Alley Theatre Announces 2015-16 Season Adds As Renovation Nears Completion

Looking down the center of the Alley Theatre building Tuesday morning as renovations we are assured are nearing completion.
Looking down the center of the Alley Theatre building Tuesday morning as renovations we are assured are nearing completion.
Photo by Margaret Downing

An ex-minister is leading a tour group of Texas women into Mexico in a sort of second existence and if that's not complicated enough, he's accused of improper relations with its youngest member. Tensions of all sorts seethe through the hotel they're staying at and yes it's Tennessee Williams' famous play The Night of the Iguana – one of two additions to its 2015-16 season the Alley Theatre announced today.

In addition to Iguana which will be directed by much-respected Michael Wilson (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menegerie), back once more to direct at the Alley, the theater's Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announced that Jackson Gay (Intelligence-Slave, August:Osage County) is returning to direct a new work written by George Brant called Grounded, which details the life of “an ace fighter pilot reassigned to a remote-controlled drone” who handles 12-hour shifts on the desk job followed by an equal time at home with her family.

The Night of the Iguana opens March 9 and runs through April 3, 2016, while Grounded opens March 30 and runs through April 17, 2016. These two and all the other shows of the season will be performed in the newly renovated Alley Theatre scheduled to be rtg this fall. During this past season, the Alley has been relocated to the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre on Elgin.

Tuesday, a gaggle of hard-hatted media members trooped through the still-under-construction Alley to see the progress being made which was indeed impressive although it really appeared they're going to have to hustle to make the season opener One Man, Two Guvnors on October 2 this year. The ever delightful Dean Gladden, the Alley's managing director, assured one and all that they are exactly on schedule and with 95 percent of the funds already raised for the multi-million project, it seems the Alley folks deserve their own round of applause.

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Alley General Manager Ten Eyck Swackhamer explained how the new seating will work in the theater and pointed out the absence of columns which will open up the new stage floor which now will thrust its way out into the audience.

Roger Plank, the Alley Theatre Capital Campaign Co-Chair stood by as the dimensions of the new Plank room were described – donors will be able to stop by there between acts. More than one wished the new bar was operational, but the tour experience was much better than in January when freezing weather and the unheated building made it more uncomfortable than a bad play.

A key attraction Tuesday was the progress being made to double the size of the women's restroom which should cut out the desperate to- and fro at halftime.. So here's an advance look. 

Imagine, a trip to the Alley with more restroom accommodations for the ladies.
Imagine, a trip to the Alley with more restroom accommodations for the ladies.
Photo by Margaret Downing

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