Lots happening at CATCO this summer

We spoke with Steven C. Anderson, artistic director of CATCO-Phoenix, last week for our piece on the new children's book he wrote for BalletMet Columbus.

His participation in the project was a cool thing - the long-time writer for stage said it allowed him to exercise some different brain muscles - but it's far from the only cool thing happening at CATCO of late.

He mentioned the pending start of formal rehearsals for the company's staging of the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q, which he called a must-see. To say he sounded excited in anticipation would be an understatement. The show starts the 2012-2012 season a little earlier than norma - it opens Aug. 1.

The company is also "re-branding." It has been two years since CATCO, the area's 28-year-old professional Equity theatre copmpany, merged with Phoenix Theatre for Children. The children's component will now be called CATCO Is Kids.

"Our goal was threefold," Anderson said. "To create a brand that unifies our two theatres; to clarify our messaging to audiences that we provide quality theatre and educational programs for all ages; and to help differentiate ourselves from our competition."

CATCO Is Kids will stage Anderson's adaptation of Peter and the Wolf starting July 6, and Encyclopedia Brown July 20-22.