To Gillian on her 37th Birthday will open November 2nd at Theatre on the Run in Arlington. The play will kick off the Inaugural Season of Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions. An innovative new company, Peter’s Alley grew out of the dream of Artistic Director Aly B. Ettman of Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions who envisioned a company dedicated to the belief that a “Professional” Theater Company is one not defined by payroll or profits, but rather by the quality of its productions and the process that creates them.
So, while Peter’s Alley strives to produce the highest caliber of plays and musicals possible for audiences, the company is equally committed to a production process with those same high standards. “It’s not just about the final product, but the experience of creating it that inspires me. I want to be surrounded by those that share my passion for the craft, not just the adulation they receive in front of an audience,” says Ettman. Unabashedly “artist-centric,” the company challenges actors to stretch and reach for new levels of their craft, but also to cultivate the sense of pure joy that motivates them to produce theater in the first place.
A self-proclaimed, “recovering starving actor,” Ettman sought to provide an alternative to the discouraging series of slammed doors the “business of show” can be for an aspiring performer. Her own experiences have developed in her profound empathy for the artist who strives simply for the opportunity to practice her craft. “The company grew out of my need to take control of my own artistic destiny but also to enable me to provide a “haven” for aspiring performers, where they could be mentored and have the opportunities to take their talent to new levels.”
The vision of Peter’s Alley also stems from Ettman’s firm belief that an actor’s potential to perform successfully on a professional level is not something that can necessarily be predicted by the number of credits on a resume or the name of the drama school they may or may not have attended.
Peter Alley’s strict ‘Open Door Polic’ has created an ensemble that is a shining reflection of this belief: a fiercely talented collective of actors with resumes as diverse as their ages and levels of experience, sharing a deep passion for the craft and a firm dedication to the art of positive, professional collaboration.
In order to support this artist-centered vision, Ettman and her co-founder, Meredith Fogle took a non-traditional approach in developing the company. Reversing the usual sequence of events, the ensemble was created first through an invitation-only interview/audition process, and then a season of shows was selected that best suited their individual talent, range and skills. Lastly, a venue was procured that meets the requirements of the shows selected and has the best potential to reach a wide audience of theatergoers hungry for a fresh new theater experience. The process was a challenging one, but the innovative approach has proven successful.
And in just a few short weeks, Peter’s Alley will kick off what it hopes to be the first of MANY successful theatrical seasons to come with To Gillian on her 37th Birthday.
Originally produced Off-Broadway and starring a then unknown, Sarah Jessica Parker, To Gillian on her 37th Birthday by Michael Brady explores the journey of a young widower finding his way back from grief to the daughter who needs him. Buoyed by a cast that beautifully reflects the mission of Peter’s Alley, Gillian is a warm and witty drama with universal themes of family and human connection. In March, Peter’s Alley continues this theme of family ties with, Proof, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Drama by David Auburn, marking the first professional DC area production of this popular drama in over 6 years. Finally, in June, PATP will cap off their season with Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Into the Woods, the modern classic that turns the idea of “happily ever after” on its ear with a combination of humor and pathos that only Sondheim can create.
The company is thrilled to kick off its first season at the newly revamped Theatre on the Run and looks forward to a bright and rewarding future of bringing top quality professional theater at a reasonable price to audiences around the DC Metro area. Please join them on the first steps of what promises to be an amazing theatrical journey.
To Gillian on her 37th Birthday will be presented November 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17 @8pm; Nov.4 and 11 @3pm at Theater on the Run – 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, in Arlington, VA.
Purchase tickets here.
Proof by David Auburn will be presented March 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 @ 8pm; March 17, 24 @3pm at Theater on the Run – 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, in Arlington, VA.