Local News: The Catastrophic Theatre is Coming to Houston

Posted by: Staffon 2007/12/6 2:40:00 4504 reads Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper Re-Unite for Most Ambitious Project to Date

December 2007

Imagine a theatre that is earth shattering. Transformative. Intimate. Authentic. Cathartic. Powerful theatre that instigates change. This is what two of Houston’s most provocative theatre artists, Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, are hoping to bring to Houston. The Catastrophic Theatre launches in April 2008.

After four years working as a freelance director around the country..

..Jason Nodler has returned to Houston teaming with his longtime friend and collaborator Tamarie Cooper to launch their most ambitious project to date.

If you are familiar with the work that Jason and Tamarie have made together, you know that you can count on them to present unique work.

For nearly fifteen years, together and apart, they have created and presented plays that focus on the sometimes tragic, sometimes ecstatic, always weird condition of being a human animal living on the planet Earth.

Owing to that unique vision, they have earned the enthusiastic support of a large and loyal audience and a national profile well out of proportion with the small to mid-sized theatres in which they have traditionally performed. In fact, in response to the closing of Infernal Bridegroom Productions (the theatre Jason and Tamarie founded together in 1993), American Theatre magazine wrote that
“the news created shock waves not just in Houston where the avant-garde troupe was a local favorite, but also around the country.”

But The Catastrophic Theatre, while comprised largely of artists with a long collaborative history, will also present work unlike any they have produced together. This will be a new theatre with fresh concerns, built to appeal to a broad audience with a taste for live performance that is truly challenging, intellectually and emotionally.

The Goal
To be theatre that makes you think, yes. But more than that, it will be theatre that makes you feel. And when you walk out of a Catastrophic production you will feel markedly different than you did when you walked in.

Taking the intersection of art and education to a new level, Catastrophic will launch in April with a co-production with The University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance, signaling the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship with the students and faculty there. Directly following that inaugural production, Catastrophic is proud to announce performances at Stages Repertory Theatre, DiverseWorks Artspace and Discovery Green. A season announcement will be forthcoming in January.


“Jason Nodler is without a doubt the best thing to happen to Houston theater in a long, long while.” - Houston Press

Jason Nodler has directed more than thirty plays in Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Providence and New York. His work has received critical acclaim in The New York Times, American Theatre, Art in America, Theatre Journal and No Depression magazine. Jason founded the nationally acclaimed theatre ensemble Infernal Bridegroom Productions in 1993 and served as artistic director there for ten years before leaving Houston to freelance around the country. His original plays include In the Under Thunderloo, King Ubu is King, Meatbar and Speeding Motorcycle, which he created in collaboration with Daniel Johnston through a commission from The Rockefeller Foundation. Early next year he will direct Speeding Motorcycle at Zachary Scott Theatre Center in Austin. Jason was born and raised in Houston and attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before receiving his BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University.

“There’s a cult developing around Houston actress Tamarie Cooper and her zany Tamalalia shows.” – Houston Chronicle

Tamarie Cooper has been performing her entire life. Originally trained in dance, she began working in theatre at HSPVA and helped to found the Infernal Bridegroom company in 1993 where she worked for fourteen years. Best known for her original Tamalalia series, she is a seasoned actor, director, designer and choreographer. National trade magazine Stage Directions named her among the “top ten theatre makers under 30” and she has received various “Best of Houston” awards from The Houston Press for her performances and her original work.