Alley Theatre Announces Renovation Plans

Alley Theatre Announces Renovation Plans

The Alley Theatre, with the financial support from its Extended Engagement Capital Campaign, announces that the theatre renovation will begin this summer and that they will perform their 2014-2015 season at the University of Houston (UH), on its main campus.

All Alley performances during the 2014-2015 season will be staged on UH's Wortham Theatre, a 565-seat venue whose proscenium opening and stage area closely resembles most Broadway and many LORT (League of Resident Theatres) theatres.

On Monday, July 14, 2014, the Alley Theatre will begin extensive renovations of its facilities that will continue through the summer of 2015, with the grand opening of the renovated Alley Theatre scheduled for fall 2015.

The renovation is funded by private and public contributions to the Alley through the Extended Engagement Capital Campaign, co-chaired by Meredith Long and Roger Plank. The $46.5 million renovation will include fully modernizing the existing building, including the Hubbard Stage and lobbies, the cleaning of the concrete building exterior, and improvements in infrastructure that will result in a more energy efficient building.

"The reception from the Houston community towards the Alley campaign has been excellent. We have raised $40.3 million to date and are eager to begin construction on the 1968 Alley Theatre building," Roger Plank announced.

In April 2013, the Alley unveiled the comprehensive complete renovation designs and construction plan as well as comprehensive $73 million Extended Engagement Campaign, which includes $46.5 million for the renovation, $10 million to fund for artistic enhancement, and $16.5 million to grow the endowment and cash reserves.

"The Extended Engagement Campaign will fund the renovation of the Alley's building, creating one of the best theatre facilities in the country right here in Houston," said Long. "This campaign will also ensure a legacy of artistic excellence for future generations."

In order to select a venue for the 2014-2015 season, a comprehensive analysis of all possible options was undertaken by the Alley. The Wortham Theatre at the University of Houston was selected because of its modern amenities, similar size to the Hubbard Stage, up-to-date stage technology and its proximity to the Alley Theatre's downtown home. The theatre has excellent audience amenities including ADA-compliant seating. Most importantly, this was the only venue the Alley could obtain for its entire season.

The Wortham Theatre is located just off Cullen Boulevard on UH's main campus inside the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts building (also called building 507 on a UH campus map), which also houses the UH School of Theatre & Dance. Free designated parking for Alley patrons will be actively monitored and patrolled by campus security for all performances and is located at campus entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard, just across the street from the theatre building.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for our theatre students to directly engage with the Alley's working professionals," said UH President Renu Khator. "In addition to specific internships, simply sharing the hallways is a wonderful chance for our students to make connections and gain insight from the Alley's experienced and talented actors and staff. I know they'll experience the energy of our students as well."
Jim Johnson, director of the School of Theatre & Dance at UH, said, "I'm excited to share our facilities with some Alley patrons who may not have visited the UH campus before. We've been going through some renovations to prepare the theatre for the Alley, in addition to some improvements to parking and a major transformation of the park space in the midst of UH's Arts campus."

The Programming for the 68th Alley Theatre season at UH will be announced next week.

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