Houston Matters

Heartfelt ‘memory play’ explores a family’s story through photographs

Rob Melrose of The Alley Theatre discusses “Pictures from Home” and how to successfully turn a series of photographs into a compelling story for the stage.

Promotional artwork for The Alley Theatre’s production of “Pictures from Home.”


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Starting Jan. 19, The Alley Theatre presents what’s described as a "memory play" called Pictures from Home. Set in the 1980s, it tells the true story of photographer Larry Sultan, who turns the lens on his parents as he seeks out truths hidden beneath their home movies.

Sultan created a book of the same name that was later adapted as a play. An early version of that theatrical adaptation was part of Alley All New, a program that supports new works and playwrights. Then, the show went on to success with a production on Broadway starring Nathan Lane.

The Houston production stars Zachary Finehe, Susan Koozin, and Todd Waite and offers an intimate look at a mother, a father, and a son and asks who gets to tell a family's story.

Rob Melrose, The Alley’s artistic director, talks with Houston Matters host Craig Cohen about the story and what’s involved in turning what began as a series of photos into a compelling story for a live audience.

Pictures from Home runs Jan. 19 – Feb. 11.

Todd Waite, Susan Koozin, and Zachary Fine in rehearsal for Pictures from Home.