Catastrophic Theatre Gets a Good News Grant and Readies for the World Premiere of The Pine

As it gets ready to begin its 2013-14 season, Catastrophic Theatre got a big boost, learning that it has been awarded a 2013 National Theatre Company grant.

The award determination is made by the American Theatre Wing, the creator of the Tony Awards. Along with the recognition there's a $10,000 grant. Catastrophic was one of only ten theater companies to receive the award this year.

According to the American Theatre Wing website:

The Catastrophic Theatre is the premier creator and producer of new work not otherwise available in Houston, TX. The company is dedicated to creating a meaningful exchange between artists and audiences through new work. With a pronounced emphasis on emotional experience, Catastrophic Theatre encourages diverse interpretations focusing on mystery, poetry, and a considered preference for questions rather than answers.

"The recognition from the American Theatre Wing is a tremendous honor," said Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler. "We are proud of the attention our work has brought to Houston and its contribution to Houston's growing reputation as a major arts and culture destination."

To win one of these grants, theater companies have to show they have a mission, have an audience and "nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater," according to a release from Catastrophic.

Adding to that quality, diversity and dynamism will be the upcoming world premiere of playwright Mickle Maher's (There is a Happiness That Morning Is) most recent work in verse: The Pine, running September 27 through October 19.

According to a Catastrophic press release:

"Set in the ghost of an old hotel, a way station between alive and dead, The Pine follows our sad hero Gordon as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend and piano teacher Danelle from a place of eternal grieving."

"A fairy story or parlor tale in style, told entirely in verse, The Pine is populated by a middle-class nineteenth century hotel proprietor; a nine-foot tall, green bellhop; the knight Morris the Hesitant; demons, monsters, and countless lost soulbls; and Gordon's only friend in this hell, a common housefly."

The Pine runs September 27 through October 19 at Catastrophic Theatre's new home, 1119 East Freeway. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For ticket information call 713-522-2723 or visit Pay what you can.