About Us

dean R. gladden, managing director

Dean R. Gladden is in his eleventh 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 35 years. Prior to joining the Alley, he was Managing Director at The Cleveland Play House for 19 years. During his career, he has overseen the production of over 230 plays, including more than 70 world and American premieres and established international exchanges with the Czech National Theatre in Prague, the Hungarian National Theatre in Miskolc, the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, and The New Experimental Theatre in Volgograd, Russia. 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 currently is Chairman of the Board for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Treasurer of the Board of the Theater District Houston and an American Leadership Forum Fellow. He was past president of The Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Cleveland Rotary Foundation and is a past board member of the Rotary Club of Houston. He has served on the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theatres 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 taught Arts Management classes at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Houston and University of Akron, where he was director of the graduate program in Arts Management. He is currently on the Pedagogical Advisory Board of the Master of Management in International Arts Management Association with HEC Montreal, Southern Methodist University at SDA Bocconi, Milan. He has lectured nationally for the American Council for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the National Association of State Legislators and the 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 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 (FrankensteinHappy 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 AthensA DreamplayOndine (World Premiere), Mount Misery (World Premiere), Strindberg Cycle, The Chamber Plays in RepKrispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night (World Premiere), Pelleas & Melisande, the Bay Area Premiere of Will Eno’s Lady Grey (in ever lower light), The TempestThe Bald SopranoVictims of DutyBone to Pick & Diadem (World Premiere), EndgameKrapp’s Last TapeThe Taming of the ShrewMacbeth,HamletmachineAs You Like ItThe 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.

He has translated Woyzeck, Ubu Roi, Pelleas & Melisande, The Bald SopranoThe ChairsNo ExitCommunique n ̊ 10Where 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 TroyThe Flat EarthDivorsosaurusWhen Human Voices Wake UsAsylum, 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.

James Black

James Black, Interim artistic director

James Black is proud to be celebrating his 30th consecutive season at the Alley Theatre where, as an actor and occa­sional director, he has been involved in over 100 productions. Recent appearances include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), All My Sons (Joe Keller), As You Like It (Jacques), Dracula (Van Helsing), Communicating Doors (Julian), Freud’s Last Session (Sigmund Freud), You Can’t Take It With You (Martin Vanderhof), The Hollow (Sir Henry Angkatell), Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club (Mr. Richards/Mycroft Holmes), The Elephant Man (Man/Conductor/Snork), A Few Good Men (Capt. Matthew A. Markinson), Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot), Noises Off (Lloyd Dallas), The Seafarer (James “Sharky” Harkin), The Seagull (Trigorin), Dividing the Estate (Lewis Gordon), Pygmalion (Colonel Pickering), Ama­deus (Count Orsini-Rosenberg), August: Osage County (Steve Heidebrecht), Peter Pan (Cap­tain Hook/Mr. Darling), St. NicholasBoeing-Boeing (Bernard), Harvey (Elwood P. Dowd), Mrs. Mannerly (Jeffrey), and Our Town (Stage Manager) among others. He has also directed Good PeopleClybourne ParkA Behanding in SpokaneDoubt, Death on the Nile, Glengarry Glen Ross, Deathtrap, Dial “M” for Murder, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Foreigner, Of Mice and Men and As Bees in Honey Drown. His film and television credits include Olympia, The Man with the Perfect Swing, Houston: The Legend of Texas, Fire and Rain, Challenger, Night Game, and Killing in a Small Town. He received a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a Drama Desk nomina­tion for Best Actor for Not About Nightingales and a BackStage West Garland Award for his appearance as Eddie Carbone in the Alley’s production of A View from the Bridge.