Breakup brings Catastrophic Theater changes

The show, as everyone knows, must go on. Except, of course, when it can't.

Programming changes are as much a part of any company's life as the productions themselves. And we're at that point in the relatively young 2014-15 season when some theaters are announcing changes for the near horizon – specifically, two shows that were to play this fall.

Catastrophic Theatre has canceled plans for its world premiere of Miki Johnson's "The Economist," which was to open Nov. 21. Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler, who was to direct, and Johnson, the playwright, have ended their eight-year relationship.

"Sadly, after eight years together, we've broken up," Nodler says, "and that makes collaborating very difficult." Catastrophic had produced world premieres of Johnson's "American Falls," "Fleaven" and "clean/through."

Catastrophic's next project, Nodler says, will be the world premiere of Mark Schultz's "The Blackest Shore," which will introduce Houston audiences to this emerging playwright when it opens Feb. 13. Nodler, who has been unable to direct most of this year because of debilitating treatment for chronic Lyme disease, is sufficiently recovered and plans to direct "The Blackest Shore."

A second Schultz play will be part of Catastrophic's 2015 agenda, which Nodler will announce later this fall.

Classical Theatre Company also is making changes – but in this case, the production will be rescheduled. "The Speckled Band: An Adventure of Sherlock Holmes," which was to begin Oct. 15, is being postponed.

Classical Theatre Company, which produced its 2013-14 season at the Barn (formerly Barnevelder), likely will not be returning to that venue, according to Johnson. He says the company is in negotiations to acquire its own venue for the company's 2014-15 productions, including "A Christmas Carol," opening Dec. 9. "The Speckled Band," Timothy N. Evers' new adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle story, is being rescheduled for a February opening.