Embracing a Do-it-Yourself approach, Catastrophic Theatre has announced a 2020-21 season dominated by all original work starting off with a promise to return live theater — upon request — to your front lawns and the resurrection of a work done by Horse Head Theatre as its goodbye presentation.
Co-founders and artistic directors Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper say, “Do-It-Yourself, site-specific, and experimental theater are in our DNA. And we began as a company that encouraged, nurtured, and championed local playwrights. In each of those ways, we’re looking at this season as a return to our roots. It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention and that is more true of this season than any before it.”
The Catastrophic Theatre’s 2020-2021 Season:
THE DRAMA SQUAD
FALL 2020 & SPRING 2021
Zooming through the empty Houston streets to a neighborhood near you it’s THE DRAMA SQUAD! In the year 2020 a global pandemic has forced live theatre into hibernation for the foreseeable future. A typical Saturday night at the theatre has been replaced with glitchy livestreams and flat recordings. Citizens are trying their best to adapt but nothing can replace the ritual of live theatre! Uncertain of the next time they will be able to enjoy the crackling energy between audience and artists, the people begin to despair…until…THE DRAMA SQUAD! This fall, and next spring, The Catastrophic Theatre will be dispatching troupes of fearless thespians to bring all-new, original work by Houston artists—right to your front lawn! Created by Afsaneh Ayani, Ronnie Blaine, Brittny Bush, Karina Pal-Montaño Bowers, Tamarie Cooper, Bryan Kaplún, Alli Villines, and Abraham Zeus Zapata..
HERZSTÜCK (HEART PLAY)
a short film by Greg Dean
Legendary local theatre weirdo Greg Dean is known as an actor, director, and designer, often all at once. With HERZSTÜCK, he turns his singular aesthetic to film, realizing a project nearly 10 years in the making. A pair of clownish musicians attempt to perform a duet for violin and piano, but a series of interruptions and distractions leads to gruesome complications, and hilarity ensues in this bleak meditation on the futility of love and all other human endeavors. Inspired by a 14-line theatrical fragment by the late East German
playwright, Heiner Müller, HERZSTÜCK is a deconstruction of old, b&w silent film comedies — think Laurel & Hardy meets David Cronenberg.
TAMARIE COOPER’S HOLIDAY SUPER SHOW!
By Tamarie Cooper and Friends
The Catastrophic Theatre has a long history of presenting dark and challenging work during the holiday season but this year the theatre is mixing it up with another episode of Tamarie Cooper’s new digital series: TAMARE COOPER’S HOLIDAY SUPER SHOW! To be blunt: times are tough. Let’s connect from our couches this holiday season through this irreverent, sassy, hilarious, and completely original show. Christmas is truly Tamarie’s favorite time of year. Sure, she’s Jewish. And not particularly religious. But her tree is always one of the prettiest in the neighborhood and she weeps uncontrollably every time she watches “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Lifetime Movie Network better watch out—Tamarie’s bringing her own Very Special Christmas for your viewing pleasure. Mixed in with the satire, Santas, and musical numbers is a big heap of heartwarming fun. It’s Christmas y’all, and Tamarie’s no Grinch.
Horse Head Theatre’s WE’RE GONNA DIE
by Young Jean Lee
The Catastrophic Theatre is proud to resurrect Horse Head Theatre’s beloved production of Young Jean Lee’s WE’RE GONNA DIE. With an open-mic night vibe, WE’RE GONNA DIE is somewhere in between a play and a concert. Performer Alli Villines shares a collection of real-life stories about tragedy, isolation and mortality; that alone-in-pain feeling we all experience, often more than we’d like to admit. WE’RE GONNA DIE was the final production by this much-adored theatre company, and its message is even more relevant and necessary today. This life-affirming concert is about the one thing we all have in common: WE’RE GONNA DIE —a thought that becomes ironically comforting, if we embrace it together.
30 WAYS TO GET FREE
by Candice D’Meza
The Catastrophic Theatre is thrilled to premiere a series of short films based on a collection of micro-plays by Houston-based actor, writer, and activist, Candice D’Meza. 30 WAYS TO GET FREE is a dynamic tapestry of scenes depicting Black liberation, and the magical thinking and ancestral spells required to conjure emancipated futures. From alien abductions to teleporting prison escapes, 30 WAYS TO GET FREE guides us through unmapped worlds with fresh humor, daring vision, and fearless creativity.
TAMARIE COOPER’S GOLDEN JUBILEE
By Tamarie Cooper and Friends
It’s 2021 and Tamarie is now 50 years old. Just like any fabulous queen, she’s celebrating her 50 years of existence with all-new episodes of her robust and ridiculous online series. But not to worry, this is no AARP commercial. Tamarie and friends riff wildly on the theme of “50,” including not only this comedy crone’s 50 year-old ass, but also the 1950s, the 50 states (Indiana is hilarious!), majority rule, that damn 50 pounds that won’t go away, what you get for 50 bucks, 50 of Tamarie’s bad dates, and at least 50 more things too! New songs, scenes, dance numbers, adorable pet appearances, and a cast of crazies help us all ride out another Houston summer, Tamarie style!
All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can or free, with the exception of Drama Squad bookings. For more information, visit the Catastophic website or call 713-522-2723.