Houston’s Alley Theatre cancels live 2020-21 season, offers free virtual program in its place

Todd Waite as 3rd Party Member,
Elizabeth Bunch as 2nd Party Member,
Shawn Hamilton as Winston,
David Rainey as 4th Party Member,
and Jay Sullivan as 1st Party Member
in the Alley Theatre's production of 1984.
Todd Waite as 3rd Party Member, Elizabeth Bunch as 2nd Party Member, Shawn Hamilton as Winston, David Rainey as 4th Party Member, and Jay Sullivan as 1st Party Member in the Alley Theatre's production of 1984. (Photo by Lynn Lane.)

Citing safety concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Alley Theatre announced Thursday it was canceling live performances for its 2020-21 season. Alley Theatre will offer a free virtual program in its place.

“The Alley Theatre values the health and safety of its staff, artists, and patrons and believes that the season cancellation is necessary to protect everyone from COVID-19,” the institution said in a release.

The following shows are affected by the cancellation: “Born with Teeth” by Liz Duffy Adams (January 22 – February 14, 2021), “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett (March 5 – 28, 2021), “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl (April 16 – May 9, 2021), “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage (May 28 – June 20, 2021), and “High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest” by Vichet Chum (July 9 – August 1, 2021).

The Alley Theatre said it remains committed to producing the canceled works in future seasons.

Alley Theatre will replace its live performances with free virtual programming.

“Like so many of you, I too am disappointed to have to cancel our on-stage season,” artistic director Rob Melrose said. “I can’t wait to gather in the Hubbard and the Neuhaus to experience live theatre with you again. At the same time, I am delighted about all the work we are creating on Alley@Home and I am excited to share a robust digital season of new plays and classics featuring the Alley’s Resident Acting Company.”

As part of the theatre’s Alley@Home content, the new digital 2020-21 season will be available for free to all who register for tickets at alleytheatre.org. Registration opens December 21, 2020.

“When we started Alley@Home in March, shortly after COVID-19 hit the U.S., our goal was to create something that would stay with us even after the pandemic was long behind us. The digital medium affords us the opportunity to grow our audience for work we normally put on our stages and to explore a wider range of plays than we can offer live and in-person,” Melrose said.


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