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The Catastrophic Theatre


The Blackest Shore
by Mark Schultz

February 13 – March 7, 2015
Thursday – Saturday at 8pm

All tickets Pay-What-You-Can

Stuart, 16, is making a movie: graphic violence, extreme sex, the walking dead. Of course it’s also a love story. And it’s all true. In fact it’s more horribly true than anyone, even Stuart, can rightly comprehend.

When Stuart begins to display increasingly troubling behavior, our sympathies are torn between a son and a father – both crippled by self-loathing – and each of the lives they touch, as they try to negotiate the impossible circumstances of a mysterious, horrific episode from Stuart’s youth.

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, beginning with the world premiere of The Blackest Shore.

According to Nodler, “Adam Greenfield at Playwright’s Horizons gave me this play over a year ago with the suggestion it might be a good fit for us. He was so right. The play is about those very most important things: love, death, trauma, longing. It’s about how we get lost and how, hopefully, we can be found, to some degree at least, in the love of another… Mark’s voice is so compassionate and so honest and his characters are so beautifully drawn. And it’s funny! It’s unbelievably funny.”

Mark Schultz is the real deal and we’re so excited to share his intrepid, devastating, eminently funny work.

The production introduces five actors to Catastrophic audiences. Only Candice D’Meza has appeared on the Catastrophic stage previously, making her own debut in clean/through and later appearing in Will Eno’s Middletown. Elizabeth Marshall Black, John Gremillion, Zachary Leonard, Josh Morrison, and Gabriel Regojo round out the cast. Directed by Jason Nodler assisted by Kyle Sturdivant.

Video and sound design is by Tim Thomson with costumes by Macy Lyne, lighting by David Gipson, and props by Tina Montgomery. Abe Zapata stage manages.

Mark SchultxMark 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.