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The Catastrophic Theatre Explores the History of Third Ward with New Virtual Historic Tour 


The tour is a virtual historical documentary: a collection of interviews, historical information, and storytelling by artists, activists, and community elders.

The Catastrophic Theatre presents the premiere of Historic Third Ward Virtual Tour created by Houston playwright, ShaWanna Renee Rivon. The tour is a virtual historical documentary: a collection of interviews, historical information, and storytelling by artists, activists, and community elders. To experience the tour, one does not even need to leave the comfort of their own home; the entire project can be accessed online and will be available to audiences outside Greater Houston.

The tour's website, serves as a home base for all information, including a map and a virtual message board for participants to share their thoughts, experiences, and insights. Although the experience is virtual, the community is urged to use the map and get out to see the historic sites in person.

Historic Third Ward Virtual tour is a collection of eight locations, collectively presenting a plethora of local black history. From the dance floor of the Eldorado Ballroom to the pews of Riverside Church, tour participants get a glimpse into a community known for its innovative leaders and infectious Black culture.

The tour features an interview with Mr. John Crear, of The People's Party II. Mr. Crear along with other party members share intimate tales of what it was like to be a part of the Black Panther Party, including a detailed account of the night Carl Hampton was assassinated by Houston police on Emancipation Ave.

Catastrophic is thrilled to be producing ShaWanna's vision and excited to collaborate with local creatives. The film's production crew includes video production from Nine30 Productions and Project Management provided by Dynasty Creatives.

The tour will launch virtually on Saturday, October 16, 2021.


ShaWanna Renee Rivon is an award-winning and nationally renowned playwright and producer. ShaWanna's success grew with urban plays such as Cheaper to Keep Her and Marriage Material, which starred Vivica Fox, Brian McKnight, and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins (of "TLC"), both of which toured nationally. ShaWanna earned her BFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Houston. As a developing creative, ShaWanna discovered her niche and artists mission: to create period-piece comedies centered around the lives of Black women. In this, she has begun the development of her 7-play cycle, the first of which is Old Black and White Hollywood, about a 1950's Black woman comic who desires to become the first Black female movie star. Old Black and White Hollywood was developed with Suzan-Lori Parks and Theresa Rebeck and won the Edward Albee Playwriting Award. The second installment of her 7-Play Cycle, Power to the Queendom, was developed with the Rec Room Writers. Set in 1970s Houston, the script about a group of female Black Panthers is loosely based on a true story. The third installment of the 7-play cycle, You're Cordially Invited to Sit-In which is about the 1960 sit-in demonstration that took place in Houston, will have its world-premiere at Stages Theatre Spring 2022.


Formed in 2007 by Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, The Catastrophic Theatre is Houston's premier creator and producer of new work for the theatre. The nationally acclaimed organization is dedicated to developing productions that foster a meaningful exchange between artists and audiences. A recipient of two MAP Fund commissioning grants, the theatre has gained an international reputation for its original pieces, which have attracted audiences from across the United States, Europe, and Australia. Awarded Best Season, Best Actor, and Best Artistic Director by the Houston Press Theatre Awards in 2017, The Catastrophic Theatre offers Houston audiences a repertoire of challenging, innovative work that can't be seen anywhere else in the country.



Facebook: @ThirdWardHistoricTour

Twitter: @catastrophicTX

Instagram: @catastrophictheatre


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