Exit Stage Right

Surprise exit: Alley Theatre's longtime artistic director abruptly departs

Surprise exit: Alley Theatre's artistic director abruptly departs

Alley Theatre Gregory Boyd
Gregory Boyd's tenure, which ends this week, has spanned nearly three decades with the Alley Theatre. Courtesy photo

In shocking stage news — worthy of the second act reveal during one of their annual Summer Chills productions — the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre has announced that longtime artistic director, Gregory Boyd, will retire. Boyd will exit stage right on Thursday, January 11, though probably not pursued by a bear.

“Leading this extraordinary theatre company in this wonderful city for over a quarter century has been an artistic dream fulfilled," said Boyd in a statement to the press. "With the marvelous efforts of the artists, staff, and Board, we created a state of the art theatre-making complex with performance, production, and administration all in a brilliant, expansive space that welcomes theatre-goers in a unique and exciting way.”

According to a statement from the Alley, the 66 year-old Boyd had been contemplating stepping down from his position for some time and planned to announce his retirement in the fall of 2017. He decided to stay on after Harvey to help with the recovery effort. Leaving the Alley early in this new year allows the theater to prepare a new season, explained the press statement.

Still, for a master of timing, especially when directing Shakespeare comedies like A Midsummer Night's Dream, Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night, Boyd’s leaving two days after the late-afternoon announcement to the press certainly shows dramatic flair, to say the least.

James Black, a 30-year acting and directing veteran of the company, will now take on the complex role of interim artistic director of the Alley while a search for a new artistic director, led by theater executive search firm Albert Hall & Associates, commences. This search could take six to nine months.

“It has been an honor to work with Greg for twelve of his twenty-eight illustrious years at the Alley Theatre and we are forever grateful for his work in making the Theatre one of the flagship theater companies in the United States,” said Dean Gladden, managing director. “Through his creativity and passion for the theatre, Greg helped elevate the Alley’s visibility and reputation on a global scale.” 

While it appeared nothing could top 2017 for Houston theater drama onstage and off, if this early January news is any indication, 2018 might just be a diva star in the making.