Catie O'Donnell

Director, Educator, Producer
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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Copenhagen
Colleen Burns Benefit Theatre
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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The Unseen
The World's Stage Theatre Company
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A Christmas Carol
Madison Theatre Guild
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A Christmas Carol
Madison Theatre Guild
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A Christmas Carol
Madison Theatre Guild
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Just Another Day In Dentures
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
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Just Another Day In Dentures
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
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Just Another Day In Dentures
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
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Just Another Day In Dentures
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
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Nevermore
Music Theatre of Madison
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Nevermore
Music Theatre of Madison
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Nevermore
Music Theatre of Madison
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Nevermore
Music Theatre of Madison
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The Arsonists
Alley Stage
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The Arsonists
Alley Stage
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The Arsonists
Alley Stage
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The Arsonists
Alley Stage
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Hostage Song
Music Theatre of Madison
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Amadeus
The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
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The Worlds Stage Theatre Company
Catie's Theater Life

Mikado Madness!

March 26, 2015 - 03:04 PM
The Mikado with Milwaukee Opera Theater has been an incredible success! JillAnna Ponasik, artistic director of MOT and my co-director, and I worked with the cast to devise the new arrangements for the score and stage. We filled the stage with percussion instruments, and re-imagined the entire score with drums, gongs, trombones, guitars, and toy pianos. We tweaked the script and Jason Powell, our amazing Ko-Ko, updated a few of the songs. We jumped deep end into this crazy concept and had a blast creating it. We very much hoped that the audiences would come on board and enjoy it as much as we did.

It turns out that they did, and more! We have had packed houses and flattering reviews, and we could not be more thrilled with the response.

Steve Spice from Shepard Express compliments "Even those who are not enamored of Gilbert and Sullivan’s brand of Anglophile musical theater may find Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s new production of The Mikado, which literally leaps beyond the stage at Next Act Theater, a complete delight from beginning to end. The 1885 comic tour de force is hailed as a harbinger of modern musical theater, but this new production takes a much needed poke at the traditional English approach to light opera."


Elaine Schmidt from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  states "The veritable yard sale of musical instruments and noisemakers strewn across the set ofMilwaukee Opera Theatre's"The Mikado" might give the audience a clue that tradition has been left at home. If not, perhaps the rubber chickens will do the trick. MOT, playing in the Next Act Theatre space under the stage direction of Jill Anna Ponasik and Catie O'Donnell, has created a delightful evening of, well, what does one call it, experimental operetta?"

Paul Kosidowski from Milwaukee Magazine  says "the cast of MOT’s fizzy production have no problem asserting that lineage. Using a variety of way-out instruments–including toy pianos and trombones—and a loose, improv-ish acting style, they’ve created a show that is nothing like your grandfather’s Mikado, but is still gloriously true to W.S. Gilbert’s comic spirit."

Klingon Christmass Carol takes Chicago by storm

December 15, 2014 - 08:00 PM
Klingon Christmas Carol was one of the most exciting and challenging productions I have ever had the pleasure of directing. I was very happy to have an extremely talented and hard working cast and production team working with me on this wonderful show. It truly was a whole group effort, and it would not have been a success without everyone giving their all. We had two months of rehearsal, including language lessons, fight choreography, music rehearsals, and regular blocking rehearsals.

All of our hard work paid off, because not only did we sell out 80% of our performances, we also have been getting fabulous reviews from around Chicago. New City Stage says "RECOMMENDED If you haven’t had the chance to see Commedia Beauregard’s “A Klingon Christmas Carol,” well now is the time. The current incarnation of the show, its fifth, will apparently be the final production in Chicago. Happily, this version is lively, appropriately violent and anchored by a wonderful leading performance from Philip Zimmermann as SQuja’. Oh and if you are wondering what exactly “A Klingon Christmas Carol” actually is, it’s… well… it’s a version of “A Christmas Carol” that’s done entirely with Klingons. 

Chicago Reader also recommends the show and says "There's humor throughout, but the two-act show takes itself more seriously then you'd think. Costumes are top-notch, and improvements over the years- a new set, a script overhaul...-make this production directed by Catie O'Donnell a fittingly polished final voyage".

You're The Flop Is a Hit!

June 12, 2014 - 10:58 AM
You're The Flop opened last weekend, and audiences loved it! It was truly amazing to work 

on a show from its inception to its opening. The cherry on top is that audiences also enjoy 

the production! Aaron Conklin from Madison Magazine gives us a few nice compliments, 

like "Music Theatre of Madison’s original production You’re the Flop—playing June 12–14 

in the Bartell Theatre—is full of clever and creative touches" and "you realize you’ve learned

 as much as you’ve been entertained. And it’s not every show that can say that." in his blog 

review. In The Isthmus' review  Gwen Rice writes "Perhaps the most surprising thing about 

the hour-long production is how well all the music flows together to tell a coherent story. 

The tuneful numbers, from such diverse composers as Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen 

Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Leonard Bernstein, and Boy George, seem perfectly chosen for 

the slight narrative and work together as a harmonious score." and finishes with the

 perfect statement, "At the end of the show, we're no closer to determining the elusive X-

factor that separates success from failure on Broadway, but it's easy to see that You're the

 Flop is anything but."