About Us

dean R. gladden, managing director

Dean R. Gladden is in his 14th season with the Alley Theatre where he is responsible for the administrative, financial, marketing, facilities and development aspects of the Theatre. His career in the performing arts spans over 40 years. Prior to joining the Alley, he was Managing Director at the Cleveland Play House for 19 years and was the Director of Arts Management Graduate Program at the University of Akron.  He has also lectured at Case Western Reserve University, University of Houston and Bowling Green State University.  During his career, he has overseen the production of over 300 plays, including more than 80 world and American premieres and produced internationally with theatres from Russia, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. Mr. Gladden holds a BA in Music from Miami University and a MA in Urban Arts Administration from Drexel University. He also graduated from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He is currently a board member and immediate past Chairman of the Board for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Treasurer of the Board of the Theater District Houston, serves on the Houston First Operations Committee, and an American Leadership Forum Fellow. He was past president of The Rotary Club of Cleveland. He has served on the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theatres and Greater Houston Partnership, and was Vice President of the National Corporate Theatre Fund. Gladden has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Wisconsin Arts Council, Kentucky Arts Council, Texas Commission on the Arts and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. He has lectured nationally for Theatre Communications Group, American Council for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, National Association of State Legislators and American Dance Festival. He has presented at the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile, and also conducted Arts Management workshops in Budapest, Hungary, under the sponsorship of the United States Information Agency.

Rob Melrose

Rob Melrose, Artistic Director

Rob Melrose is the Artistic Director of the Alley Theatre and recently directed Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. He was formerly the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Cutting Ball Theater and works nationally as a freelance director. He has directed at The Public Theater (Pericles, Prince of Tyre), The Guthrie Theater (Frankenstein, Happy Days, Freud’s Last Session, Pen, Julius Caesar – with the Acting Company); The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Troilus and Cressida – in association with the Public Theater); Magic Theatre (An Accident, World Premiere); The Old Globe (Much Ado About Nothing); PlayMakers Rep (Happy Days); Black Box Theatre (The Creature, World Premiere, BATCC Award for direction); as well as Actors’ Collective; The Gamm Theatre; and Crowded Fire, among others. His directing credits at Cutting Ball include Timon of Athens, A Dreamplay, Ondine (World Premiere), Mount Misery (World Premiere), Strindberg Cycle, The Chamber Plays in Rep, Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night (World Premiere), Pelleas & Melisande, the Bay Area Premiere of Will Eno’s Lady Grey (in ever lower light)The Tempest, The Bald Soprano, Victims of Duty, Bone to Pick Diadem (World Premiere), Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Hamletmachine, As You Like It, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, among others. He has taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, USF, the University of Rhode Island, and Marin Academy. He has a BA in English and Theater from Princeton University and an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Rob recently directed Strindberg's Svarta Handsken (The Black Glove) in Stockholm, Sweden at Strindberg's Intimate Theater. This was the first time the play was performed on the stage for which it was written, 110 years after it was composed. He has translated Woyzeck, Ubu Roi, Pelleas & Melisande, The Bald Soprano, The Chairs, No Exit, Communique n ̊ 10, Where and When We Died, and The Blind. His translations of Woyzeck, Ubu Roi, and Pelleas & Melisande have been published by EXIT Press. He has written a number of plays including: Helen of Troy, The Flat Earth, Divorsosaurus, When Human Voices Wake Us, Asylum, and Serpentyne and has written a rock musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's Ozma of Oz with the San Francisco electro-rock group Z.O.N.K. He is represented by Max Grossman at Abrams Artists Agency.