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Alley All New
Literary Manager Skyler Gray and
Director of New Work Elizabeth Frankel
Photo by Slight Clutter Photography

Putting Your Gifts to Work: The Alley All New Reading Series

Because of your generosity to the Annual Fund, we were able to kick off the Alley’s new Reading Series with On The Exhale, a complex and timely new play by Martin Zimmerman about a mother who comes to terms with the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting. In an intimate setting, an audience of 110 enjoyed a breath-taking performance by Alice Gatling, directed by James Black.

Why are readings beneficial to a playwright?
Readings allow the writer to hear their work as it is meant to exist: out loud. They often reveal that something that looked good on the page does not work on stage or the exact opposite –something that seemed awkward on the page actually thrives in performance. The conversations with actors and directors during the rehearsal for a reading can also be valuable, often showing how some ideas are unclear or may have multiple interpretations.
-Elizabeth Frankel, Director of New Work

How did you choose On The Exhale as the first play for this series?
I had the pleasure of seeing a reading of On The Exhale in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival last season and was blown away by the immediacy of Martín’s writing. The play is incredibly timely and Martín—who happens to be a graduate of University of Texas Austin—is one of the most exciting emerging writers out there, so On The Exhale felt like the perfect play to begin  the new reading series.
-Skyler Gray, Literary Manager

How has On The Exhale evolved after being read here at the Alley?
Big things are in store! A week after our reading of Martín’s play, Roundabout Theater Company in New York announced that it will produce the world premiere in early 2017. We are so proud to have been able to share this play with Houston audiences—and give Martín another chance to hear the play aloud—before it makes its debut!
- Skyler Gray

What can we look forward to next?
The reading series continues in December and we will announce the date and title soon. We also have more readings planned for the spring. Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on November 17th for our Alley All New Festival Launch Party, when we will announce the five playwrights and plays in development in our upcoming festival (February 3-12). The festival overlaps with this season’s world premiere production of Syncing Ink by NSangou Njikam, which we presented as a workshop performance in last year’s festival.
-Elizabeth Frankel