Hunter Gatherers

Hors d'oeuvres, parking, wine, blood, “the most special night of the year.” Animal sacrifice, stitches, ethics committees, adultery, wine, betrayal, sex in the kitchen. High school football, menstruation, prom night, oven mitts. More wine, more sex, more blood. Homoerotic wrestling. Art, cooking, dancing, food fights, legs of lamb, head wounds. Stabbing, beating, erotic asphyxiation, orgasms. Brownies!

Four souls awaken from the denial and disappointments of their daily lives to become their true, primitive selves.

The Catastrophic Theatre is pleased to announce the return of Hunter Gatherers, the hit comedy that sold out Stages last season and won the first ever “Best Public Dick” award from The Houston Press. 

The 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award winner finds Pam and Richard hosting their best friends, Wendy and Tom, for an annual get-together. An animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by a little more sex, violence, deception, wrestling and dancing than at previous parties. The line between civilized and primal man will be blurred, and not everyone will survive long enough to enjoy the brownies for dessert.


Last year's production had audiences crying with laughter.  But don’t take our word for it: check out these killer reviews…

A night filled with evil laughter… a stunning production led by a fabulous foursome of a cast… outrageously funny… laugh til your face hurts… this is not family-friendly theatre but thanks to this terrific cast and dead-on direction, it’s the funniest grown-up play anyone’s put on this season. ” – Lee Williams, Houston Press
The Catastrophic Theatre has mounted a vivid Houston premiere of Hunter Gatherers with a strong cast that makes the most of its biting black comedy and outrageously extreme action… Hunter Gatherers strips away the veneer of civilized behavior to reveal primal urges and unleash the beast within. (And if that doesn’t start a stampede at the box office, what will?) ” – Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle
It’s cerebral, it’s visceral, it’s hysterically funny. I don’t mean that in a stuffy, traditional-theater sense -- I mean really funny and full of food for thought… An unusually intense and entertaining evening at the theater. ” – Alex Gilbert,


Best Theater Company

Catastrophic Theatre

Good things come in small packages — that's the lesson to take from the short season, only three shows long, produced in 2008-2009 by Catastrophic Theatre Company. Last fall, the company produced two plays by Mickle Maher: The Strangerer, a disturbing story about the bizarre lies and theatricality of political debates, and Spirits to Enforce, an astonishing ensemble piece that haunted the city with a brilliant synthesis of emotionally moving and intellectually puzzling avant-garde energy. In the spring, Artistic Director Jason Nodler and his group gave us what was probably the funniest and deadliest show mounted anywhere in the city this season with Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Hunter Gatherers, about a dinner party that goes terribly wrong in all the right ways. Three for three, them ain't bad odds. We can only hope that next season, the company will offer us more to savor.


Best Public Dick

Greg Dean in Hunter Gatherers

The Catastrophic Theatre's production of the comedy/drama Hunter Gatherers won a rave from our reviewer, but Lee Williams failed to mention Greg Dean's incredible hard-on, waving around for all to see in the intimate Stages setting. Dean, playing a disturbed ex-jock, had been off-stage for a while before making his dramatic blood-engorged re-entrance, so we imagined him backstage furiously reading Hustlers and Penthouses in order to get ready. Alas, someone sitting closer to the actor than us reports that — unlike Teri Hatcher's breasts in Seinfeld – while it was fabulous, it was not real.


Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include boom, T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Prize), Colorado, and Multiplex. His work has been seen Off-Broadway and at theaters across the country including at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theatre, Dad's Garage, and in the Bay Area at Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He is under commission from South Coast Repertory and American Conservatory Theater, and is a Resident Playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco. He holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.