Alley Theatre Takes on the American Character in Its 2013-14 Season Announced Today
Photo courtesy of Alley Theatre The Alley hopes to build on the success of A Few Good Men this season with more than a few good women in 2013-14
Starting with the tried and true - You Can't Take It With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman - the Alley Theatre's 2013-14 season announced today will be dominated by American plays and give female actors a special chance to shine, according to Alley Artistic Director Gregory Boyd.
The Alley will also be doing the much talked about Venus in Fur by David Ives, dipping into the Alan Ayckbourn well again, this time with Communicating Doors, and bring a new-to-the-Alley production of Agatha Christie's The Hollow.
Others in a season that doesn't have as many recognizable titles as usual for a general audience include: The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht, Never the Sinner by John Logan (Red, Skyfall), Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, Freud's Last Session by Mark St. Germain and Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire.
Boyd said the six American plays "are about the American character. What's in the American character, right now in terms of what's happening in the economy, what's happening with politics and what's happening with the politics of the established versus the eccentric.
"The other two, the Ayckbourn and the Brecht we wanted to do for a long time," Boyd said. "Next year's season I really wanted to focus on the female characters. This year it was more on the male characters. I wanted to balance that with some extraordinary writing for women."
Boyd said You Can't Take it With You, written during a time of economic crisis, is perhaps more pertinent than ever. "Here you have a clash between a family of eccentrics and a family that represents a sort of established way of thinking. But both of them are so deeply dyed in the American character that it's probably the most American play I know."
"Venus and Fur -- I think it's very sexy and very provocative and very funny and those are three great qualities. I think people who know it are really eager to see that we're doing it," Boyd said. "It's a very clever and wonderful thing that David Ives has created and I think his earlier work as a playwright has sort of been leading up to this. It's got all the kind of theater love that his other work has and all the kind of gamesmanship that his other work has but he's added to that a kind of funny and I think healthy view of sex that's funny and great.
The Alley's present season has been going well in terms of ticket sales and audience approval, Boyd said. "November and Clybourne Park set records downstairs and Death of a Salesman did really well despite the fact we lost a week of performances and A Few Good Men was one of biggest successes the theater's had," Boyd said.
What's missing from the upcoming season are any of the new play initiatives for which the Alley has received so much praise. Boyd said several of them are in the pipeline but probably won't show up on stage in the next season. "Plays are ready when they're ready; you don't want to rush them into production."
Boyd also said when they program they keep in mind that "It's always good when the big stage talks to the small stage and during The Mountaintop and Clybourne Park that was the point. And it's the point for a lot of the programming next year too."