Mallory Catlett is an Obie award winning director, dramaturg and creator of performance across disciplines; from CITY COUNCIL MEETING – a regional experiment in participatory democracy created with Aaron Landsman and Jim Findlay that the audience performs, to the internationally touring BEOWULF – Banana Bag & Bodice’s musical bar room brawl, to Dread Scott’s performance installation – DREAD SCOTT: DECISION at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.
She received a 2014 Special Citation Obie Award for THIS WAS THE END, her original reconstruction of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya presented at The Chocolate Factory with Restless NYC, the production company she started in 2005 designed to test the limits of the theatrical cannon and her own authorship. The design for THIS WAS THE END was also recognized with a Bessie and the Henry Hewes award. Prior productions include 2 site-specific reconstructions of Shakespeare – AS YOU LIKE IT: RESTLESS IN ARDEN and Rii; and the upcoming M/F FUTURE, a pair of pieces that explore gender and the prophetic imagination. This work is being developed and produced at the Collapsable Hole, where she has a three year residency.
Prolific outside of the company, Catlett’s original works also include OH WHAT WAR, inspired by Joan Littlewood’s Oh What a Lovely War (HERE); THE GREENHOUR, an adaptation of Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell (Chapel Arts, Vancouver); CELEBRITY, devised from student-generated material and the writings of Andy Warhol (SUNY Purchase); THE WOMAN REBEL, compiled from the writings of Margaret Sanger with Amanda Quaid (Women Center Stage at The Culture Project) and THIS ROOM IS MOVING, a two-act combination of Harold Pinter’s The Dwarfs and a companion piece, BEAT, created from the writings of Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs (Video In, Vancouver; nominated for 5 Jessie Awards).
As a co-creator she works with Latitude 14 (founding member) on multimedia performance (RED FLY/BLUE BOTTLE (co-produced by HERE) and TINDER and Banana Bag & Bodice (company member) on ensemble created music theater (BEOWULF, SPACE//SPACE, THE FALL & RISE OF THE RISING FALLEN, THE SEWERS, PANEL.ANIMAL, THE YOUNG WAR).
Beyond her generative work, Catlett also directs new opera – THE SCARLET IBIS (HERE/Beth Morrison PROTOTYPE 2015), BROTHER, BROTHER (Experiments in Opera) and THE WANTON SUBLIME (American Opera Projects/Roulette) and plays by Aaron Landsman (PATIENT BOY, and RUNNING AWAY FROM THE ONE WITH THE KNIFE at The Chocolate Factory). Other contemporary writers include – Sergi Belbel, Thomas Bradshaw, Normand Chaurette, Guillem Clua, Xiemena Escalante and Naomi Wallace.
Her works have premiered in New York at HERE, the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, PS122, Abrons Arts Center, The Chocolate Factory, The Collapsable Hole and the Ohio Theatre, and have been featured at the Ice Factory, CultureMart, COIL, Prelude and BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Regionally, her work has been seen at American Repertory Theater (Cambridge), ASU Gammage (Tempe), DiverseWorks (Houston), Z Space (San Francisco) & Redfern Center (Keene, NH). International touring includes Les Escales improbables (Montreal), Kilkenny Arts Festival (Ireland), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), Dublin Fringe, (Ireland) Exit Festival (Créteil, France), Noorderzon Festival (Groningen, Netherlands), Adelaide Festival (Australia), Brighton Festival and Bristol’s Mayfest (UK) and the PuSh Festival (Canada).
Catlett was a member of the 2006 Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, and she has been a resident artist at the Barishnykov Arts Center, CultureHub, MacDowell, Gibney Dance, Performing Garage, the Ontological’s Incubator, Abrons Arts Center, HERE’s HARP Program, Mabou Mines, Yaddo, Chashama, Digital Performance Institute, The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and a British Studies Fellow at the Harry Ransom Research Center at UT-Austin. Her work has been funded by the Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York Council for the Humanities, Graham Foundation, New York State Music Fund, NPN, NYSCA, LMCC (MCAF and Swing Space grants), Puffin Foundation, NYSCA (2 individual artist commissions), Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Fund, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Strickland Family Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, MAP Fund, NEFA, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She the recipient of the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, 2015 Grants to Artists Award and is a 2016 Creative Capital Grantee. She is a resident artist at the Collapsable Hole @ WestBeth.
She received her high school diploma from the North Carolina School for the Arts, where she studied classical ballet, a BA from Bard College in Drama and Dance and an Interdisciplinary MFA from The School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, where she continues to work and collaborate. In Vancouver she has created, directed and dramaturged 10 works for theater, opera and dance. Her work has received 6 Jessie Award nominations and been funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Hamber Foundation and ArtsFACT.
As a freelance dramaturg, she has worked on projects for the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Ma-Yi, The Culture Project, Labyrinth, ExP Girl, Freefall Dance and Urban Stages. She received the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy for her co-direction of Juggernaut’s THE FIRST 100 YEARS: The Professional Female Playwright. Her writing has been published in Theater Magazine (essay on and script of CITY COUNCIL MEETING), Canadian Theatre Review (on THIS ROOM IS MOVING) and her work has been covered in American Theater, HowlRound, Hyperallergic and Brazil’s Questao de Critica. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Theater Arts at SUNY Stony Brook.
Mallory Catlett on Vimeo.