March 08, 2009
Catastrophic, year 2

Nice little shoutout to Houston's Catastrophic Theater.

Recently returned from a month-long residency at New Hampshire's prestigious MacDowell Colony for artists, Jason Nodler is bursting with exciting plans and projects for his Houston-based Catastrophic Theatre Company.

His agenda for the next year includes:

  • Bluefinger, a world-premiere rock-opera to be created in collaboration with Charles Thompson -- aka Black Francis, best known as front man for the influential alternative-rock group Pixies -- to begin workshops in December for a premiere here in early 2010;
  • Catastrophic's first international collaboration, a new Albanian-language treatment of Friedrich Durrenmatt's classic The Visit, to be performed in Kosovo in partnership with the Mitrovica Cultural Center this summer;
  • A partnership with Stages Repertory Theater that will have Catastrophic staging three productions there, including a new showcase for Houston favorite Tamarie Cooper, and another premiere based on the life and work of writer-musician Daniel Johnston (following Speeding Motorcycle, the hit Johnston-inspired rock opera Nodler created in 2006);
  • And the Houston premiere of Lisa D'Amour's acclaimed off-Broadway play Anna Bella Eema at DiverseWorks, in September.

Nodler has been a leader in Houston's alternative arts scene for more than a decade, first as founding artistic director of Infernal Bridegroom Productions, and now with Catastrophic. Launched in April 2008, regrouping many of Nodler's former IBP colleagues, Catastrophic presented several intriguing shows last year and really hit its stride with its back-to-back productions of two works by Chicago playwright Mickle Maher (The Strangerer and Spirits to Enforce) in November and December.

We saw those last two shows and really enjoyed them; the portrayal of President Bush in the first one was so dead on it was scary. They're not taking it easy this year, that's for sure. Good luck, y'all.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 08, 2009 to Elsewhere in Houston
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