Anna Bella Eema

Jason Nodler will direct the Houston premiere of Anna Bella Eema by Obie Award-winning playwright Lisa D’Amour.  

Described as “a ghost story for three bodies with three voices,” Anna Bella Eema is the story of a mother, her girl and her girl’s girl: a twin she crafted from the mud outside their trailer park home.  D'Amour presents the tale in a profoundly theatrical style in which words and actions become music and music becomes story.  The production continues the Catastrophic tradition of introducing Houston audiences to the most original voices writing for theatre today.

Ms. D’Amour's work has been performed extensively throughout the country and in Canada and she was the 2008 recipient of the Alpert Awards in the Arts in Theatre.

The New York Times called Anna Bella Eema “A skillfully stylized…wise comment on identity, the violence and inevitability of separation, and the value of both adaptation and detailed self-awareness.”

Lisa D'Amour is a playwright and interdisciplinary artist. She received her M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a core member of the Playwrights' Center and a recent alumna of New Dramatists.

Her plays have been commissioned and produced by theaters across the country, including The Women's Project, Playwrights' Horizons, Children's Theater Company (Minneapolis), Steppenwolf Theater Company (Chicago) and the Royal National Theater (London). She is the recipient of the 2008 Alpert Award for the Arts in theater and the 2011 Steinberg Playwright Award. Lisa has also received fellowships from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, an independent artist commission from NYSCA (for Stanley 2006, created with her brother Todd D'Amour) and an NEA / TCG Playwrights' Residency (to create Hide Town with Infernal Bridegroom Productions).

In 2008, Lisa wrote and directed a performance for visual artist SWOON's Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, a flotilla of six boats created from salvaged materials that navigated the Hudson River in August 2009, performing in riverfront parks from Troy, NY to New York City.

She is one half of the OBIE-Award winning performance duo PearlDamour, whose work has been presented by HERE Arts Center, PS122, The Whitney Museum of Art, the Walker Arts Center and the FuseBox Festival. PearlDamour is known for creating interdiscplinary, often site-specific works which range from the intimate to large scale. These include How to Build a Forest, an 8-hour performance installation created with visual artist Shawn Hall (The Kitchen, New York, 2011), Terrible Things, a dance theater work at PS122 in New York City in collaboration with choreographer Emily Johnson. Bird Eye Blue Print, a performance/tour through a vacant office suite in the World Financial Center across from ground zero in New York City (2007), LIMO (commissioned by the Whitney Museum) performed in the large glass atrium of the Altria building in NYC (2004). SLABBER was an itinerant solo performance for apartments, basements, lecture halls etc. performed in Austin, New Orleans, Chicago, Providence and New York. In 2005, they created LandMARK, a 24-hour continuous system of interlocking performances designed for the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. This public art work, created with Katie Pearl and five artists of different disciplines, included performance-tours, dance pieces, installations, spectacle-processions and instruction performances that allowed audiences to participate. From 2002-2005, they created and toured Nita & Zita, a performance about two showgirls from Hungary living in New Orleans, performed by Katie with Kathy Randels, with Lisa directing. Lisa, Katie and Kathy each received a Village Voice OBIE Award for Nita & Zita. With PearlDamour, she is a four- time recipient of project funding from the Rockefeller MAP Fund and a 2009 Creative Capital grantee.

D'Amour sits on The Catastrophic Theatre's advisory board. She lives with her husband, Brendan Connelly, in New Orleans and Brooklyn.