Meet The Artist: Stray Cat Theatre
Author: Ron May, Stray Cat Theatre Artistic Director
Arizona Theatre Company has added a seventh show to the 2015-16 season as it presents Sex With Strangers, a very special production from Stray Cat Theatre, one of Arizona’s leading indie theatre companies.
Stray Cat Theatre has been producing contemporary theatre in Phoenix and Tempe since 2000 and is thrilled to be cutting our claws in Tucson for the very first time. Producing a season of four stage productions, each one an Arizona premiere, Stray Cat’s programming is distinctly different from the programming of other organizations across the Valley.
Decidedly off the beaten path, Stray Cat Theatre’s mission is to strive to bring audiences indie theatre at its best: quirky, edgy, and irreverent. Stray Cat Theatre scratches the itch for a visceral, provocative theatre experience for culture-savvy cats who crave something beyond the standard “Kitty Chow”.
Consistent with our mission, Stray Cat is committed to:
- Aggressively seeking out and showcasing the most vital contemporary material.
- Constantly exploring theatrical possibility – what the live theatre is uniquely capable of.
- Cultivating the next generation of theatre artists in the Valley.
- Fostering a creative incubator – a free-radical environment dedicated to risk-taking where artists can find a home to do consistently fascinating things.
- Provoking, challenging, and sometimes jolting our audiences out of conventional responses – sparking them to look at the live theatre experience through a fresher lens.
It is easy to spot a pattern of similarities in the programming of many theatre companies statewide, which often produce work that has been done as recently as the previous season, and in some cases theatres producing the same work twice in the same season. The gap in the area of “indie” or “alternative” theatre is what brought Stray Cat into being. The thirst for a richer, more varied theatrical menu, as well as finding ways to showcase the next generation of local theatre artists, has led Stray Cat to become a vital “feeder” organization. Actors, designers, and directors at Stray Cat frequently move on to become a part of the local professional theatre fabric – more than any other non- or semi-professional company.
While certainly not a tangible “measure of success”, it hasn’t hurt that SCT has won the AriZoni Award for Best Overall Production six of the past eight seasons, was named two seasons in a row by the Phoenix New Times as Best Community Theatre, was recently awarded “Best Reason to go to the Theatre All Season” by the Phoenix New Times, and has been named Best Theatre Company by azcentral.com and the Arizona Republic Readers Choice Awards. SCT has also been profiled in BackStage and Variety magazines as a national champion of new works. Stray Cat has also brought good news to Tempe in the guise of the Seattle Gay Times calling it a “Must-Visit destination” when visiting Arizona.
You may think you’ve seen all there is to see in regards to live theatre.
But wait ‘til you see what we drag in.
We can’t wait to come play down in Tucson!