Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd abruptly announced his retirement Tuesday night, vacating the helm of what is by far Houston's largest and most well-funded theater outfit.
Boyd is only the Alley's third artistic director in the theater's seven-decade existence. Since joining the company in 1989, Boyd has welcomed the Alley's first fully-produced new musical, Jekyll & Hyde, led the company to a Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, and grown the theater's stature to become known as one of the most prominent regional theaters in the country.
“Through his creativity and passion for the theatre, Greg helped elevate the Alley’s visibility and reputation on a global scale,” Managing Director Dean Gladden said in a statement—praise backed up with a list of Boyd's lengthy list of Alley productions that went on national and international tours.
Boyd intended to retire after wrapping the 2016–2017 season until a little thing called Harvey threw a wrench in that plan. The hurricane devastated the downtown Theater District and breached the Alley's flood defenses to ruin many of the company's props and forced the company to reshuffle its season, including the decision to move its world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night to UH's Quintero Theatre. According to the statement, the delay in retirement was decided "in order to give the Alley time to prepare a new season."
Actor and director James Black, a 30-year Alley veteran who predates Boyd's tenure, has been announced as the interim artistic director. The search for a new artistic director is expected to take between six and nine months.