2017 Annual Fund Letter

Dear Catastrophic Theatre Supporters,

This past July I had the honor of joining The Catastrophic Theatre as its Managing Director, but I've felt a deep connection to this theatre for quite some time. While I was a theatre student at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper visited my acting class to talk about the theatre they founded together, their previous company Infernal Bridegroom Productions. Ever since then I've admired what they represent and what they have fought tirelessly for over the years: daring, bold, and raw artistry.

I'll admit it was a little scary making the leap from a large theatre like the Alley Theatre, where I previously worked as Associate General Manager, to a much smaller operation. But The Catastrophic Theatre's mission was and still is irresistible to me. The theatre's unwavering commitment to new, provocative work paired with its innovative Pay-What-You-Can ticketing policy makes it the most righteous performing arts organization in Houston. When the opportunity to join Catastrophic fell into my lap, I had to be a part of it.

When you support The Catastrophic Theatre you become part of a larger movement, you become part of a cause. After I accepted the Managing Director position, Jason and Tamarie organized a party, where I had the chance to meet many of the theatre's core artists and supporters. Each person I spoke with that night had a deep, defining connection to the theatre—whether it was as a patron experiencing a life-changing moment during a particular show or as an artist who had finally found the right company, one that provided the freedom and encouragement to develop. I left the party that evening feeling so moved by the sense of community I had just witnessed. It was evident I was now part of something very, very special.

As a supporter of The Catastrophic Theatre, you've also experienced the singularity of this organization and its importance to the Houston community. With your help, what once was a scrappy team of fearless artists has grown into a celebrated, mid-size theatre company that has garnered national attention. The Catastrophic Theatre could not fulfill its mission as successfully as it has without supporters like you. Your contributions have been crucial.

We need your support now more than ever. 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.

This year, we ask you to dig a little deeper, to make a significant donation—whatever that means to you—so that we can continue to bring you this work without sacrificing the pillars of our mission. Your support makes a huge difference in the lives of our artists, our audience, and our community. For that and everything else you do to make The Catastrophic Theatre possible, we thank you.

Truly,

Shayna Schlosberg
Managing Director

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