First Annual Alley All New Festival 2016

Arts and Entertainment

January 27, 2016

From: Alley All New Festival

The first annual Alley All New Festival will feature a combination of readings and workshop performances of six new plays. Playwrights will be in residence to develop their work in collaboration with actors and directors, with designers creating essential design elements for the workshop performances. Over the course of two weekends, Houston audiences and industry professionals from around the country will get a first look at the work and insight into the play development process.

Each performance will be followed by a post-show conversation lead by a member of the artistic staff.

Schedule of Performance:

Zak Berkman, The Harassment of Iris Malloy

Directed by Brandon Weinbrenner
Approx. 90 minutes
Mature themes. Explicit Language. Adult Content.

One night in Atlantic City, a single mother places a bet on a new life after an intimate encounter with a decorated Senator. This suspenseful political drama explores the different ways women and men try to win in today's jackpot culture.

Date and Time: February 7, 2016 from Noon

Location: Neuhaus Theatre

Karen Hartman, Roz and Ray

Directed  by Chay Yew
Workshop Performance
Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
Mature themes. Explicit Language. Adult Content.

San Diego, 1976. Ray, a newly single father of twin hemophiliac boys, meets Roz, a hematologist newly in possession of miracle drug Factor 8. Roz and her cure offer a normal life for Ray's sons, and a chance at life for Ray, too. Roz seems to be Ray's savior -- until the miracle goes bad. A fifteen-year tale of two adults growing up, Roz and Ray is a love story you've never heard before.

Roz and Ray was commissioned and developed with support from The Playwrights' Center's McKnight Commission and Residency Program, Minneapolis, MN, and from Hedgebrook and the Seattle Repertory Theater Writer's Group. 

Date and Time: Thursday, January 28, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 30, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, January 31, 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 6, 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 7, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Neuhaus Theatre

Boo Killebrew, Miller, Mississippi

Directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Workshop Performance
Approx. 2 hours
Mature themes. Explicit Language. Adult Content.

This new Southern Gothic tale begins with a ghost story told to the Miller children by their family's Black maid in 1960 and ends in 1982 after reality has proved far worse for this genteel Southern family in Jackson, Mississippi. Boo Killebrew tells a story set in her home state about the legacy of white male privilege that is as lurid as it is based in truth.

Date and Time: Friday, January 29, 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 30, 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Jan 31, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday February 6, 8:00 p.m.

Location: Neuhaus Theatre

Michael Moricz and Jack Murphy, Songs from Mrs. Mannerly

Music by Michael Moricz, lyrics by Jack Murphy, based on the play by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Gregory Boyd
Approx. 70 minutes

Mrs. Mannerly is a demanding teacher, and no student has ever achieved a perfect score in her etiquette class. But when Young Jeffrey discovers her secret past, he is determined to be the first. Inspired by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher's hilarious childhood memory play, produced at the Alley in 2010.

Date and Time: Friday, February 5, 3:00 pm; Sunday, February 7, 3:00 pm

Locaiton: Texas Room

Nsangou Njikam, Syncing Ink

Directed by Niegel Smith
Workshop Performance
Approx. 2 hours

The presentation on January 30th will be a reading of the play. The remaining presentations will consist of a reading of the first act and a workshop performance of the second act.

"Now what you hear is not a test/I'm rapping to the beat!"  Gordon wants to learn how to rap to the beat, thinking it will get him respect, admiration, and maybe his latest high school crush. What he doesn't know is his journey to learn how to rhyme will take him not just deeper into Hip Hop, but deeper into his legacy and his true purpose. Based on true events, NSangou Njikam leads us on a magical Hip Hop ride to discover what it takes to really freestyle rap. Directed by Niegel Smith, the newly appointed Artistic Director of New York's Flea Theater.

Date and Time: Saturday, January 30, 11:00 a.m.; Thursday, February 4, 10:00 a.m.; Friday, February 5, 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, February 7, 3:00 p.m.

Location: Neuhaus Theatre

Lawrence Wright, Cleo

Directed by Bob Balaban
Approx. 2 hours and 15 minutes
Mature themes. Explicit Language. Adult Content.

The reading will be followed by an in-depth conversation with Lawrence Wright and Bob Balaban lead by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd.

Set during the filming of the disastrous 1963 movie "Cleopatra," Cleo is the story of the scandalous romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their relationship brought condemnation from the Vatican and the US Congress, and it opened the age of paparazzi and tabloid celebrity, ensuring that the names Burton and Taylor would always be associated with the greatest sex scandal in ancient history, that of Antony and Cleopatra. A new play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Texas-based author Lawrence Wright directed by the acclaimed director and actor Bob Balaban.

Date and Time: Saturday, February 6, 11:00 a.m.

Location: Neuhaus Theatre

Kenneth Lin, Early Draft Preview

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Kenneth Lin, adapted from the novel by Mark Twain

Join us for a first look at an Alley Theatre commissioned work by Kenneth Lin (Intelligence-Slave, Warrior Class). Artistic Director Gregory Boyd will lead a discussion with Kenneth Lin and Alley company members will read scenes from the play.

Date and Time: February 7, 2016 from 11:00 a.m.

Location: Hubbard Theatre

Workshop Performances:

A play script is only a blueprint until is it staged. Alley All New Festival Workshop Performances allow writers the opportunity to develop their plays over the course of a four week process featuring essential design elements that culminates in five fully-staged public presentations. The scripts and performances will likely change over the course of the presentations so feel free to come both weekends and see how the plays evolve.


Readings have become a key part of the development of new work, enabling artists to hear their writing out loud in front of an audience. Following a limited rehearsal period, actors will perform at music stands allowing the audience to hear the dialogue while imagining the production through spoken stage directions.

Fest Date: January 28 - February 7, 2016

Location: Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002

All presentations are free and open to the public and recommended for mature audiences.

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