The Pine

World Premiere

Ticket Price

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


The Catastrophic Theatre
1117 East Frwy
Houston, Tx 77002


Oct 2, 2013 -
Oct 19, 2013

The Play

This one’s been a long time in the making and we’ve been talking it up since The MAP Fund awarded Catastrophic a grant to commission a new play by Chicago playwright Mickle Maher, a favorite to Catastrophic artists and audiences.

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. Having lost Danelle to suicide one year prior Gordon attempts to follow in her footsteps only to find he is trapped in a magic hotel of infinite rooms, each more sorrowful than the last. His charge is to find Danelle and check them both out. The hotel has been magicked to defy death and provide a place of eternal grieving for those that have lost their greatest loves.

An extraordinary comic and a genuine heartbreaker, Maher draws from a variety of unlikely sources to create something much greater than the sum of its parts. The Pine counts among its influences Dante’s Inferno, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the graphic novels of Neil Gaiman, and the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus.

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 souls; and Gordon’s only friend in this hell, a common housefly.

A book club discussion of The Unread Book. A boy born of echoes. A song, haunting the hotel, that even angels would get wrong. Mysterious counterfeits of lost loves known as Deer Hearts.

The Pine is like a picture book; it is like a living, breathing graphic novel. It is a tale of a sad hotel with a happy ending in a place without end, a place that resides in the great waters and tiny waves of Lake Michigan.

Unlike most Catastrophic productions, The Pine contains no strong language or sexual situations and should be ok for most children.

The Pine is funded in part by a grant from the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Playwright

MICKLE MAHER ’s plays have appeared Off-Broadway and around the world, and have been supported by grants from the NEA, the Rockefeller MAP fund, and Creative Capital. They include There is a Happiness That Morning Is; Song About Himself; An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening; The Hunchback Variations; The Strangerer; Spirits to Enforce; Cyrano (translator), The Cabinet; Lady Madeline; The Pine; An Actor Prepares (an adaptation of Stanislavsky’s seminal book); and Small Ball. He is a cofounder 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.

It Is Magic marks the 11th of Maher’s plays to be produced by Catastrophic, making him the company’s most oft-produced playwright.

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