JUNE 16 – 26, 2022
Two World Premiere Productions
One Early Draft Preview
All new plays in development from some of the most exciting voices in contemporary theatre. All readings and workshops are free and open to the public.
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 theatre, Torera tells a poignant story about becoming your truest self by proudly stepping into the ring. (Production announced for our 2022-23 season, directed by Tatiana Pandiani)
THORNTON WILDER’S THE EMPORIUM
Thornton Wilder’s The Emporium
Completed by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Rob Melrose
Kirk Lynn, Artistic Director of Austin’s Rude Mechs theatre 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.
CHRISTA MCAULIFFE’S EYES WERE BLUE
By Kemp Powers
Directed By Eileen J. Morris
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.
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.
EARLY DRAFT PREVIEW: ShaWanna Renee Rivon
The Wild Man of the Tenor Sax
By ShaWanna Renee Rivon
Excerpts and an early glimpse of an Alley Theatre 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.
BORN WITH TEETH
World Premiere Play
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Rob Melrose
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.
World Premiere Musical
A New Musical
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 (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder).