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Mikelle Johnson

She's only just arrived in Houston, but Mikelle Johnson is already making a name for herself. The Yale graduate first starred as a disenfranchised teenager in Big Death, Little Death, Catastrophic Theatre's opening show. Then she moved on to darker subject matter in Stages's Mr. Marmalade, the cautionary tale about...


11 years ago by Lee Williams
The age of YouTube has turned shy girls into revolutionaries. That’s the premise behind Deborah Stein’s Wallflower, getting its world premiere today at Stages Repertory Theatre. The writer sees the world in unpredictable ways. Her past plays include Bone Portraits, about the history of X-ray technology, and God Save Gertrude,...


8 years ago by Lee Williams
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...


9 years ago by D. L. Groover
By the time English playwright Sarah Kane’s last play was produced (4:48 Psychosis), she had hanged herself in a mental institution. That should give you some small idea of the demons that possessed — and obsessed — her. Her scandalous earlier plays, including Blasted (1995), Phaedra’s Love (1996) and Cleansed...

Catastrophic Theatre's Courageous Crave

9 years ago by Jim Tommaney
The set-up: Crave is by Sarah Kane, the acclaimed British playwright who committed suicide at the age of 28, and the Catastrophic Theatre describes Crave as a tour-de-force tone poem for four voices. It's not really a tour de force and it's not especially poetic, but it does have four...

The Magnificent Endgame Gets Magnificent Treatment from Catastrophic Theatre

8 years ago by D. L. Groover
The setup: Who else in Houston are you going to trust to do justice to the creepy dysfunction and blasted-earth absurdity of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett, than that theater company of raging imagination and utter theatricality, Catastrophic? If Waiting for Godot (1952) is his masterpiece, then Endgame (1957) is...

Oh The Humanity

9 years ago by David Theis
Oh, the Humanity and other exclamations begins with a disorienting bang. A disheveled and nervous-looking Coach (Philip Lehl) walks out onto the blandly neutral set — a table and microphone, set up for a press conference — then turns to the audience and says, "Let's get started." At first, I...

A Place without Poetry

10 years ago by Lee Williams
The apocalyptic world of Wallace Shawn's The Designated Mourner is a place without poetry, art or wisdom. And in Catastrophic Theatre's production of this dark tale, it is also cloyingly claustrophobic. The group has staged the story in a small living room that holds only a few dozen audience members...

Catastrophic Theatre's Big Death and Little Death

12 years ago by Lee Williams
Out of the ashes of Infernal Bridegroom Productions, Houston's infamously wicked avant-garde theater company that went down in flames last season, rises The Catastrophic Theatre. Created by ex-IBPers Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, Catastrophic looks a lot like IBP — the company has the same push-the-artistic-envelope-goals and the same performers...

Mr. Marmalade Is Child's Play While Bright Lights, Big City Is A Musical Misstep

12 years ago by Lee Williams
Noah Haidle's Mr. Marmalade, now running at Stages Repertory Theatre, is wonderfully odd and profoundly moving. The story centers on the childish fantasies of four-year-old Lucy, played with breathtaking charm by the grown-up Mikelle Johnson. Lucy is a strange, lonely child who's been left to fend for herself for too...

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