Cast, Creatives Set for Rajiv Joseph's DESCRIBE THE NIGHT World Premiere at Alley Theatre

Cast, Creatives Set for Rajiv Joseph's DESCRIBE THE NIGHT World Premiere at Alley Theatre

Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre announces the cast and creative team for the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night. Commissioned by the Alley, Describe the Night premieres September 15 and runs through October 15 in the Neuhaus Theatre. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 713.220.5700.

Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, Joseph's Describe the Night spans 90 years of Russian history. In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel wanders the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk. Weaving truth and fiction, this world premiere traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth, and conspiracy theories.

The Describe the Night cast includes Alley Resident Company members Jeffrey Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors, Cyrano ) as Isaac, Elizabeth Bunch (Hand to God, Grounded) as Mariya, Melissa Pritchett (Born Yesterday, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Urzula, and Todd Waite (Rock 'n' Roll, The 39 Steps) as Nikolai. Visiting artists all making their Alley debut include Jason Babinsky (Broadway: Billy Elliot, Ghost) as Vova, Liv Rooth (Broadway: Venus in Fur, Born Yesterday) as Yevgenia, and Stephen Stocking (Center Theatre Group: Archduke, Clutch Productions: Every Good Girl Deserves Fun) as Feliks.

The creative team of Describe the Night includes scenic design by Tim Mackabee, costume design by Amy Clark, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, and original composition and sound design by Daniel Kluger.

Describe the Night was commissioned by the Alley and was featured as a reading in the 2017 Alley All New Festival. The play was first presented in 2014 in a student production at New York University's Graduate Acting Program, MarK Wing-Davey, Chair, and was developed at TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, CA as a part of their New Works Festival. The Alley previously produced the world premieres of Joseph's The Monster at the Door and Gruesome Playground Injuries. His play Archduke premiered in April at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. Joseph was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joseph's New York productions include Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company, 2015) which was awarded the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, 2016 Obie Award for Best New Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, The North Pool (Vineyard Theater, 2013), Animals Out of Paper (Second Stage Theatre, 2008), The Leopard and the Fox (Alter Ego, 2007), Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2006), and All This Intimacy (Second Stage Theatre, 2006). Joseph wrote for the Showtime series Nurse Jackie for seasons 3 and 4 and was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. He is the book writer and co-lyricist for the musical Fly which premiered at the Dallas Theater Center in 2013.

Performances of Describe the Night are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to Describe the Night are now on sale and start at $26. Discounted tickets are available for any student, regardless of age, with a valid student ID for $16 for designated performances in designated sections. Military, senior, and group discounts are available. Tickets can be ordered online ( or by phone (713.220.5700). Describe the Night is for mature audiences.

Season Tickets can be ordered online ( or by phone (713.220.5700). Subscribers can purchase a 5-play package containing Cleo, The Great Society, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Satchmo at the Waldorf, and Holmes and Watson; prices range from $125-$465. An 8-play package is also available containing all the plays in the 5-play package plus Describe the Night; Lover, Beloved; and The Cake, with prices from $198-$649.


Alley in Context: The Playwrights' Perspective
September 6, 2017; 7:00PM
Alley Theatre

In anticipation of the Alley's September world premieres, Cleo playwright Lawrence Wright and Describe the Night playwright Rajiv Joseph will join Artistic Director Gregory Boyd for a discussion on new work and their productions at the Alley. The event is free and open to the public. Advance reservations are recommended. For more information visit

TALKBACKS: The Alley Theatre will present a Designer Talk in the Texas Room (4th Floor) at 1:30 p.m. on September 17 prior to the matinee performance of Describe the Night. The discussion will feature the creative team of Describe the Night, giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the design process.

The Alley Theatre will present Artist TalkBacks following the September 26 (7:30 p.m.) and October 3 (7:30 p.m.) performances of Describe the Night. These discussions will feature cast and artistic staff.

The Alley Theatre will also present an Alley In Context discussion following the October 7 (2:30pm) performance of Describe the Night. Alley In Context discussions feature civic leaders, local academics, and community members discussing the themes of the play and how they are reflected in our lives today. Designer Talks, Artist TalkBacks and Alley In Context discussions are free and open to the public.

The Alley Theatre, one of America's leading not-for-profit theatres, is a nationally recognized performing arts company led by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. Home to a Resident Company of actors, the Alley creates a wide-ranging repertoire and innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and premieres. Alley All New, the initiative to commission and develop new work year round, features the Alley All New Festival each season presenting workshops and readings of new plays and musicals in process. Additionally the Alley serves 80,000 students annually with award-winning education and community programs including in-school arts integration residencies, school tours and student matinees. A recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley has brought productions to Broadway, 40 American cities including New York's Lincoln Center and internationally to London, Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg throughout its 70-year history.

After a year-long, $46.5 million renovation during the 2014-15 season, the Alley Theatre now has one of the most technically advanced non-profit theatre complexes in the nation. With more than 450 performances in 2017-2018 and as a recent recipient of an NEA Our Town program grant, the Alley will produce more shows on and off-campus than all other performing arts organizations in the Houston Theater District combined.

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