This year we are celebrating 25 years of madly dangerous drama and we could not have made it this far without you!
Did you know that next year will be my 20th anniversary with Infernal Bridegroom Productions and The Catastrophic Theatre? My history with the company started in 1999, when I was cast in the third installment of Tamarie Cooper’s Tamalalia series. When I showed up for my first rehearsal, a choreography session for a drag queen number danced to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, I knew I had found my tribe. So began a long and successful run as part of the Tamarie Cooper Show. It was also the start of a special personal friendship and artistic collaboration with the lady herself, Tamarie Cooper and our artistic director Jason Nodler.
Jason took notice of my performance in Tamarie’s shows and cast me in my first “serious” role with Infernal Bridegroom Productions in The Danube by María Irene Fornés. At the first rehearsal, I asked where on the set I should stand. Jason quickly turned the question back onto me, asking where did I want to stand? I realized that until that moment I had made artistic choices in order to please others. It was time to dig inward and go deeper into myself to make my own decisions as an actor. I spent the next nine years working exclusively for IBP in many memorable productions including Daniel Johnston’s Speeding Motorcycle and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.
After the closing of IBP, I became one of the founding members of The Catastrophic Theatre in 2008. With this company I have watched what was once a small group of friends passionate about putting on plays grow into one of the most lauded theatre companies in Houston. I have helped to make innovative projects like our collaboration with Houston Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey on the full-length basketball musical Small Ball. Recently, we celebrated the induction of the IBP/Catastrophic archives into the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections. It was a moving evening shared with artists, supporters, and friends. Together we reflected on our incredible feat; against all odds we have built a thriving avant-garde theatre company in Houston. We have come to represent the best of our unique city.
While we have come a long way from our humble origins, there is still so much we have yet to accomplish: we need to raise our artist fees in order to retain local talent, develop more original work that advances the art form and expands our national profile, and eventually own our own space. All of this requires more resources. We could easily raise revenues by eliminating our Pay-What-You-Can policy, producing more mainstream plays, or performing in larger venues, but our combination of affordable cutting-edge programming in intimate spaces is what sets us apart from any other theatre in our city. Only a significant increase in giving from our individual supporters will help us continue the remarkable growth we have achieved over the past 25 years. We can’t do it without your help.
This year we need you to join us in celebrating this milestone year by making a significant donation—whatever that means to you. Your contribution plays a vital part in our ability to continue developing into a lasting source of innovation and creativity in Houston. Your support makes a huge difference in the lives of our artists, our audience, and our community. For that and for everything else you do to make The Catastrophic Theatre possible, we thank you.
Catastrophic Core Artist