About the Grant

$23,000 to support The Hand Tales (MAP 2011), a new play by The Catastrophic Theatre.

About the Project

The Catastrophic Theatre will develop and produce The Hand Tales, a new play by Chicago playwright Mickle Maher to be directed by Catastrophic artistic director Jason Nodler. The Catastrophic ensemble—a team of more than 20 actors, writers, directors, designers, composers, musicians, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary artists—will perform and design the play.

Blending themes of madness, sorrow, and the curative power of storytelling with the fabulist world of Amazing Tales, science-fiction-type comic books, The Hand Tales centers on Greg Orfess, a man midway through life who has lost all interest in what comes next. During his attempted suicide, however, he is talked off the ledge by his right hand, which has acquired—apparently for the occasion—two dim green eyes and a small mouth. His right hand is female and, in a Scheherazade of sorts, is full of fantastical stories, which she is eager to tell—each just compelling enough to keep Greg from self-destruction. The play becomes 1,001 brief, gem-like supernatural tales within the larger story—all told in order to save the play’s hero, but all possibly symptomatic of his despair and potential insanity.

The Hand Tales
questions how the stories we tell ourselves spark purpose in our lives; it is a natural continuation after Mickle Maher’s past plays, specifically Spirits to Enforce and The Strangerer, which both were produced to tremendous response at Catastrophic Theatre in Houston, Texas.

Related Websites

The Catastrophic Theatre


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