Jim Lehrer and The Theater and Its Double and Jim Lehrer’s Double

Regional Premiere

Ticket Price

We Suggest $35
More If You Have it
Less if you don't


3400 Main St
Houston, TX 77002


May 18, 2018 -
Jun 3, 2018
Thu 7:30p
Fri & Sat 8p
Sun 2:30p
Mon, May 21 & Sun, Jun 3!
“There is no thing that has no twin.”

Cast & Personnel

Assistant Director
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Prop Design
Stage Manager

The Play

Jim Lehrer, legendary PBS news anchor and presidential debate moderator, is now retired and sitting alone on a gloomy evening in his suburban Washington, DC home. Suddenly his double, Jim Lehrer the aspiring playwright, bursts in, having narrowly escaped the rabidly angry audience from the opening night of his first produced play. Lehrer II must now convince his twin their lives are in danger from the mysteriously incensed mob. At the same time, something—or someone—keeps making odd noises from deep within the house. This gothic horror-comedy uniquely blends the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and mad theatre genius Antonin Artaud with the politics and theatre of our day.
The Catastrophic Theatre’s mini-festival of Mickle Maher plays continues with this wildly inventive sequel to THE STRANGERER, Maher’s play that combines the existentialist writings of Albert Camus with the first 2004 presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry and moderated by Jim Lehrer. Both plays, presented together in repertory, feature Seán Patrick Judge as Lehrer and are directed by Catastrophic Theatre artistic director Jason Nodler.
When asked about the relationship between the two plays, Maher responded: “I’d say both STRANGERER and JIM LEHRER AND HIS DOUBLE were prodded out of me by the political insanities of the times I wrote them in (STRANGERER around 2006, post-Katrina, when the pro-torture Bush administration was clawing bottom, and DOUBLE during the heat of the 2016 campaign, after Trump had the nomination but before he’d won.) Jim’s way of coping with the fraught situations he’s in in both plays is something I relate to deeply and intensely and on a day-to-day basis: he’s a close observer of things right in front of his face, but is entirely blind to their larger import. In STRANGERER he gets that Bush is trying to murder him, he just can’t prioritize that fact enough to do anything about it. In DOUBLE he understands the possibility that a wickedness may have invaded his home, he just can’t see that as reason to distract him from his routines. I should stress that I don’t see the character as a commentary on the actual Jim Lehrer, who seems like a fine fellow. The character is my best attempt to express my own feelings of absurd impotence. The cadence of the actual Lehrer’s reportage (mesmerizing, insistent, dispassionate but personable) is what leads me to that expression, for whatever strange reason.”

The Playwright

Mickle Maher’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and throughout the world. Catastrophic has produced a whopping 12 productions of his plays, some of them more than once: last season’s It Is Magic, Song About Himself, The Hunchback Variations, There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, The Strangerer, Jim Lehrer and The Theater and Its Double and Jim Lehrer’s Double, and the world premieres of The Pine and Small Ball, commissioned and co-produced by Catastrophic and former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Maher is a co-founder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck and has taught playwriting and related subjects at The University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University. His plays are published by Hope and Nonthings.
“Maher [is] one of the most original voices in American theater today.” – Houston Chronicle

Photo Sets


“What we’re seeing here is less the treason of the intellectuals than their confused senescence. They look in Maher’s mirror and see a double they don’t recognize.”
— Tony Adler, Chicago Reader
“an odd, hilarious, and ominous tumble down the rabbit hole.”
— Alex Hunstberger, New City

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