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Describe The Night
An epic thriller of history, fiction and blood
Welcome to Describe the Night
Rajiv Joseph first started writing Describe the Night in 2014, in what was a completely different time: before the 2016 election, before the isolation of a global pandemic, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As Rajiv likes to joke, he accidentally—and sadly—managed to write a remarkably relevant and prescient play.
In 2023, against the backdrop of Russia’s ruthless invasion, Describe the Night surely lands differently than it did nearly a decade ago. And then there’s our own country’s ongoing reckoning with truth and censorship; from the cognitive dissonance in our political arena, to the censorship in our nation’s schools, the terrors of Isaac Babel’s Russia feel all too close to home. 
But what is also clear today is that Rajiv has written a timeless play, one whose ambition stretches far beyond the headlines of our time.
This is a story about the strength of love and the power of art.
It is a tribute to the creative impulse and a reflection on autocracy and surveillance. It is stuffed with disarming images, haunting moments, and brilliant ideas that we hope stay with you long after you leave this building.
If you have come for clear cut resolution, you have come to the wrong play. Describe the Night is an experience filled with twists, turns and unpredictable detours. Images and text echo throughout the play, ricocheting across time and place. The result is an impressionistic and occasionally disorienting experience, forcing us to ask: What is the truth? What is the lie? 

Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis
Artistic Directors



About the Show



By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Austin Pendleton†‡


Jack Cain*, Glenn Davis*, James Vincent Meredith*, Sally Murphy*, Caroline Neff*, Jon Hudson Odom*, Yasen Peyankov* and Karen Rodriguez


Collette Pollard+ Scenic Design 
Raquel Adorno+ Costume Design 
Keith Parham+ Lighting Design 
Pornchanok Kanchanabanca+ Sound Design
Silver Fox Wigs Wig Design
Kristina Fluty Intimacy Consultant
Gigi Buffington Company Voice & Text Coach 
Tom Pearl Producing Director
JC Clementz, CSA Casting Director 
Christine D. Freeburg* Production Stage Manager
Kathleen Barrett* Assistant Stage Manager

DESCRIBE THE NIGHT was first presented in 2014 in a student production at New York University’s Graduate Acting Program (Mark Wing-Davey, Chair)

DESCRIBE THE NIGHT was developed at TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, CA, as part of their New Works Festival

The world premiere of DESCRIBE THE NIGHT was commissioned and produced by the Alley Theatre (Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director; Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director)

DESCRIBE THE NIGHT is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

† member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble.
* member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
+ member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 of the IATSE.
‡ member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.

The Artists

Jack Cain* Feliks
Glenn Davis†* Vova
Charence Higgins Urzula
James Vincent Meredith†* Isaac (March 2–24 & April 2–9)
Sally Murphy†* Yevgenia
Caroline Neff†* Mariya
Jon Hudson Odom* Isaac (March 25–April 1)
Yasen Peyankov†* Nikolai

Eileen Doan Urzula
Nate Faust
Kenneth Hamilton Vova/Feliks
Marika Mashburn* Yevgenia
Matt Rosin Nikolai
Liz Sharpe Mariya

Dan Washelesky Assistant Director
Delena Bradley Assistant Scenic Design
Quinn Chisenhall Assistant Lighting Design
Emily Hayman Assistant Sound Design
Jeremy Ohringer Assistant Intimacy Consultant
Emily Hanlon Production Assistant
Joe Creen Run Crew
Annaliese Voci Dresser
Lauren Casson COVID Safety Manager 
Rachel Boylan, Jeanette Rodriguez Costume Assistants
Melissa Wilson First Hand
Kyra Pan, Veronica Stark, Riley Sullivan Stitchers
Jesse Debolt, Billy Earnisse, Kenny Faust, Tim Martin, John McTaggart, Bobby Noe, Carolyn Voss Additional Carpenters 
Camille Toshiko-Peotter Additional Properties 
Elyse Balogh, Amy Couey, Livian Kennedy Additional Paint
Lexi SilvaEmma Tyler Research Associates

This play runs 3 hours including one 15 minute intermission.

As a courtesy to the actors and your fellow patrons, please turn off your cell phones before the performance.

Entry and re-entry into the theater after the performance begins is not guaranteed.

 The taking of photographs and the use of any type of recording device are not allowed in the theater during performances and is a violation of state and federal copyright laws; digital media will be deleted, and tape or film will be confiscated.

Meet the Artists
Honoring Those Who Came Before Us
Welcome to our Community
Our Staff & Board