UPDATED: Catastrophic Theatre Gets a Good News Grant and Readies for the World Premiere of The Pine

Update September 25, 2013: Catastropic Theatre just announced that it is delaying its opening of The Pine until October 2 because of an injury to a cast member in rehearsal.

Abraham Zeus Zapata, a Catastrophic favorite, badly sprained his ankle at the end of Sunday night's rehearsal and has been unable to rehearse for the past few days. He will be fine but, given the physical demands of the role, the postponement was unavoidable.

As it gets ready to begin its 2013-14 season, Catastrophic Theatre got a big boost, learning that it has been awarded a 2013 National Theatre Company grant.

The award determination is made by the American Theatre Wing, the creator of the Tony Awards. Along with the recognition there's a $10,000 grant. Catastrophic was one of only ten theater companies to receive the award this year.

According to the American Theatre Wing website:

The Catastrophic Theatre is the premier creator and producer of new work not otherwise available in Houston, TX. The company is dedicated to creating a meaningful exchange between artists and audiences through new work. With a pronounced emphasis on emotional experience, Catastrophic Theatre encourages diverse interpretations focusing on mystery, poetry, and a considered preference for questions rather than answers.

"The recognition from the American Theatre Wing is a tremendous honor," said Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler. "We are proud of the attention our work has brought to Houston and its contribution to Houston's growing reputation as a major arts and culture destination."

To win one of these grants, theater companies have to show they have a mission, have an audience and "nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater," according to a release from Catastrophic.

Adding to that quality, diversity and dynamism will be the upcoming world premiere of playwright Mickle Maher's (There is a Happiness That Morning Is) most recent work in verse: The Pine, running September 27 through October 19.

According to a Catastrophic press release:

"Set in the ghost of an old hotel, a way station between alive and dead, The Pine follows our sad hero Gordon as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend and piano teacher Danelle from a place of eternal grieving."
"A fairy story or parlor tale in style, told entirely in verse, The Pine is populated by a middle-class nineteenth century hotel proprietor; a nine-foot tall, green bellhop; the knight Morris the Hesitant; demons, monsters, and countless lost soulbls; and Gordon's only friend in this hell, a common housefly."

The Pine runs September 27 through October 19 begins performances Wednesday October 2 at Catastrophic Theatre's new home, 1119 East Freeway. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For ticket information call 713-522-2723 or visit Pay what you can.

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