A lioness at heart.
A lioness at heart.
Photo courtesy of Catastrophic Theatre

A Woman Who's Really a Lion at Heart in Leap and The Net Will Appear

Margie is a bit lost. She's good looking; people talk about her looks at lot. At the start of the play she's living with her parents. "She’s attractive;  that’s like her big ticket to get to another place. She doesn’t really put any energy toward finding something in the world of work that she might be passionate about. She had tried some classes at a community college but she dropped out. She has a job as a checkout girl at a grocery store which is a job that I have had," says Chana Porter, the playwright who conceived of a main character with unusual ambitions.

In Leap and The Net Will Appear, Margie decides she's a lioness. In explaining why she'd chosen this plot point, Porter says "I’ve always been attracted to [lions]. l like that they're so big and they're these charismatic animals and they have so much power. Lions sleep these outrageous number of hours. Lion life has such beauty and vitality and simplicity. I think my character Margie is attracted to that.  It's so clear what they're supposed to do."

But Margie keeps this pretty much to herself. In the meantime she finds a suitable enough man and marries him.

"I think Margie’s kind of approach to love  is similar to how she does everything," Porter says. "She doesn’t really check in with herself. She’s finds a man who has a lot of money and is nice to her. They get married in an absurdly quick way.  She kind of time jumps from thing to thing to thing."

Porter says she based Margie on "the archetype of perceived  femininity,  this kind of arbitrary goal that you should get married before you're 30 and have two kids before you're 35. This idea of having a job that you care about but not too much because your family should be the thing that you really care about. "

Because being a person is so strange to Margie, "she goes through these gestures of what she's supposed to do," Porter says. 

At the start Margie is in her 20s and in the 100 minutes that follow in the one act she goes through the next 20 years. "At its heart it’s a comedy The play kind of tricks in to laughing through much of it along. Then you get hit emotionally. I’m not trying to make fun of any of these people. I care about them and what they're struggling through.

"But I think that this play is about trying to empower, trying to teach people that it's OK to be brave and to not know. That there’s power in uncertainty. It’s very quick paced and there’s a lot to kind of hang on to and chew through. You will definitely see some things on the stage you have not seen before. I promise you that."

Performances are scheduled for February 9 through March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Monday; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchhouston.org or catastrophictheatre.com. Suggested ticket price $40.

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