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November 18, 2009


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Karl Miller

I just attended a reading at the Atlas a couple days ago and it is a stunning facility that any young (or middle-aged) company would be lucky to use. And it's perched on H street NE DC, which developers say is going to be the next hip artsy enclave/dinner-and-show night spot as soon as the new street car line comes in to speed up the gentrification. It's also two doors down from a more modest venue, the H Street Playhouse, which has had a revolving door of theatrical tenants, too. I sure hope they can keep it together through the recent econ horror.

Catalyst is worth studying for a bunch of reasons. Like everyone, they didn't know the engine of the economy was going to explode last year, so I'd chalk it up to extraordinary bad luck. Except I'm reminded of Joy Zinoman's shrewd business choice to expand the number, not the size, of her performance spaces. So maybe they should have amped up their calendar before expanding their seating chart? Catalyst was also the best $10 ticket in town and they made that movie-ticket-bargain-price a major part of their mission statement (together with producing seminal works). I'd be surprised if Catalyst didn't re-emerge in a different form with some of their old company and management in a few years. At least, I hope they do!

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