Heavy petting: Experimental show follows a pet detective

Heavy petting: Experimental show follows a pet detective
Jody Christopherson

This tale may have you in hiss-terics.

A pet detective goes in search of a missing pussy in an experimental new play opening tonight at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg. The creator of “Strays” says that she hates one-actor show where “people just stand up there and talk” — so for her own solo show, she found herself parodying the genre.

“Pretty much my solo shows are send-ups on people doing a solo show,” said Kim Katzberg.

Instead of a dreary autobiographical tale, Katzberg’s show follows fictional character Terry, an ex-exotic dancer turned suicidal suicide-prevention hotline operator, who fields a call from a woman missing her cat, and soon goes in search of the missing animal.

The show defies expectations of solo shows so much that it stars two women — Terry is portrayed in over-the-top fashion by Katzberg, and also by actress Nora Woolley.

“Originally it was going to be a solo show with two actors, and we were never going to be sharing the stage,” said Katzberg. “Then we realized how Terry is split off from herself — she has two selves. We explored that aspect of her psyche by sharing the role.”

The story pokes fun at traditional storytelling tropes, said Katzberg.

“Experimental theatre is all about exploring my voice and not getting tied up in what it’s supposed to be. I just trust the weird associations in my head,” she said.

The show uses video sequences and musical numbers to tell a tale of feminine empowerment, as Terry makes her way through a repressive male-dominated system. Katzberg says that she based Terry’s father on her own father, who “had a very patriarchal approach to parenthood.”

“Strays” at the Brick Theater [579 Metropolitan Ave. between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, (718) 285–3863, www.bricktheater.com]. May 5–14, Wed–Sat at 7:30 pm, Sat, Sun at 2 pm. $18.