The Catastrophic Theatre Presents FEFU AND HER FRIENDS By Maria Irene Fornes
The Catastrophic Theatre is proud to produce Fefu and Her Friends, a signature work of feminist theatre by a giant of the avant-garde, Maria Irene Fornes, directed by Julia Oppenheim Traber. Over the years, The Catastrophic Theatre (and its predecessor Infernal Bridegroom Productions) have produced Fornes's The Danube and MUD, to much critical acclaim. Fefu and Her Friends runs February 14 - March 8 at the Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston (MATCH).
Set in the 1930s, a group of eight women gather at the country home of their brilliant and eccentric friend, Fefu. As multiple conflicts unfold between the old friends, the women struggle to define who they are and what it means to be a woman in a patriarchal society. Though written in the 1970s, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS raises questions and anxieties around gender and identity that endure today.
Described by many as an "underrecognized genius," Maria Irene Fornes' life and work have had a profound impact on The Catastrophic Theatre. Catastrophic co-founder and artistic director, Jason Nodler, studied under Fornes while a student at New York University. Catastrophic co-founder and producing artistic director Tamarie Cooper says of Fornes, "Maria Irene Fornes was part of a revolution in playwriting that included Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, John Guare-- all of whom went on to much fame and renown. Despite her many accolades, she never achieved the same level of recognition as many of her peers. My hope is to continue bringing her plays to Houston audiences, to spread the gospel, so to speak, of Fornes. Her approach to playwriting is evident in our approach to theatre-making; she encouraged spontaneity and the stripping away of all preconceived notions of oneself and the work. Being in rehearsal with Fefu's cast of 8 talented women and powerhouse director Julia Traber is a truly special experience. I have never worked on a production with an all female cast and crew. There is a camaraderie, a shorthand, a bond between these women that allows for trust and a playful, free spirited energy."
Fefu and Her Friends features an all-female cast with many of Houston's most powerful actors: Amy Bruce, Brittny Bush, Lindsay Ehrhardt, Jeanne Harris, Courtney Lomelo, Laura Moreno, Karina Pal Montano-Bowers, and Lisa Villegas. Set by Ryan McGettigan, costumes by Macy Lyne, lights by Bryan Ealey, sound by Shawn St. John, and props by Lauren Davis.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at matchouston.org or by calling the Box Office at 713-521-4533. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.