Does Catastrophic Theatre Live Up To Its Name Too Well?

Catastrophic Theatre's Hunter Gatherers, originally set to open last week, has been pushed back to tomorrow because of "technical difficulties." This comes after the company's previous show, Spirits to Enforce, was delayed a week in December due to "illness in the cast."

Which made Hair Balls wonder: Is the company, many of whose members were the heart of the famously imploded (but acclaimed) Infernal Bridegroom Productions, worried about looking unprofessional? According to Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler, no.

"We have a very small staff," he told Hair Balls. "Everyone who works with us has a day job, and we prefer to open a show when it's ready...We prefer to open the show great and a little bit late than good and on time." He said that the cast was ready to go last week, but there were problems with a fog machine and a curtain not opening and closing smoothly.

Nodler did admit that the company has had its hands full between this production, this weekend's tribute to Cary Winscott at Discovery Green, and its upcoming gala. "It's a heavy schedule," he said.

As for the delay of Spirits to Enforce, Nodler said that that show had 12 people speaking at the same time, and that many fell prey to the flu. "If we had opened Spirits to Enforce when we were scheduled to open it," he said, "people wouldn't be talking about how it's one of their favorite shows that we've done."

Nodler also said that these days, contemporary regional theater companies, reliant on subscription sales, will open on scheduled dates whether they're ready or not. "It is a new phenomenon that people open shows as a rule on time," he said.

"The Alley has postponed many shows. Stages used to postpone shows on a regular basis when they weren't ready for an opening...So I think we're in good company in regard to professional theaters with making a choice which is of course difficult. We promoted those dates, and we were ready on those dates, but we had technical problems, and that happens."

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