“You are the most dramatic person ever.”
Cast & Personnel
Let’s go back in time. Let’s steal from our parents’ liquor cabinet. Let’s wear black lipstick and thrift store flannel. Let’s try to make sense of the past if we can. Here, I made you a mix tape. Let’s recreate what never happened.
Five preteens teeter on the brink of adolescence when a shocking and violent act interrupts their insular world of personal struggles and triumphs. Catastrophic favorite Chana Porter takes us back to the early ’90s in a suburban planned community, the first of its kind in America, for a subversive, mischievous, and oh-so-familiar (or is it?) look at childhood. The world premiere of FIRST SUBURB follows last season’s world premiere of Porter’s LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR, about which the Houston Press noted: “Porter’s type of risky storytelling is, well…. like a lion’s roar in an all too often timid jungle.”
This second world premiere in two years makes good on Catastrophic’s commitment to championing Chana Porter, who artistic director Jason Nodler sees as an emerging powerhouse among contemporary avant-garde playwrights: “I am an unabashed fanboy. When I fall in love with a playwright’s voice I fall hard and I don’t just want to produce the work that made me fall in love; I want to produce everything they ever write. It’s a rare and glorious thing when that happens, and I am head over heels in love with Chana Porter’s voice.” FIRST SUBURB will be directed by Catastrophic company member Kyle Sturdivant, who was named Best Actor in the 2017 Houston Theatre Awards and who previously directed EVERYTING WILL BE DIFFERENT: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HELEN OF TROY and MIDDLETOWN, among others.
CHANA PORTER is an emerging playwright, speculative novelist, and education activist. Her plays and performance pieces have been developed or produced at Playwrights Horizons, The Catastrophic Theatre, La MaMa, 3LD, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, Cherry Lane, The Invisible Dog, Movement Research, PS122, and The White Bear in London. She is a MacDowell Fellow, a New Georges Audrey Resident, and 2018 nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is currently writer-in-residence at The Catastrophic Theatre in Houston (while living in New York and Los Angeles.) Chana is the co-founder of the Octavia Project, a free summer writing and STEM program for Brooklyn teenage girls and nonbinary youth, now in its fourth year. Her play LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR, which BroadwayWorld calls "exhausting and exhilarating, disturbing and amazing" will be produced by New Georges in NYC in June 2019, directed by Tara Ahmadinejad. www.chanaporter.
KYLE STURDIVANT has been performing for Houston audiences for over 20 years. Catastrophic Theatre: The Blackest Shore, Detroit, A Very Tamarie Christmas, Middletown, Marie and Bruce, Tamarie Cooper’s Old as Hell, There is a Happiness That Morning Is, Waiting for Godot, Fleaven, Tamarie Cooper's DOOMSDAY REVUE, American Falls, The United States of Tamarie, Paradise Hotel, Bluefinger, The Tamarie Cooper Show (2008, 2009), Spirits to Enforce, Our Late Night. Infernal Bridegroom Productions: Tamalalia (4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10), The Danube, In the Under Thunderloo, We Have Some Planes, Phaedra’s Love, Actual Air, Meatbar, Jerry’s World, Rhinoceros, Baal, Medea, Microscope Maintenance and Repair, Speeding Motorcycle, Hide Town, Twenty Love Songs. Kyle has also worked in productions with Zachary Scott Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Children’s Theatre Festival, Brazosport Lazer Pantherz, Slump, Mystery Café, University of Houston School of Theatre, and Edward Albee workshops.