Your support will go towards the world premiere of Catalina, written by Austin playwright and paper chairs' co-founder Elizabeth Doss and produced by paper chairs in September 2017.
This new work is an original theatrical adaptation of an autobiography written by a 16th Century nun. In the Spanish Golden Age, women have three fates: motherhood, the convent and or the brothel. At fourteen years old, Catalina de Erauso breaks out of a convent and wreaks havoc on the world disguised as a man. Without any mission other than satisfying her own hedonistic appetites, Catalina acts more like a derelict Don Quixote than a prophetic Joan of Arc. Through a modern lens, we expound on Catalina's brazen tone and comedia-like boisterousness by giving voice to the complication and nuance in her story that she lacks the vocabulary for: her ambiguous sexual identity and the rampant violence against women during that time. Still, after a life of chasing war and women, Catalina's transgressions (including the murder of her own brother) are miraculously pardoned by the pope who gives her permission to continue cross-dressing until her death.
As a society, we are only beginning to understand how gender constructs contribute to our experience of the world and how the world experiences us. These questions are both timeless and timely. When considering current controversies over the "bathroom bills" or Castor Semenya's unfair scrutiny in the 2016 Olympics, it is clear that people still crave solid delineations on this slippery slope. And some people still feel entitled to cruelty when their expectations are defied. Looking at Catalina's story now reminds us that gender has never been cut and dry; it has always been a fluid and malleable paradigm.
This large-scale production will feature an ensemble of 10 performers, and its artistic team will be led by some of paper chairs' core collaborators, including a creative reunion with paper chairs' former Artistic Director and co-founder Dustin Wills, who is a Princess Grace Award-winner and director currently based out of New York City.
Why this play? Why now? When there are so many places and people deserving and demanding your time, attention, and money?
We think about these questions a lot.
paper chairs produces theatre that asks urgent questions about humanity and identity.
We believe in making theatre as a collaborative process, in supporting local playwrights, and exploring new work. We believe in paying our artists a fair wage to reflect their hard work and creativity.
We believe that live performance connects us to each other, crossing the lines of artist and audience to create community. And that is important, now more than ever.
Catalina's Artistic Team:
Director- Dustin Wills
Playwright - Elizabeth Doss
Dramaturg - Diana Lynn Small
Scenic Designer - Lisa Laratta
Produced by paper chairs
Performances: 3 weekends - September 2017
Our Amplify Goal is $6,000.
ANY DONATION can go a long way:
$20 Donation = 1 hour of rehearsal space rent
$50 = printing of our show posters
$100 = 1 performer's costumes
$400 = a round trip flight to bring Director Dustin Wills in from New York City
$500 = 1 performer's stipend
$500 = 1 night of performance space rent
paper chairs has been producing work together since 2010 and we hope you'll join forces with us in creating this next production.
Thank you for supporting a flourishing theatre community in Austin, Texas.
All of our love,
Support new work from local playwrights. Catalina, an original play written by company member Elizabeth Doss and produced by paper chairs, September 2017. (painting by Juan van der Hamen. 1626.)