collide. At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. Kaufman and Hart’s hilarious You Can’t Take It With You features the Alley Resident Company of Actors. Recommended for general audiences.
Venus in Fur (Oct. 11 to Nov. 10, 2013)
Theatrical mastermind David Ives’ sexy, provocative comedy, Venus in Fur, is an electrifying game of cat and mouse between a young actress and a demanding playwright-director that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. “Role-playing takes on a whole new meaning” (New York Post) in this “don’t miss” play The Wall Street Journal says is “deadly serious, madly funny … you won't see a funnier play this season, or a smarter one.” Recommended for mature audiences.
A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas (Nov. 15 to Dec. 26, 2013)
Houston's seasonal favorite described by the Houston Press as having "Spectacular London sets ... the inimitable Dickens' tale – spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past, present and future." A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens' classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge's journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. Recommended for general audiences.
Other Desert Cities (Jan. 10 to Feb. 2, 2014)
A riveting new play by Pulitzer Prize nominee and creator of TV's hit drama Brothers & Sisters, Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities was named the Outstanding Play by the Outer Critics Circle and called “the best new play on Broadway” by The New York Times. After a six-year absence, Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs to celebrate Christmas with her parents, brother and aunt. The warm desert air turns chilly when news of her upcoming memoir threatens to revive the most painful chapter of the family’s history. The New York Daily News calls this dysfunctional family drama “a winner … funny and fierce, invigorating and intelligent.” Recommended for mature audiences.
Freud's Last Session (Jan. 24 to Feb. 23, 2014)
Freud’s Last Session centers on legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud who invites a little-known professor C.S. Lewis (who later wrote the children's classic The Chronicles of Narnia), to his home in London. Lewis, expecting to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, soon realizes Freud has a much more significant agenda. On the day England enters World War II, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex, and the meaning of life. “The humor is plentiful” (The New York Times) in this “thrilling” (Variety) tête-à-tête. Recommended for general audiences.
Never the Sinner (Feb. 21 to Mar. 16, 2014)
Playwright John Logan – who received three Academy Award nominations and wrote the recent James Bond film Skyfall, and won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle and Drama League awards for his play Red (Alley production, 2012) – returns to the Alley with the play that launched his career. Never the Sinner is about two boys who commit a murder – not for gain, or out of passion – just to do it, just to experience the thrill. Based on the infamous 1924 trial of Leopold and Loeb, Never the Sinner is their story, and the story of one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians, Clarence Darrow. In the case of a lifetime, Darrow is called in to defend the monstrous and try to win freedom for the depraved. Recommended for mature audiences.
Communicating Doors (Apr. 4 to 27, 2014)
Award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn (House & Garden, 2002) returns to the Alley in this ingenious comic tour de force where Back to the Future meets Hitchcock. In 2024 Phoebe, a “private personal services consultant,” finds herself with an elderly client in a posh hotel room – she opens the wrong door and finds herself running for her life. Soon she is confronting her own past by way of a woman named Ruella, and the two join forces to prevent a murder, while Phoebe's gradual friendship with that remarkable woman changes the future for both of them. Eleven plays penned by Alan Ayckbourn have been produced by the Alley, including the American premiere of Henceforward in 1987. Alan Ayckbourn has been inducted into the American Theatre’s Hall of Fame, received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts, became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards and was knighted in 1997 for services to the theatre. Recommended for adults due to language.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike(May 23 to Jun. 15, 2014)
The irresistible new comedy by Christopher Durang, won both the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award, and is currently a smash-hit on Broadway. Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star! When Masha returns unannounced with her 20-something boy toy, Spike, so begins an unforgettable weekend of rivalry, regret, and generally hilarious racket. By the end of their impromptu family reunion, this lovable bunch won’t ever be the same.
Good People (May 30 to Jun. 29, 2014)
Nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for Best Play, Good People is a funny, tough and tender story about the insurmountable class divide. When Margie Walsh loses her job at a South Boston dollar store, she reaches out to her old flame Mike, a neighborhood boy who escaped and became a successful doctor. Margie's attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a surprising twist when she realizes the power a secret from Mike's past holds. From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People looks at the extraordinary consequences of choosing to hold on to the past or leave it behind. “Thoroughly absorbing ... Good People is good stuff” (Variety) and one of the finest new American plays.
The Good Woman of Setzuan (May 30 to Jun. 29, 2014)
Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In Brecht’s comic, intriguing epic play, this question is raised by one of his most entertaining characters, Shen Teh, the good-hearted, penniless prostitute who is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness needed to be a “good person” in a brutal world. Recommended for mature audiences.
The Hollow (Jul. 5 to Aug. 4, 2014)
A weekend gathering at The Hollow family estate of Lady Lucy and Sir Henry Angkatell explodes in the murder of one of their guests, physician John Cristow. When the good doctor is found shot, almost everyone is suspect with opportunity and motive including his dim but loyal wife, his current mistress, and his ex-mistress, who lives on a neighboring estate. Don’t miss this classic Christie whodunit filled with brilliantly eccentric characters. Recommended for general audiences.