Season 2016-17

 
The Catastrophic Theatre Announces 10th Anniversary, 2016 - 2017 Season
Featuring a world premiere by Donald Barthelme, a Pulitzer Prize-­winner by Sam Shepard, Houston premieres by Nick Jones and Mickle Maher, and a world premiere cabaret by Tamarie Cooper and friends.

The Catastrophic Theatre is proud to announce the World Premiere production of Snow White, a theatrical adaptation of the groundbreaking, experimental novel by the iconic, postmodern novelist and poet Donald Barthelme. The play will be produced in association with the Barthelme estate, Brazos Bookstore, and Inprint. The singular novel was adapted for the stage by Barthelme himself but has never been shared with the public until now. This is a passion project for Catastrophic favorite Greg Dean, 
who will direct from Barthelme’s adaptation and notes. The remainder of our 10th anniversary season includes Song About Himself, the latest play by audience favorite Mickle Maher, directed by Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler; Trevor, the first Houston production of a hit play by Nick Jones, writer of the popular TV show Orange is the New Black, directed by Catastrophic associate director Tamarie Cooper; avant-garde classic and Pulitzer Prize winner Buried Child by Sam Shepard, helmed by Catastrophic all-­‐star Jeff Miller in his directing debut; and of course a brand new Tamarie Cooper musical—a whimsical cabaret about mistakes and regrets appropriately entitled Tamarie Cooper's Merry Evening of Mistakes and Regrets.

The Catastrophic Theatre offers tickets to all performances on a Pay-­‐What-­‐You-­‐Can basis and no one is ever turned away from a Catastrophic performance for lack of funds. Catastrophic is delighted to be performing its entire season in Matchbox 3 at Houston's beautiful new state‐of‐the‐art performance space, MATCH, conveniently located on the light rail in Midtown.

For tickets and venue information, visit matchouston.org or call The MATCH’s box office at 713-521-4533.

Tickets to all performances are: You Tell Us • We Suggest $35 • More If You Have It • Less If You Don't
 

 

(Pulitzer Prize Winner)
Buried Child
by Sam Shepard
Directed by Jeff Miller
With original music by local legend Geoffrey Muller

Sept 9 — Oct 1, 2016

Corn has begun to grow again at a remote farmhouse where the Pields have been fallow for decades. A young man returns to his family home only to discover that no one recognizes him. The time has come for a twisted secret to come to light. Equal parts dark comedy, family drama, and mysterious ceremony of renewal, Buried Child is the play that vaulted Sam Shepard into the Pirst rank of American playwrights and won him the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The extraordinary cast features Carolyn Houston Boone (Halie), Rutherford Cravens (Dodge), Greg Dean (Tilden), Kyle Sturdivant (Bradley), Dayne Lathrop (Vince), Candice D'Meza (Shelly), and Charlie Scott (Father Dewis). The all-­‐star design team includes Ryan McGettigan (sets), John Smetak (lights), Macy Lyne (costumes), Shawn St. John (sound), and Lauren Davis (props).

​“Buried Child is as effective a portrait as exists of the profound, torturing ambivalence with which we all regard where we come from. […]The effect is of sitting down for a cozy meal with people you believed you knew and gradually realizing they’re insane. Then again, they can’t be, because they’re so much like your own folks.” —Ben Brantley, New York Times

 


 
(Houston Premiere)
Song About Himself
by Mickle Maher
Directed by Jason Nodler
Starring Tamarie Cooper

Nov 11
Dec 3, 2016

In a dystopian future, a corrupted and crumbling version of the Internet, now called “the Weed,” allows human beings to communicate in only the most banal and fragmentary ways. A woman named Carol, perhaps the only person left able to string together a few coherent sentences in a world devolving into gibberish, joins YouSpake, a rogue social media site maintained by an enigmatic host/hostess. The secrets Carol uncovers will either reconnect her to humanity or destroy her

“Ultimately Maher is digging his finger around in that gaping hole of what it means to connect with another person—the wistful, persistent desire for it, and the technology that we've come to rely on to make so much of it possible.” —Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

 
(Houston Premiere)
Trevor
by Nick Jones
Directed by Tamarie Cooper

Feb 10
Mar 4, 2017

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

Inspired by the true story of a woman attacked by a 200-­pound pet chimpanzee, Trevor finds pathos, poignancy and, perhaps most surprisingly, riotous humor by seeing the world through the animal’s eyes. The play is also a biting satire of show business since Trevor, the chimpanzee, once starred on stage and screen (including a commercial with ’80s icon Morgan Fairchild) and now overestimates how much the human world might be clamoring for his comeback. Trevor goes beyond the simple humor of “monkeys don’t understand—haha!” and offers real insight into the ways we all get confused in life: about love, about success, about what matters.

“Plays like Sylvia and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo have found humor in animals speaking like humans. But in Trevor, the laughs (and there are many) have an edge. Imagine the frustration of not being able to accurately communicate with the person closest to you, the one you depend on most. It’s the kind of thing that happens on an emotional level in human relationships all the time, but by using this theatrical conceit, the stakes heighten.” —Jason Zinoman, The New York Times

 
(World Premiere)
Snow White
by Donald Barthelme
Directed by Greg Dean

Apr 7 — May 6, 2017


TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

Donald Barthelme's Snow White is tired of being "just a horsewife" to Bill, Dan, Edward, Hubert, Henry, Clem and Kevin, who, in her estimation 'only add up to the equivalent of about two real men.' While they tend to their commercial real estate properties and manufacture exotic high-end baby foods, she spends her days reading Mao Tse Tung, drinking vodka with and impatiently waiting for the prince promised to her by history. But her imagination is stirring...

“Donald Barthelme’s work creates the impression that something miraculous happened to him overnight—as if, blind from birth, he could suddenly see.” —Time Magazine

 
(World Premiere)
Tamarie’s Merry Evening of Mistakes and Regrets
by Tamarie Cooper and Friends
Directed and choreographed by Tamarie Cooper

Jun 29 — Aug 12, 2017


TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW

Tamarie Cooper and friends are mixing up their usual musical formula, with a brand‐new cabaret of sorts—filtered, of course, through Cooper's weird and wacky brain. Presented in Matchbox 3 with cabaret seating, Tamarie's Merry Evening of Mistakes and Regrets will take the audience on a wild ride featuring youthful folly, heartache, unfortunate bedfellows, blunders, errors in judgment, crushed dreams, a miserable clown, dying swans, Judy Garland covers, and songs about cocktails and a sex act in a van with a lead singer of a punk rock band gone horribly wrong. Great and terrible times brilliantly and hilariously brought to life by Tamarie and her talented motley crew: Ronnie Blaine, Kyle Sturdivant, Greg Dean, and company.

​"It wouldn't be summer in Houston without a crazy-quilt vaudeville from Tamarie Cooper and those Catastrophic troopers on a sublimely goofy warpath… As star, director, choreographer, and sharer of co-credits as writer, lyricist, costumer, Cooper is a wonder of the world.” —The Houston Press