clean/through

Miki Johnson, playwright of previous Catastrophic hit premieres American Falls and Fleaven, launches Catastrophic's upcoming season with her new play, clean/through.

Nick and Rachel are a couple consumed by love and drugs and very deep sickness. Nick, a semi-famous musician, has recently had a disastrous, potentially career-ending performance. Now he's stuck. If he wants to make the money to support his habit, he has to perform; in order to perform, he has to get clean.

What to do: continue with his life and love as he's known it or walk away?

He walks away.

Nick moves to east L.A. where he can get his fix "right outside my window... right between the bars." There he finds a human bond and kinship with a fellow junkie of a very different pedigree. They provide for one another more than one kind of fix.

And so Rachel is alone. As his sister Annie says, "Nick is good at a lot of things. But do you know what he’s amazing at? Dying. He’s been doing it his whole life."

According to Johnson:

I couldn't stop listening to Elliott Smith is the truth. I couldn't stop listening to him and Wikipedia-ing him and... I was out of control, basically. I mean, I've been with Jason for seven years and Elliott's been dead for ten but I was seriously thinking about running away with him. Ha! But really it is Elliott and my romantic notions about his, well, his, wreckage of a life that started me writing the play. It's not about Elliott Smith. It's about other people. It's about drug addiction and it's about love. Most of my plays in one way or another are about addiction and love, but this one even more than others. It's a sparse kind of play, violent and quiet and hopefully funny and... I'm not a poet at all, and I'm certainly no Elliott Smith, but this is kind of a poem to me, a lot gets left unsaid and that's where a lot of the feeling lives.

 

Miki Johnson was born in the small town of Green, Ohio. She received her BFA in creative writing at The University of Pittsburgh. While there, she and a friend produced Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, in which she played Winnie. And she's been acting ever since. Miki received her MFA in Acting from Yale University in 2005. Many plays and many cities later, she returned to Pittsburgh to play the lead role in After Mrs. Rochester, where she met her partner Jason. They moved to Houston and she began setting the town on fire with her extraordinary performances at The Catastrophic Theatre and Stages Repertory Theatre. In her first year here, she was named "Best Actress" and later "Best Playwright" by The Houston Press.

She has recently been signed by Antje Oegel at AO International Talent Agency for her writing. One of her newer plays, God is a Good God, has been selected for development at Super Labs, a new play development program co-run by Clubbed Thumb and Playwright's Horizons in NYC. The development workshop will be held in spring, 2014 in New York.

As for on-stage performances, Miki has appeared in Catastrophic's EndgameCraveBluefingerThe Designated MournerOur Late NightSpirits to Enforce, and Big Death and Little Death. At Stages Repertory Theatre, she appeared in Mr. Marmalade and Oh! The Humanity. Miki has had two other plays produced by Catastrophic Theatre in 2012: Fleaven, a hip-hop musical written in rhyme; as well as her play American Falls for which she was awarded Best Playwright of 2012 by the Houston Press at their annual Houston Theatre Awards.