Our 2017 Annual Fund Drive Has Kicked Off!

As you consider year-end donations, please keep Catastrophic Theatre in mind. We had an award-winning season in our new home at MATCH and we'll need your support for our upcoming season.

​Our tremendous growth over the past few years, particularly since our move to the Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston (MATCH), can only be sustained with a significant increase in giving from our individual donors. We are fighting as hard as we can to keep revenues in step with our growth without compromising the core values that make our theatre so special: cutting edge programming in intimate spaces, a Pay-What-You-Can ticket policy that addresses economic barriers, and a desire to pay local artists fair fees. This has become especially challenging to maintain in the post-Harvey climate.


— Shayna Schlosberg, Managing Director


Read Shayna's full letter here

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Directed by Tamarie Cooper

 November 17 - December 10, 2017 





“I can’t get used to it. I just can’t get used to life.”

A rhinoceros suddenly appears in a sleepy town, trampling through the peaceful streets. Soon another appears, and another, and another until it becomes clear that ordinary citizens are actually transforming into beasts as they learn to “move with the times.” The Catastrophic Theatre continues its tradition of presenting avantgarde classics with Eugene Ionesco’s anti-fascist comedy RHINOCEROS. Full of biting wit and nightmarish anxiety, RHIONOCEROS is a modern masterpiece that comments on the plight of the human condition, made tolerable only by selfdelusion. Martin Esslin, author of the classic book THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD, notes that “what the play conveys is the absurdity of defiance as much as the absurdity of conformism, the tragedy of the individualist who cannot join the happy throng of less sensitive people, the artist’s feelings as an outcast….”

Ionesco fled Rumania in 1938, as more and more of his acquaintances began to adhere to the fascist Iron Guard. Reflecting on how this period in his life informed RHINOCEROS, he noted: “I remembered that in the course of my life I have been very much struck by what one might call the current of opinion, by its rapid evolution, its power of contagion, which is that of a real epidemic. People allow themselves suddenly to be invaded by a new religion, a doctrine, a fanaticism…. At such moments we witness a veritable mental mutation. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but when people no longer share your opinions, when you can no longer make yourself understood by them, one has the impression of being confronted with monsters—rhinos, for example. They have that mix of candor and ferocity. They would kill you with the best of consciences.”

One of the landmark plays of the twentieth century, RHINOCEROS premiered in Paris in 1960 in a production directed by, and starring, French theatre legend Jean-Louis Barrault and was seen later the same year at the Royal Court in London, directed by Orson Welles and starring Laurence Olivier. Despite its canonical status, the play has received relatively few professional productions in the U.S. The Catastrophic Theatre’s new production will be directed by Catastrophic co-founder Tamarie Cooper who directed the play in 2003 with Infernal Bridegroom Productions, to much critical acclaim.



The Catastrophic Theatre Announces an Exciting 2017 - 2018 Season

Learn more about each of this season's shows and our special subscription packages in our official press release!

The Catastrophic Theatre is proud to announce its 2017-2018 season, which is slated to be the theatre’s most ambitious season yet. The new season includes three world premieres, an avant-garde classic, and a mini-festival of work by Catastrophic favorite, Mickle Maher.

Artistic director Jason Nodler says, “May 6, 2018 is the 25th anniversary of the first play Tamarie and I made together, and it feels really appropriate that we should be producing our most exciting, most ambitious season in all those 25 years.

“We begin with a one-two punch from Wallace Shawn’s latest play, which has a lot to say about the dangers of the current political climate, and the anti-fascist Ionesco comedy that set me on this course when I read it at 14 years old. Next, we introduce Houston to a thrilling new voice, the emerging playwright Chana Porter, a writer so singular that we will produce her work again and again. And we triple-down on our most oft-produced playwright, in a three-play Mickle Maher mini-fest. We can’t talk about the first play in that series yet except to say it’s new, and we’ve been working on it for two years. The next two are a return to the first play of his we produced, THE STRANGERER, which will run in rep with its spiritual sequel, JIM LEHRER AND THE THEATER AND ITS DOUBLE AND JIM LEHRER’S DOUBLE. ​Tamarie rounds out the season by making good on a request she’s received over and over again: she’s ‘bringing back the bus’ from TAMALALIA 2 over 20 years ago!

“When I think of rolling out these plays, one after the other, and reflect on how this season took 25 years to achieve—seven plays that celebrate everything that Catastrophic does best—I cannot wait to share each and every one with our audience.” 

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For that and for everything else you do to make The Catastrophic Theatre possible, we thank you.