Houston Matters

The Alley Theatre Returns Home For The Holidays With “A Christmas Carol”

Flood damage from Harvey forced the company to open its season at the University of Houston. But the Alley is bouncing back and presents its annual holiday production back home on its own Hubbard Stage

In the Alley's A Christmas Carol, look for a doll dressed like the Ghost of Christmas Present and given to Scrooge. It was submerged and damaged during Hurricane Harvey, but restored and given a new life for this year's show – much like the theatre, itself.

"What we're excited about is that we were able to survive the flood and get back in the theatre and get the show up by Thanksgiving," said Managing Director Dean Gladden.

"This has been an amazing feat when you think that we had 10 feet of water down below – below street level – and then 15 feet of water in our basement."

Gladden said the Alley's staff and suppliers have been working on repairs around the clock non-stop – including restoring the theatre's complex electrical systems, and salvaging and re-making props for the show.

During Harvey, the company’s roughly 84,000 props were ruined underwater. Some of the larger, signature props for A Christmas Carol were saved by having been moved to higher floors, but all of that production’s hand-props were affected and had to be restored.

Construction is still in progress in the Alley's lower levels, which were hit the hardest. The company hopes to reopen its Neuhaus Theatre in January.

But for now, "There is nothing I think more special than to bring this show which celebrates life, which celebrates the importance of humanity and helping one another ... to this community," reflected Gladden.

Resident company actor Melissa Pritchett, who plays the Spirit of Christmas Past, added, "We've gone through something together as a community and a company ... and I think that feeling of being close to one another and wanting to hold onto each other a little longer and a little more, and wanting to laugh a little bit more with each other – I think it's bringing a real spirit of joy and community to this production that is really unique to this year."

A Christmas Carol opens Friday, November 24 and runs through December 30 at The Alley Theatre.

Listen to the complete interview with Dean Gladden, below (recorded 11/17/17):

Listen to the complete interview with Melissa Pritchett, below (recorded 11/20/17):


Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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