The Catamounts, NFP

Join The Cats as we wield adventurous theatre to make a more imaginative community. At regional premiere productions of boundary-pushing plays, our singular FEED events, and in empowering educational programs, we're using theatre to increase our connection to one another and celebrate being alive.

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Regional premiere productions of audacious new plays

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
General Public/Unspecified
Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population

Description

We produce two to three full‐length shows each season, focusing on the regional premiere of boundary-pushing contemporary scripts by emerging playwrights. These productions are usually held in a traditional performance spaces such as the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder.

Saturday night performances of these productions are preceded by a "cocktail hour" featuring a show-themed specialty cocktail, and post-show we serve a special-release beer created just for the production by Wild Woods Brewery, and a post-show meal featuring a show-inspired menu by a local food truck or caterer. At these events, our cast and audience literally sit down at the table with one another, engaging in thoughtful and lively discussion about the show, and creating a depth of community seldom experienced.

We have produced 21 full-length productions:

--MR. SPACKY, THE MAN WHO WAS CONTINUOUSLY FOLLOWED BY WOLVES by Emily Schwartz in our inaugural season;
--GOD'S EAR by Jenny Schwartz and THE THREE FACES OF DOCTOR CRIPPEN by Emily Schwartz in our 2011-12 season;
--MESSENGER #1 by Mark Jackson and JON by George Saunders adapted for the stage by Seth Bockley in our 2012-13 season;
--FAILURE, A LOVE STORY by Philip Dawkins and THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS by Mickle Maher in our 2013-14 season;
--MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY by Anne Washburn, MOULIN SCROOGE by Peter Gwinn (a co-production with the Band of Toughs), and A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPUBLISHED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY by Lucas Hnath in our 2014-15 season.
--SPIRITS TO ENFORCE by Mickle Maher, and FUTURA by Jordan Harrison for our 2015-2016 season;
--THE TAMING by Lauren Gunderson and BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGE by Jason Craig and Dave Malloy in our 2016-17 season;
--YOU ON THE MOORS NOW by Jaclyn Backhaus, and RAUSCH, an original immersive theatre piece by The Catamounts in collaboration with Control Group Productions in our 2017-18 season.
--MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus and UNITED FLIGHT 232 adapted by Vanessa Stalling from the book FLIGHT 232 by Laurence Gonzales in our 2018-19 season.

In our 2019-20 season, we have produced an original, outdoor, site-specific work THE LAST APPLE TREE, and the regional premiere of EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. In February and March of 2020, we presented the regional premiere of SHOCKHEADED PETER adapted from the German children's story Stuwwelpeter, by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott in an immersive production.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post on The Catamounts: "The Catamounts performance group has a talent for giving good spectacle. Boldly envisioned, fluidly executed shows have become their artistic stock and trade. And, whether it's traipsing "theatergoers" through Flatiron scrub on a summer eve ("Rausch") or boarding them on an imagined ill-fated DC-10 jet ("Flight 232") or seating them in a Quaker-meeting-like circle around a morality/mortality play ("Everybody"), the group has been on a tear."

Juliet Wittman on The Catamounts, "The Catamounts are the wittiest theater troupe around - and, in many ways, the most charmingly inventive."

Lisa Kennedy on The Catamounts: "[The Catamounts} actively redraw the borders of the area's performance/theater scene."

Caitline Rockett, Boulder Weekly: "The Catamounts [are] Boulder's adventurous theater company practically dedicated to enhancing the excitability of the whole machine."

The Catamounts' performances regularly sell out, and audience surveys indicate a significantly high level of audience satisfaction, with over 75% rating our programming as "excellent."

Audience feedback on the show, gathered from our audience surveys, includes comments such as the following:

--"You are doing exceptional work in an exceptional way. I love the post-show events and how you engage deeply with your audience members through food and drink. Great work!"

--"I like best the works and productions that deeply address the important issues and fairly cover various perspectives of them. You reliably demonstrate excellent judgement while navigating the turbulent sea of local theater. I look forward to sharing many more of your efforts."

--"It was a fabulous evening. Excellent acting and the cocktails and beer and food truck was a nice touch too!"

--"Your space is supreme, your house staff is excellent and the QUALITY of the production is outstanding!"

--"An exceptional experience."

FEED Events

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
General population

Description

FEED is a multi-course seated meal in which we pair curated performance with artisanal food and drink. These events are held in non‐traditional performance spaces such as the Lone Hawk Farm, Still Cellars, and the Altona Grange, and are collaborations with local brewers, distillers, chefs, farmers, and artisanal food makers.

We have produced twenty-two FEED events since our inception: In our 2011-12 season: Salt, Short and Sweet and Smoke; in our 2012-13 season, Corn, Short and Sweet, and Fermentation; in our 2013-14 season, Preserve, Short and Sweet, and Mountain; in our 2014-15 season, Kids (with Jeff and Paige), Cold, and Wild; in our 2015-16 season, Kids (again with Jeff and Paige), Illuminate, Fire, and Grind. In 2016 - 2017 we produced Los Muertos, Darkness and Simple. In 2017-18, we produced Los Muertos and Love. In 2018-19, we will produce FEED: Melting Pot and FEED: Dreams. We will produce FEED:Culture in a limited, creative format at the end of May 2020.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

FEED's success is evidenced by its extreme popularity. It sells out within days, sometimes hours, and has developed a substantial following.

Our favorite quote about the FEED experience was when after FEED: Wild (which took place in July of 2015 at Lone Hawk Farm) one audience member said: "It's like it's all of our last meal--only none of us are going to die."

Another wrote: "I just want to add my thanks and praise to what I am sure is already a torrent of support for FEED and for that manner all that you do. You are definitely a breath of fresh and invigorating air. It is always a pleasure to attend your events and tease out what deeper may be hiding in the shadows."

And yet another: "Thank you to the Catamounts for educating us, feeding us, entertaining us, connecting us to nature, and making all-around better human beings."

Educational Programs

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizen
Children ages 5 to 21
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
People/Families of People with Health Conditions
People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities

Description

Each season, we serve in school‐based educational programs with elementary school students in the Boulder Valley area. We also offer two sessions of our summer intensive Camp Catamounts, for students wishing to develop their theatre-making and performing skills further.

In both our school‐based programs and our summer intensives, we lead students through the process of collaboratively creating original, multidisciplinary performance. The final product of these programs is an all-student authored and all-student performed original theatre piece.

In addition, we conduct a monthly play reading group at a local retirement community, expanding The Catamounts' educational reach from community members as young as 6 to as old as 96.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We believe the success of our educational programs is evidenced first and foremost by the fact that we have been invited to return to Heatherwood Elementary eight years in a row, and to Flatirons Elementary four years in a row; that our program at a local retirement community is one of the community's most well-attended activity; that many of our Camp Catamounts campers have returned each year that they were not too old to return; and by feedback such as the following:

"Our daughter absolutely loved participating in Camp Catamount's summer session. The level of creative opportunity for young children in this realm is astounding. Seeing the final performance at the end of the class was an amazing experience - our daughter was comfortable and confident in front of an audience, to our surprise, and all of the kids did a stellar job!"--Camp Catamount parent

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