A native of Texas, Allison has primarily worked as a dramaturg and literary manager in America and New Zealand. After graduating with degrees in Theatre and Russian from University of Denver, she earned her MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama. She has served as dramaturg on new plays, classics, and musicals for theatres across the United States including Baltimore’s Center Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, and the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. In La Jolla, she was involved with the development and world premiere of the musical Jersey Boys, which went on to Broadway, West End, and international touring success. Her other Broadway credits originating from her work in La Jolla include Dracula and Doctor Zhivago. As a freelance dramaturg, she contributed to the development of Broadway musicals Amazing Grace and Chaplin.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissioned Allison in 2004 to create literal Russian-to-English translations of Chekhov’s major plays for adaptation by OSF Artistic Director Emerita Libby Appel. Two of those plays, The Cherry Orchard and Seagull, enjoyed productions at OSF and each of the published Five Chekhov Plays on which they collaborated has been produced at theatres and universities in America. Allison has revisited Chekhov’s works twice to craft bespoke translations for adaptation by Tony Award-winning playwright Stephen Karam: his indie-film version of The Seagull (2017) and his adaptation of The Cherry Orchard which enjoyed a Broadway run in late 2016 are both based on Allison’s translations.
Allison’s other ongoing Russian translation project involves the works of playwright Leonid Andreev. Her translation of his play The Black Masks has had development at San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theatre and was premiered by Obscene/Courageous Theatre in Denver in 2013. She plans to translate Andreev’s other stage works in conjunction with writing a biography on his Russian, French, and American extended families.
Teaming up with writer/performer Luciann Lajoie, Allison helped to create Date*, a multi-media play about online dating based on hundreds of interviews conducted by Lajoie. After its Denver premiere, which garnered a nomination for Outstanding New Play by the Colorado Theatre Guild, Date* enjoyed successful commercial runs in Arizona and Texas.
From 2007-2015, Allison collaborated as dramaturg with playwright/adaptor Eric Schmiedl and Denver Center Artistic Director Kent Thompson to bring a trilogy of Colorado novelist Kent Haruf’s works—Plainsong, Eventide, and Benediction–to the stage at the Denver Center, the last of which premiered just after Haruf’s death.
In the same period of time, she taught courses in playwriting and dramatic literature at University of Denver where she was granted tenure in 2012. In 2015 she immigrated to New Zealand to work as Literary Manager for The Court Theatre. After she and Ross Gumbley developed the idea for Ropable, she was commissioned by The Court to co-write the play. In 2016 her adaptation of the children’s show The Little Mermaid premiered at The Court. Allison is now the Auckland-based Script Advisor for Playmarket, which represents and advocates for NZ playwrights, in addition to providing script advisory services.
- 2017 - Ropable - Co-writer