Saturday, May 31, 2008

Catclaw's Hipster Yard Sale!

The "Hipster Yard Sale", an event started by Catclaw's artistic director Jeffrey Scott Holland during his 2006 tenure as curator at the Cinderblock Gallery on Louisville's Main Street, is back! There will be two Hipster Yard Sales this summer, with the exact dates to be announced here very soon!

The concept of the Hipster Yard Sale is to have a multi-person yard sale in which all the stuff is GOOD stuff, cool stuff, weird stuff, useful stuff, the kind that appeals to youth as well as pop-culture-addicted oldsters like ourselves. In other words, no baby clothes, no Debbie Macomber books, and no exercise workout VHS tapes.

Want to take part, and help fundraise for Catclaw? Basically anyone can set up, and on the 'honor system', at the end of the day, you give us 20 percent of whatever you made, (unless you hardly made anything). Now you can unload those DVDs that you're too lazy to put on eBay, and those CDs that you've already ripped to your Zune or iPod, and help support one of the most ambitiously kooky theatre companies on the planet!

Email Karissa Singleton if you want to take part!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Theatre Alliance of Louisville

Catclaw Theatre Company is a proud member of the TAL (Theatre Alliance of Louisville), an organization dedicated to fostering greater unity and efficiency among the many talented companies in the area!

We meet monthly to discuss topics of interest, share knowledge and resources, and promote the ongoing success of live theatre. Theatres, theatre professionals and active supporters are welcome.

The next TAL meeting will be on June 7, from 10am to noon, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Louisville (corner of Highland and Rubel).

Interested in joining the Theatre Alliance of Louisville? Please come to the meeting, or contact

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Joyce Lynette Thompson

Joyce Lynette Thompson is on board for Toulouse-inations! She plays Coriandre, one of several important women who befriend Toulouse-Lautrec in the course of the story - which takes place in a Parisian nightclub with an adjacent bordello.

An exceptional actor, Thompson has previously worked with Specific Gravity Ensemble in their acclaimed Elevator Plays 2, played "Little Red" in Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods for Hayswood Theatre, and the Evil Stepmother in the Chicago Windy City Players production of Cinderella.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Voraxica Versus Voraxium

So what's the difference between the Catclaw Theatre Company, the Voraxium and Voraxica anyway? Admittedly, even we tend to use the terms interchangeably, which has been the source of some confusion.

In a nutshell:

  • Voraxica is a new, 21st century form of edgy entertaiment that is very much like burlesque and vaudeville, but it's not. Most people think they know what those terms mean, and they've become co-opted and homogenized to the point where the only sensible thing for a free-thinking autonomist to do is to jettison those concepts completely and go start something entirely new. To put it into a massive oversimplification, Voraxica is the new burlesque.

  • The Voraxium is a specific troupe dedicated to performing in the new genre of Voraxica. The name refers also to a sort of conceptual location that the troupe carries with them everywhere they go. In other words, wherever the Voraxium troupe performs, that place becomes "The Voraxium" during that time, a mythical Mahagonny-like location where literally anything can happen.

  • The Catclaw Theatre Company is the parent theatre company behind The Voraxium. Because of this nested-Matryoshka-doll relationship, sometimes we will seem to be saying that the two are one and the same, while at other times we will seemingly be stating that they are distinctly separate entities. It just be's like that.
  • Monday, May 26, 2008

    "Toulouse-inations" details revealed

    Up to now, not much has been known about the content of the new play Toulouse-inations. People have been inquiring for more details, so here goes:

    Toulouse-inations is about the declining fin de siecle days of Parisian nightlife in the 1880s and 1890s, as seen through the green absinthe-drenched visions of painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (played by Sidney Hymson).

    The play takes place on two separate sets: one is a nightclub where T-L spends much of his days propping up the bar, and the other is an adjacent brothel where he spends his nights consorting with prostitutes - but as a friend and lover, not a client.

    In addition to the fascinating women in his life, a number of other peculiar characters weave their way through the woof and the warp of T-L's struggling art career. That career is imperiled continously by his bohemian lifestyle and alcoholism, which threatens his health and his sanity as his absinthe hallucinations increase in severity.

    (photo above: Laundryman at the Brothel by Toulouse-Lautrec, 1894.)

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    The Birth of Merlin

    After Toulouse-inations finishes its run in August, we're immediately going right into production of The Birth of Merlin, an "apocryphal" Shakespeare play whose authorship has been contested by various scholars and know-it-alls.

    Here's what that sporadically truthy "encyclopedia" called Wikipedia has to say about The Birth of Merlin:

    "The Birth of Merlin" possesses a three-level plot, a structure common in plays of its era. On the first level, the main plot, the characters are royal and their concerns are those of statecraft and national welfare; in the second-level plot, the characters are aristocratic and genteel and their concerns are those of personal values and personal fulfillment; and on the level of the comic subplot, the characters are common and their concerns are largely sensual.

    Unusually, the play begins on its second level: the opening scene introduces the nobleman Donobert, his daughters Constantia and Modestia, and their suitors Cador and Edwin, and begins the story of Modestia's conflict between her desire for a religious vocation versus social pressures to marry. The famous characters of Arthurian romance do not appear until the second scene, which introduces King Aurelius and his royal court.

    The first scene in Act II introduces the otherwise-unnamed Clown and his very pregnant sister, Joan Go-to't. References through the play identify the Clown a typical Rowleian fat clown, the type of role that Rowley repeatedly wrote for himself to play. The Clown's sister has gotten herself pregnant by yielding to the advances of a mysterious stranger; she and the Clown are now wandering through the forest, searching for the father of the child, or at least a father for the child.

    In a cave in a forest, the Devil summons Lucina and the Fates to attend Joan as she gives birth to Merlin. The Clown catches up, to meet his sister and his new-born nephew, a fully-grown Merlin the Magician. Merlin introduces his Clown-uncle to his Devil-father; the Devil predicts a dramatic future for his newborn son.

    The play is rich with visual effects of varying types, including devils and magic and masque-like spectacles. It was clearly designed to provide broad, colorful, fast-paced entertainment.

    Further details about Catclaw's production of The Birth of Merlin, which is possibly the first full-scale production of the play in the last 200 years, will be announced soon.

    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    First meeting and rehearsal announced for "Toulouse-inations"

    Our first cast meeting for Toulouse-inations will take place on Sunday, June 15th, 3:00pm, at our workshop at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center. The Center is located at 1860 Mellwood Avenue.

    The meeting will consist of basic introductions, handouts of info packets, and a read-through of the script. And snacks.

    "Toulouse-inations" opens August 7th at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts' MEX Theatre in downtown Louisville.

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Andrena Johnson

    Catclaw Theatre Company is thrilled to be working with Andrena S. Johnson for our August production of Jeffrey Scott Holland's play Toulouse-inations. Andrena is cast as Roseline, one of several women in the life of painter Toulouse-Lautrec in this highly fictionalized story.

    In addition to her success in theatre after being trained in Hollywood, Andrena has also done films, modeling, and marketing promo.

    Andrena's natural talent and qualifications made her an instant choice for us when she arrived at our Birth of Merlin auditions in April. Look for Andrena to appear in that production, scheduled for this Fall, as well!

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    TV coverage next Monday

    On Monday the 26th at 12:15pm, Jo Self and Catclaw artistic director Jeffrey Scott Holland will be on Louisville's WHAS-TV to talk about the Theatre Hop and The Voraxium.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Inaugural entry

    Welcome to the official blog of the Catclaw Theatre Company! We hope to keep you entertained and informed, with probably more information than you ever needed to know about the activities of Louisville's newest and most groundbreaking theatrical organization!