grounded

After years without a home, Catastrophic Theatre plans move to familiar Houston arts space

After years without a home, Catastrophic Theatre plans move to familiar Houston arts space

Tarra Gaines, Catastrophic Theatre, Fleaven, November 2012, cast
Catastrophic Theatre cast members in the company's recent sold-out run of Fleaven. Photo collage by © George Hixson
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Catastrophic has performed more than a dozen shows at the old DiverseWorks space, but will get the keys to the theater all to itself on Jan. 1. Courtesy of GravityWasEverywhereBackThen
Tarra Gaines, Catastrophic Theatre, Fleaven, November 2012, cast
News_DiverseWorks_exterior_night

After five seasons of challenging, hilarious, irreverent, dark and consistently-engaging productions, the long-itinerate Catastrophic Theatre announced Tuesday that it will be putting down roots at the former DiverseWorks space in the northern reaches of downtown.

While a steady permanent home is sure to mark a new chapter for the company, the space itself is far from new to the Catastrophic team, which produced more than a dozen shows in the DiverseWorks before the arts organization relocated to Midtown.

" If we want to rehearse at 2 in the morning or something like that, now we can," laughed company co-founder Tamarie Cooper. "Ultimately, we hope it will allow for even more creativity."

Catastrophic will be leasing the theater potion of the former alt-arts locale for three years, kicking off renovations on Jan. 1 with plans for an official opening in time for the spring season.

"After being nomads for so long, it's wonderful for us to have a constant venue," laughed ​associate director Tamarie Cooper, who co-founded the theater company in 2007 and has emerged as one of the organization's leading on-stage personalities.

"While we've worked with so many great people and so many spaces, it would always be stressful having to coordinate where we'd perform next. With a place of our own, we'll have a lot more control. If we want to rehearse at 2 in the morning or something like that, now we can. Ultimately, we hope it will allow for even more creativity."

Managing director Kirk Markley told CultureMap the group — which, in its early days, featured none other than Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons — would remain focused on forging a close connection with its ever-growing fan base.

"We'll definitely continue to build on the work we've done so far. We'll always stay committed to offering unique and intimate experiences for our audiences."