Marie and Bruce

Darling, why is it that whenever we have a conversation you always feel sick?

Marie and Bruce have been married a very long time. Maybe ten years, maybe six months. Either way, a very long time.

The play begins on the morning that Marie plans to leave Bruce. They wake up. They have their coffee. We see the very different people they become when alone. They meet at a party. They go to dinner. Seemingly trivial moments in their relationship accumulate like ice on a power line.

Jason Nodler, Tamarie Cooper, and Charlie Scott first collaborated on this play in 1999 with Infernal Bridegroom Productions.

In the Houston Press review of the 1999 production Lee Williams wrote:

"Infernal Bridegroom's riotous production of his Marie and Bruce is a perfect entree into the spiny wit of Shawn's verbal imagination… Shawn's message is undeniably bleak, but it is also very, very funny… We talk and talk and giggle and curse, but no matter what words, what sounds we use, we can never find our way into each other's hearts."

In special celebration of their 20 years making theatre together, Nodler, Cooper, and Scott will reprise their roles as director and lead actors in Marie and Bruce, a devastating comedy about a terrible marriage that will probably last forever. Sounds like our kind of holiday play.


A dangerous writer. A very rare species. He tells people
things about themselves that they don't want to know.

— Joseph Papp on Wallace Shawn


The Catastrophic Theatre's love of Wallace Shawn is well documented by its hit productions of Our Late Night and The Designated Mourner, each of which was declared a "can't miss" production by major critics in Houston. Audiences returned again and again, armed with friends.

Shawn is best known for his character roles in such films as The Princess Bride, Clueless, and Annie Hall as well as his more serious turns in the films My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42th Street, but acting for him is something of a day job. His primary mode of expression is his writing and he is a writer unlike any other.