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Cabaret le Fey

The Detective
“The dancers drew us visually through the sway of rise and fall, fast and slow. As if the music and dancing weren’t magick enough Miss Cate admitted that she used the darkest sorcery to fog up the window for the first time ever, or at least during a show.”

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THTR Alchemy – Spring 2017

Mark Hein – Theatre Ghost
THTR ALCHEMY is a brief evening full surprises and promises, one that makes you eager to see what these folks will do next. True Focus skillfully takes the common metals of our lives and transforms them into something approaching gold.  If their alchemical journey is any indication of where LA’s experimental theatre is going, we’re in for a lively ride.”

The Detective
“Hitting hard from curtain is a grand catching harbinger you’re about to spend an evening catching your breath; exhaling & trying to take it all in. … Miss Vanessa Cate is constantly blowing minds and shocking sensibilities with her wonderful productions.”

David MacDowell Blue – Night Tinted Glasses
“Taking my seat to see THTR Alchemy I knew very little. Yeah, it would consist of short pieces. I knew some of the actors, directors and writers involved. There would be only four performances. And it had been created by the True Focus Theater. This last meant I felt sure of something high quality. I can think of about half a dozen theatres here in Los Angeles I simply expect to give excellence every single time (a larger group gives it almost every time, while others never do anything poorly or can be counted on to consistently surprise, or entertain, etc.). Here is one of them. …No disappointments.”


HEX – Fall 2016

Bill Raden – Stage Raw
“The company persuasively peels back the patriarchal accretions of maleficent myth to argue that the true black magic responsible for giving so many Puritans and Hollywood screenwriters the wiccaphobic night sweats is the unfettered power of female sexuality, which HEX delivers in spades.”

The Detective
Hex is a soaring emotional journey of all that is woman, as seen through the lenses of the Wicca, feminism, sexuality, expression, and art of all forms. Hex shows it all, our highs and lows, our sorrows and joys. The journey we travel as the stage becomes all that is real, would not be possible without the immensely talented performances of the entire Coven.”

Mark Hein – Theatre Ghost
Hex can be enjoyed as a seasonal pleasure, ringing the changes of our culture’s lore with lots of beautiful women dancing. But it offers far more: a non-polemic exploration of what it has meant to be a woman in Western societies, and a powerful evocation of the innate gifts — and insoluble mysteries — of the human female.”

David MacDowell Blue – Night Tinted Glasses
“Praise goes to the whole cast …for maintaining a high overall quality, not least in remaining committed to the atmosphere of secret feminine powers in all their many avatars, from hilarious to sweet to dangerous and to deeply tragic. But to Vanessa Cate as well as choreographers Melody and Melrose plus translator Pauly goes that extra bit of praise.”
“During the show, you will be welcomed into the world of black magic, witchcraft, and demons. You will summon monsters and resist temptations through the ages. They dare you to join them on a seductive journey in a devised evening of movement, dance, and more.”

Love Sucks – Summer 2015

Bill Raden – Stage Raw
“And while the brisk pace, enviable laugh quotient and overall polish of the evening certainly live up to the expectations invited by this kind of stage hybrid, one can’t help leaving the theater feeling impatience for when True Focus will commit itself to the kind of full-length dramatic work that will finally establish its serious artistic bona fides.”

Mark Hein – Theatre Ghost
“Led by Vanessa Cate and her close collaborators Natalie Hyde and Angie Hoover, the True Focus troupe has a distinct approach to theatre. They weave together bits of story, vignettes, poetry, song and dance — and come out with a unified whole… [They] have evolved a recognizable ‘True Focus style.'”

David MacDowell Blue – Night Tinted Glasses
“The choreography in various pieces from Natalie Hyde and Cheryl Doyle showed a real power, and… an impressive pushing at boundaries.”


Life death and the middle postcard 2Life, Death, & the Middle – Winter 2015

Steven Alloway – Fanboy Comics
“[Cate] has a deep understanding of what art is, from theater to poetry to writing in general. More importantly, she understands how art feels, both for the artist and for the audience. And, that makes you want to be a part of it: to share in that feeling with her and with the performers she’s assembled, and to strike out on your own to find it for yourself.”

Mark Hein – Theatre Ghost
“In more than 50 years of reading and writing poetry, I’ve never experienced poems this way… In Life, Death & the Middle, the True Focus troupe handles poems with care, bringing them to life on stage in ways that go beyond reading quietly in a corner. They enrich our experience without taking control of it. Their creations let us delight in these poems, and encourage us to find more for ourselves. Let’s do more staged poetry!”

David MacDowell Blue – Night Tinted Glasses
“Co-directors Vanessa Cate and Natalie Hyde took this idea and did things I’ve never ever seen before, things that entertained while bringing the stylized words of poetry to life.”

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CAT FIGHT – Summer 2014
Natasha Lewin – The Tolucan Times
“The all-lady cast of director Vanessa Cate’s Cat Fight explores the feminine mystique in a mélange of dance, poetry, monologue, and pop music vignettes dedicated to the many facets of the female. From the good: reveling in singlehood, the choice to be kid-free, or taking pride in promiscuity; to the bad: cat calls, domestic abuse, and the horrors of losing a child; the ladies of Cat Fight strip down (literally) personal perspectives of womanhood.”
Cat Fight progresses like a strip show, peeling away layer after layer of what we see as ‘woman.’  It starts with what we accept as normal — including what we put up with, and what we agree not to see, as well as what we affirm. Steadily, it works deeper and deeper toward what we fear, what we do not understand, what we must come to terms with.”
David MacDowell Blue – Night Tinted Glasses
Cat Fight received my third standing ovation in fifteen years.”
“It’s truly imaginative, graphic, descriptive, elegant and a poetic journey through a series of vignettes that talk about the female condition and all its idiosyncrasies and issues of a woman from youth to adulthood. All of these vignettes have several writers and choreographers each with their own message or signature style that it was just a pure delight to watch.”



**If you are a member of the press who would like to review any of our shows, please contact us at**

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