Alley Up

Houston%26rsquo;s busy Tony-winning performing arts company The Alley Theatre, under the leadership of artistic director Gregory Boyd and managing director Dean Gladden, stages an incredible 393 productions every season. So, it%26rsquo;s long been time for a redux. Perfectly timed is the recent announcement of an ambitious $73 million capital campaign, of which $31 million has already been secured, to the credit of fund-raising co-chairmen Meredith Long and Roger Plank. First, $10 million for artistic enhancement (which began in 2008) increases the budget annually by $1 million into 2017 for bigger productions and beefing up the resident company%26rsquo;s creative team. Secondly, the lion%26rsquo;s share of $46.5 million is earmarked for renovation, which includes cleaning the iconic turreted cement exterior of the medieval-modernist classic that launched Harvard School of Design-trained architect Ulrich Franzen%26rsquo;s career and upgrading the interior, especially the Hubbard Stage, where new seats and, most importantly, a reconfiguration, provides a more intimate encounter for both actors and theatergoers. State-of-the-art technical improvements include an added fly loft with computer-controlled, motorized rigging; fully trapped stage floor; lighting, sound and electrical enhancements; and expanded dressing rooms. Finally, phase three raises $16.5 million %26mdash; a $15 million endowment and $1.5 million cash reserve towards future artistic productions. The only performing arts company in the Theater District that owns and operates its own building, the Alley enviably launches its campaign with a positive balance sheet. Tapped for the project is Studio Red Architects%26rsquo; Pete Ed Garrett, the go-to who restored the Alley%26rsquo;s Neuhaus Stage post Tropical Storm Allison. To offer suggestions, tap; to donate,; for naming rights, contact Nancy Giles, 713.315.3398,

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