HOUSTON – Hurricane Harvey wiped out Alley Theatre’s downtown stages. However, their newest show will still go on.
The University of Houston made room for the theatre’s world premiere production of “Describe the Night” on campus.
The show originally planned to open downtown Friday evening. That was before Hurricane Harvey filled the theatre basement and the clean-up could take months.
Still, management told the show director and the playwright to keep working.
The crew re-designed sets for a much smaller stage inside UH’s Quintero Theatre. Actors rehearsed in hotels and conference rooms.
Now, 20 days after the storm, the show will go on. Employees expect the impact to be huge.
“So many people in town have lost so much and some of our employees have been very roughly treated by the storm as well,” said Lindsay Cook, associate production manager for the Alley Theatre.
“We had several people who completely lost their homes. One of the first things said to us was they were very happy to be back working at the theatre again.”
“It was just one of the more surprising and inspiring moments I’ve ever experienced because here was this theatre that had undergone such devastation and yet their eyes were still looking forward,” said Rajiv Joseph, Describe the Night’s playwright. “They’re still thinking about 'let’s put on a play.'”
“I really actually hope we give them some respite from everything that’s happening in their own life,” said Giovanna Sardelli, director for the play. “We get to tell them a story and take them on journey that is far from their lives.”