For most of the last few decades, when national theater observers talked about Texas, the conversation focused on just one theater: the Alley, in Houston. It regularly premiered major works, like Horton Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” the musical “Jekyll & Hyde” and Tennessee Williams’s posthumously discovered “Not About Nightingales.”
In 1996, the Alley won the Regional Theatre Tony Award, the only Texas theater to win that prestigious prize. Other companies in the state may have been well regarded among locals, but, the thinking went, they weren’t doing the groundbreaking work that caused tastemakers in New York to pay attention.
That perception is rapidly changing. Though the Alley remains the state’s heavy