The Cataract

March 22-April 15, 2006

By Lisa D’Amour
Directed by Katie Pearl

With the mighty Mississippi serving as a powerful backdrop, Lisa D’Amour’s stark and poetic play fuses the natural elements of wind, water, wood and stone to the interiors of its four characters. At the dawn of the new age, Cyrus (Barnaby Carpenter) and Lottie (Kelly McAndrew) take in a transient Southern couple, Dan(Tug Coker) and Dinah (Vanessa Aspillaga). Dreams converge with sexual tension, suppressed emotions with desire, flooding the carefully laid landscape Cyrus and Lottie have designed.

From the OBIE-Award winning team that brought you Nita and Zita and Anna Bella Eema, The Cataract has been called “Pure Magic”.


Lisa D’Amour

(Playwright) Lisa D’Amour is a playwright, solo performer and multidisciplinary theater artist. Recent projects include LANDMARK: 24 HOURS @ THE STONE ARCH BRIDGE, a site-specific performance on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis; NITA & ZITA, which received a 2003 OBIE Award and toured in 2005 to the Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans) the Walker Arts Center (Minnneapolis) and HERE Arts Center (NYC); and DREAM OF A WEST TEXAS MARSUPIAL GIRL, a musical for children which will premiere at Children’s Theatre Company (Minneapolis) in 2007. Lisa has received fellowships from the Jerome and Mc Knight Foundations, as well as grants from the Multi Arts Production Fund and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is the recipient of a 2005/6 NEA/TCG Playwright’s Residency to work on a new play with Infernal Bridegroom Productions (Houston). She received her M.F.A. in playwriting from UT Austin. She is a core member of the Playwright’s Center, a resident artist at HERE and a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Katie Pearl

(Director) As both theater director and performer, Pearl collaborates with writers, musicians, and visual artists on new plays and site specific performance events. Recent projects with nine year collaborator Lisa D’Amour range from LIMO, an indoor performance installation in a corporate atrium (Performance on 42nd Series/Whitney Museum of Art at Altria), to their self produced Nita & Zita (Village Voice OBIE Award, 2003), to LandMARK, an outdoor 24 long interactive art event at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis (the same bridge that Cyrus and Dan are building during THE CATARACT). Other recent directing credits include Sheila Callaghan’s Crumble /Lay me down, Justin Timberlake (Clubbed Thumb @ the Ohio), Steve Moore’s Nightswim (State Theater, Austin TX), and Sally Oswald’s The Painful Adventures (Labapalooza Puppet Lab @ St. Ann’s Warehouse).
Pearl has developed work with writers at the Playwright’s Center (MN), New Dramatists and Soho Rep (NY), and University of Texas/Austin. She has led workshops at Amherst College/ Ko Performance Festival, Dartmouth College and Brown University (with D’Amour), Shonto Prep/ Navajo Nation, and taught classes for the Long Wharf and Hangar Theaters. She is an alumnus of the Drama League of New York (directing fellow, 2000) and a Roothbert Fellow, 2004. Pearl is a proud member of Physical Plant Theater of Austin TX, and continues to be part of both the Austin and NYC theater communities while intermittently pursuing a graduate degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Vanessa Aspillaga

(Dinah) Ms. Aspillaga is currently in the LAByrinth Theater Company workshop production of ALL THE BAD THINGS by Cusi Cram at the Joseph Papp’s New York Public Theater. Last summer she played “Audrey” opposite Richard Thomas in the New York Public Theater Shakespeare Festival production of AS YOU LIKE IT, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. She played “Marela” opposite Jimmy Smits in the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning play ANNA IN THE TROPICS taking it from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, to the Royale Theater on Broadway. She has originated numerous roles in Off-Broadway, regional, and workshop productions by diverse writers including Philip Courtney, Cusi Cram, Nilo Cruz, Migdalia Cruz, Rogelio Martinez, Lynn Nottage, Adam Rapp, Joe Sutton, Liz Swados, Heather Woodbury, and Brooke Berman. Film and TV credits include: Petty Crimes aka Aller- simple pour Manhattan, My Best Friend’s Wife, Stringer, Pyrite, Exiles in New York, Mr.Wonderful, The Jury, Law & Order, Deadline, As the World Turns, and PlayStation 2 Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (voice of Michelle Cannes). She is also a playwright whose play hush was produced by INTAR Theatre’s New Works Lab 2002. Ms. Aspillaga is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, and an INTARTISTA at INTAR Theatre.

Barnaby Carpenter

(Cyrus) Off Broadway: Humble Boy (Manhattan Theatre Club), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme and Far East ( Lincoln Center). Other New York credits include Don’t Lose Your Head (Women’s Project, The Culture Project, Timsloft), The Bigger Man (Center Stage) and The L-Curse (New Perspectives Theatre). Regional: Proof (Arena Stage), Top Ten People of the Millennium (Victory Gardens Theater), Far East (Westport Country Playhouse), A Baltimore Waltz (Henlopen Theater) and The Importance of Being Earnest (La Jolla Playhouse) for which he won a Drama-Logue Critics Award. Film and TV: Shuffle (upcoming), Conversations with ID, Young Indiana Jones Chronicle and American Gothic. Barnaby received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.

Tug Coker

Tug makes his Off-Broadway debut with TheCataract. Other New York credits include Dear Vienna (Vital Theatre Company) and Broken Window (Theatre’Trouve). Regional credits include: A MidsummerNight’s Dream and Snow in June (American RepertoryTheatre); Take Me Out (Studio Theatre, WashingtonD.C.); You Can’t Take it With You (Capitol RepetoryTheatre); Medea and Frenzy for Two, or More(Eastenders Repertory Company), Baby (A.C.T. StudioTheatre), and Cervantes’ Gaze (Moscow Art Theatre). His television credits include “Guiding Light”, “All My Children” and the NBC pilot “NY-70”. Mr. Coker holds an MFA degree from American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Institute for Advance Theatre Training at Harvard University.

Kelly McAndrew

(Lottie) is thrilled to be working on The Cataract with the Women’s Project . Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with Ned Beatty and Jason Patric). Off-Broadway: Book of Days (Signature Theatre); Down the Garden Paths (Minetta Lane). Recent regional credits include: Three Sisters (ART), Eugene’s Home (Berkshire Theatre Fesitval), Proof (George Streeet Playhouse), Talley’s Folly (Rep. Theatre of St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse), The Miracle Worker and The Great White Hope (Arena Stage) and Holiday (Olney Theatre) for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress. Kelly has also worked with The Arizona Theatre Company, the Pioneer Theatre, Shakespeare on the Sound, The Unicorn Theatre and the Cape Cod Theatre Project. Film/TV: As the World Turns, New Guy, Company K, Out of the Darkness. Training: MFA University of Missouri, Kansas City. Proud member AEA

  • Barnaby Carpenter, Vanessa Aspillaga, Tug Coker and Kelly McAndrew in THE CATARACT.

  • Kelly McAndrew and Vanessa Aspillaga in The Cataract.

  • Vanessa Aspillaga, Tug Coker, Barnaby Carpenter and Kelly McAndrew in The Cataract.

  • Barnaby Carpenter, Kelly McAndrew, Vanessa Aspillaga and  Tug Coker in The Cataract.

  • Tug Coker and Kelly McAndrew in The Cataract.