The Alley Theater announces the line -up for the 2022 Alley All New Festival, June 16 – June 26, 2022. The Festival will feature five new plays including readings, workshop performances, and an early draft preview. Festival playwrights include Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Austin-based Kirk Lynn completing a Thornton Wilder work, Kemp Powers, Don X. Nguyen, and Alley commissioned artist and Houstonian ShaWanna Renee Rivon.
Special packages are available for the Festival and include priority seating, access to the Festival lounge and a complimentary drink between performances. Packages can be booked beginning May 1 at alleytheatre.org/allnew or by calling Guest Services at 713-220-5700. Advance reservations for individual events are recommended and can be made beginning May 15 at alleytheatre.org. All readings and workshop performances are free and open to the public.
Alley All New is comprised of a variety of public and in-house programs designed to support playwrights and cater to the needs of each new project. Through this initiative, the Alley produces world premieres, commissions new plays, and supports playwrights year-round. The audience is a crucial part of the development of any new work.
Liz Frankel, Director of New Work at the Alley, said “I am thrilled that the Alley All New Festival returns with a roar, featuring new work in every stage of development. The line-up includes workshop performances, readings, an early draft preview , as well as opportunities to see two world premiere productions produced as part of the 75th Anniversary Season.We are proud to spotlight the work of Texas writers alongside talent from coast to coast all using their singular voices to tell a wildly diverse array of stories. “
“In many ways it is a testament to the success of Alley All New and the tireless efforts of Liz Frankel, Director of New Work, and literary manager Lily Wolff that this Festival is linked to two world premiere productions on our main stages in a season that featured four world premieres, “shares Artistic Director Rob Melrose. “When I arrived at the Alley three years ago, what I noticed right away about Liz and Lily was how good they are at supporting new plays at every point in their process: from a writer’s very first ideas about a project, before a word is written, to a world premiere production on the Hubbard stage or in the Neuhaus. Now with our Alley All New commissions, our Alley Playwrights Residency at Ucross, Alley All New readings, the Alley All New Festival, and so many world premiere productions, our new play development process is as robust and full as ever. “
The Festival offers audiences a first look at plays that may appear in full productions at the Alley, as well as at theaters around the country. This season, the Alley produced 72 miles to go … by Hillary Bettis, Amerikin by Chisa Hutchinson, and High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest by Vichet Chum, all of which were developed in past Alley All New Festivals. And this year’s Festival includes the workshop of Torera which has already been announced as a world premiere production in Alley’s 2022-23 season.
Since the festival began in 2016, 19 of the 31 plays presented have gone on to world premiere productions, eight at the Alley and 11 elsewhere. The festival has been represented by at least one play Off-Broadway each season for the past three seasons, with plays developed at the Alley also produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Washington DC, Seattle, and Dallas among many other locations. Alley All New Festival plays have received both the Arnold L. Weissberger Award and the Obie Award for Best New American Play.
All workshop performances, readings and the early draft preview are free and open to the public. Alley All New programming is recommended for mature audiences. Each performance will be followed by a post-show Alley Chat with the artists led by a member of the artistic staff.
All updates and schedules will be available at alleytheatre.org/allnew.
Full casting will be announced at a later date. The festival will feature the Alley Resident Acting Company in various roles.
2022 ALLEY ALL NEW FESTIVAL
By Monet Hurst-Mendoza
Workshop director Katherine M. Carter
Artistic consultant Tatiana Pandiani
Bullfighting in Yucatán, Mexico is a world nearly exclusive to men-yet for Elena Ramírez, it is her life’s ambition. With the help of her best friend, a matador’s son, Elena begins secretly training to compete with the greatest. But when she discovers that her seemingly inherent talent can beat even the most accomplished toreros, this young woman must choose between accepting society’s limits or breaking boundaries. A world premiere play written by a stunning new voice in the American theater, Torera tells a poignant story about becoming your truest self by proudly stepping into the ring. (Production announced for the 2022-23 season, directed by Tatiana Pandiani)
Workshop Performances: June 16 (7:30 pm), June 18 & 26 (2:30 pm), June 24 (4:00 p.m.)
Completed by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Rob Melrose
Kirk Lynn, Artistic Director of Austin’s Rude Mechs theater collective, collaborates with the late Thornton Wilder, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Matchmaker, on Wilder’s last, lost, full-length play. In the era of the great department stores, a young man from an orphanage is adopted by a farmer but runs away to the big city only to discover … all this is only a metaphor, and maybe life is really an elaborate job interview to determine if we even qualify to apply for our own existence.
