The October issue of Houstonia magazine, on newsstands now, features an interview with local playwright Miki Johnson about her play The Crab King, with music by Joe Folladori, which had been scheduled to run at Catastrophic Theatre from November 21 to December 13. This morning, Houstonia learned that Johnson has withdrawn the rights to the play and will no longer be associated with Catastrophic, the theater at which she served as playwright-in-residence, and which has produced her plays American Falls, Fleaven, and, most recently, clean/through, which ran earlier this year.
“[Johnson] withdrew the rights for personal reasons—that’s really all I can say,” said Catastrophic marketing director Kirk Markley. As for whether the theater would be producing a different play in place of The Crab King, Markley said, “we are working quite hard at figuring that out. It’s short notice, so it’s a bit of a scramble to find a script.” Markley noted that although Johnson held an “honorary title” as playwright-in-residence at Catastrophic, she was never an employee of the theater.
When contacted by Houstonia, Johnson herself confirmed that she had pulled the rights to the play, citing health reasons. Ironically, The Crab King was itself a replacement for a different Johnson play, The Economist, which was originally scheduled to run this fall.