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Desires Discovered: "The Cataract" comes to the stage

The regional premiere of The Cataract by Pulitzer Prize acclaimed playwright Lisa D'Amour opens October 19 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre.

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents the regional premiere of Lisa D’Amour’s The Cataract, October 19 – 28 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre. Set in Minneapolis in 1883, this poetic drama explores one week in the lives of Cyrus and Lottie Finch, a stalwart couple who take in two vagabond lovers from the South. The unlikely pairs’ intersection unearths their deep-seated desires – ones that they fight to keep buried

Tickets are now on sale online and by phone at 512.477.6060.

Three individuals seated, eating; one man standing shouting
Photo: Lawrence Peart

Alumna Lisa D’Amour is a Pulitzer Prize nominated and OBIE Award winning playwright. Her acclaimed play Detroit (2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama finalist) is playing Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in New York, and was recently produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and London’s Royal National Theatre.

Her work has been produced by such theaters as New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, The Women's Project and HERE Arts Center (NYC); Salvage Vanguard, Physical Plant and Refraction Arts (Austin); Infernal Bridegroom Productions (Houston); Crowded Fire Theater (San Francisco); Ten Thousand Things, the Red Eye Collaboration and Children's Theater Company (Minneapolis). She has been commissioned to write plays by Playwrights Horizons, Children's Theater Company, the Guthrie Theater and The Talking Band.

D’Amour has received fellowships from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations, two independent artist commissions from NYSCA and an NEA / TCG Playwrights' Residency. She is currently a visiting lecturer in playwriting at Brown University and an associate member of ArtSpot Productions, a theatre ensemble in New Orleans.

For director Will Davis, The Cataract is a journey toward the self. She explains, “The play is about discovering your essence through the lens of another person. You learn more about who you are by crashing up against someone that you are not. And, because of a stranger in your midst the whole world is different.”

Davis’ recent credits include the critically acclaimed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and UTNT’s The Chronicles of Bad Ass Women, both produced last season by The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and is currently pursuing her master of fine arts at The University of Texas at Austin.


 “I think they are talking about us”: Engaging The Cataract
Wednesday, October 24, 9:30 p.m. at the B. Iden Payne Theatre

Within The Cataract, Lottie speculates to her husband Cyrus about two new houseguests, whispering, “I think they are talking about us.”

Audience members are invited to an evening of intersectional dialogue, placing theory and practice in concert with one another through the lens of The Cataract. Join in the investigation of the play’s themes and directorial approaches – from Noh theatre to Victorian’s obsession with flowers and futurism.

Unearthing The Cataract: A Conversation with Lisa D’Amour and Will Davis
Sunday, October 28, 3:30 p.m. at the B. Iden Payne Theatre

Join playwright Lisa D’Amour and director Will Davis in an intimate post-performance talk about bringing The Cataract to the stage.

* These events are open to patrons of The Cataract

Monday, October 15, 2012