Workshop Performances: June 17 (8:00 pm), June 19 & 26 (7:30 pm), June 25 (2:30 pm)
CHRISTA MCAULIFFE’S EYES WERE BLUE
By Kemp Powers
Directed by TBA
Bernard and Steven Gentry are twins living starkly different lives. One passes as white and the other lives as a Black man. Steven spent his childhood trying to fit in and is now a successful attorney. Bernard was a star student who dreamed of being an astronaut, but his prospects now are as dismal as the Space Shuttle Challenger that once inspired him. From their childhood in 1980’s New York City to a Minnesota courtroom in 2006, Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue tells a tale of two brothers which shines a unique light on the nature of privilege in America. A bold new play by Oscar-nominee Kemp Powers, best known for his play and film One Night in Miami and Disney/Pixar’s Soul.
Reading: June 25 (11:30 am)
THE WORLD IS NOT SILENT
By Don X. Nguyen
Directed by Marya Mazor
Don is a good son. He learns American Sign Language when his father, Dau, starts to lose his hearing. He moves back home to Nebraska to care for him, only to find the communication gap between them wider than ever. Dau has been learning Vietnamese Sign Language – not ASL. And Don doesn’t even speak Vietnamese! Luckily, a surprise Thanksgiving guest, bearing Dau’s beloved honey ham, may be just the bridge they need. But the closer Don gets to signing with his father, the further he seems from understanding him. After all, learning a language means little if you’re not willing to speak from the heart. With Dau’s hearing fading fast, can father and son find a way to communicate? From the author of The Supreme Leader (Alley All New Festival 2019), The World is Not Silent is a multilingual play that explores how language simultaneously divides and unites us.
Reading: June 26[GU25] (10:00 am)
EARLY DRAFT PREVIEW
Join us for excerpts and an early glimpse of an Alley Theater commission developed at the Alley at Ucross Residency by Houston playwright ShaWanna Renee Rivon. Her new play follows Arnett Cobb, the internationally acclaimed “wild man of the tenor sax,” a jazz musician who grew up in Houston and influenced some of the most world-renowned entertainers and musicians as he helped carve a jazz sound that was uniquely from Texas.
Event: June 25 (10:00 am)
*All readings are for mature audiences.[GU27] [LF28] [CA29] Dates subject to change. Check alleytheatre.org for updates and the current schedule.
ALLEY 75th ANNIVERSARY SEASON WORLD PREMIERE ADD-ONS
In addition to the Festival workshops and readings, guests may choose to add on tickets to the following world premieres that run concurrently:
BORN WITH TEETH
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Rob Melrose
Encore Performances June 18-19 and June 24-25
A post-show Alley Chat with Liz Duffy Adams will be held on June 25
An aging authoritarian ruler, a violent police state, a restless polarized people seething with paranoia: it’s a dangerous time for poets. Two of them — the great Kit Marlowe and the up-and-comer Will Shakespeare — meet in the back room of a pub to collaborate on a history play cycle, navigate the perils of art under a totalitarian regime, and flirt like young men with everything to lose. One of them may well be the death of the other. Developed in the Alley All New Reading Series.
Music by Duncan Sheik
Book by Kyle Jarrow
Lyrics by Kyle Jarrow and Duncan Sheik
Choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
Noir is produced by special arrangement with Hunter Arnold
A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, finding his only solace in the music on the radio. Then a couple moves in next door. Eavesdropping becomes his new entertainment – and his new obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of love, lies, deceit, and danger. Inspired by early radio plays and classic film noir, this new musical is written by Broadway artists Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Kyle Jarrow (SpongeBob SquarePants) and directed by Darko Tresnjak (Anastasia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder).
Weekend packages for June 24-26 including early entry seating at all presentations, a complimentary drink between shows, Festival lounge access with coffee and snack service and free Wi-Fi, and discounts to area restaurants go on sale May 1 at alleytheatre.org/ allnew. Packages cost $ 40 with optional add-on discounted tickets for both Born with Teeth and Noir. Free single ticket reservations can be made beginning May 15, 2022.
ALLEY ALL NEW
Alley All New is comprised of a variety of public and in-house programs designed to support playwrights and cater to the needs of each new project. Through this initiative, the Alley produces world premieres, commissions new plays, and supports playwrights year-round. The Alley All New Festival made its debut in 2016. Join the Alley Insider Group by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about new work in development and be the first to hear about Alley All New events. More information and updates can be found on alleytheatre.org/allnew, on Facebook and #AlleyAllNew.
The Alley Theater, one of America’s leading nonprofit theaters, is a nationally recognized performing arts company led by Artistic Director Rob Melrose and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. The Alley is committed to developing and producing theater that is as diverse as the Houston community. The Theater produces up to 16 plays and nearly 500 performances each season, ranging from the best current work and re-invigorated classic plays to new plays by contemporary writers. Home to a full-time resident company of actors, the Alley engages theater artists of every discipline — actors, directors, designers, composers, playwrights — who work on individual productions throughout each season as visiting artists.
The Alley is comprised of two state-of-the-art theaters: the 774-seat Hubbard Theater and the 296-seat Neuhaus Theater. The Alley reaches over 200,000 people each year through its performance, education, and community engagement programs. Its audience enrichment programs include pre-show and post-performance talks, events, and workshops for audience members of all ages.