Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy

Photographer: Aaron Asher

Catastrophic is pleased to once again introduce Houston audiences to a fresh voice in American theatre.  As it did with Mickle Maher (The Strangerer and Spirits to Enforce) and Miki Johnson (American Falls and Fleaven), Catastrophic will produce 2 plays by Mark Schultz in a single season, including the regional premiere of Everything Will Be Different.

Teenage Charlotte's beautiful mother is dead. Turning for comfort to the story of Helen of Troy, Charlotte is convinced that beauty, desire and fame can help her bring her mother back and punish the world that took her away in the first place. Getting beauty tips from her popular friend, seeking career advice on how to be a porn star from a guidance counselor who may or may not be having an affair with her, and searching for love from the football jock who barely even knows she exists, Charlotte finds herself searching in fantasy for what she cannot find in reality and destroying the life of the only friend she may have had in the process. But in the depths of pain, she comes to discover an unexpected grace.

Inspired by Euripides but with its sights set firmly on contemporary America, Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy is an unsettling examination of complacency culture and the politics of beauty.

Mark Schultz’s plays include The Gingerbread House (the stageFARM); Deathbed (Apparition Productions); Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Soho Rep/True Love Productions) for which he won the 2005 Oppenheimer Award and the 2006 Kesselring Prize; Polar Bear (commissioned and produced by Birmingham Rep, UK); Ceremony (Rising Phoenix Rep); Gift (Rising Phoenix Rep/NY Fringe Festival); and various One Acts. Everything Will Be Different was produced by the Actors Touring Company with Theatre Royal Plymouth under the title A Brief History of Helen of Troy at the Soho Theatre in London after a UK tour. Other plays include, The Blackest Shore; Magic Kingdom; Brightness. He has received a Sloan Commission from MTC, as well as commissions from Playwrights Horizons and The Exchange. He was selected for a 2006 Royal Court Residency. He is a member of New Dramatists and Rising Phoenix Rep and is coordinator of MCC Theater’s Playwrights’ Coalition. He holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.