It’s been 17 years since Jason Nodler, artistic director of Catastrophic Theatre, last produced and directed Samuel Beckett’s iconic Endgame. Now Nodler, one of Houston’s most courageous and imaginative directors, has returned to the playwright that he admires most. As one of the most important plays from the world of theater of the absurd, Endgame is both a tragedy and a comedy that has garnered a reputation as highbrow. But as Beckett’s own character says, “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.”

According to Nodler, “the play is about the human condition.” He’s uncomfortable trying to pin it down any further than that, but adds, “Beckett famously said every word was an unnecessary stain on the nothingness.” He also points out that the playwright has a sense of humor. “It’s a comedy as well,” he says. “I think often Beckett is considered a heavy playwright, and yet he loved no performers as much as Charlie Chaplin. And so the play exists in some rather tragic circumstances, but it finds its fun where it can. The play is very, very funny.”

Catastrophic fans will be happy to learn that Greg Dean is reprising his role as Hamm. The cast also includes Troy Schulze, Mikelle Johnson and Joel Orr. 8 p.m. February 18. Through March 3. DiverseWorks Art Space, 1117 East Freeway. For a complete schedule, call 713-522-2723 or visit www.catastrophictheatre.com. Pay-what-you- can to $50.
Fridays, Saturdays; Wed., Feb. 22; Thu., Feb. 23; Wed., Feb. 29; Thu., March 1. Starts: Feb. 17. Continues through March 3, 2012


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