Cat Boxe Theatre was founded in 1984 in an effort to avoid boredom and hog the limelight. Those infamous words, "Hey kids, let's put on a show!" were heard throughout the universe and lesser entities trembled in fear.

The original family members were Cathy Beckwith, Sandy Queen and Kathy Thornton (What do you get when you cross two cats with some sand? Cat Boxe, of course!) but Sandy soon left us (Somewhat at our insistance) and was soon replaced with the imminently more personable, talented, intelligent - you get the idea - Estelle Naff. We three girls (often referred to as "Three loud and agressive women" (the nerve!) hied around a three state area doing audience participation shows and otherwise wrecking havoc where ever we went until, alas, MEN entered our lives. (Okay, Cathy was married to Dan at the time but I hardly think that counts since he wanted nothing to do with Cat Boxe or acting or any of that weird stuff.)

First Kathy succumbed to the lure of coupledom and Derly Ramirez was added to the troupe. He took to it well and was soon an active participant in shows and debauchery. Shortly thereafter Estelle was gifted with a slightly used but exceedingly wonderful Timothy Naff who enjoyed being the "Official Cat Boxe Roadie" and body guard. Then at long last Cathy traded up; exchanging Dan for Harry Beckwith who, while not exactly thrilled with being on stage, certainly enjoyed the excitement and travel and weirdness enough to become an active participant.

Along the way we made several close friends and it soon became apparent that Cat Boxe wasn't just an acting troupe, it was also a family. We soon made it a tradition to "adopt" at least one person into the family each Christmas, normally at our world reknowned Christmas Party. Many family members have come and gone over the years for various reasons but the family has usually averaged between 15 and 20 members.

These days the family is getting larger and while we remember those who have faded away, it's hard to imagine any of our family had not always been with us. Why, I've changed diapers for some of them, for Pete's sake!

Someone once asked how a person gets to be a member of Cat Boxe and I answered, "By being REALLY nice to me." Perhaps a more truthful answer would be that the three "Grand Dames" of Cat Boxe come to a mutual agreement on each suggested member and sometimes we ask the men what they think. Very often folks marry into the family although occasionally we've neglected to adopt a spouse.

How does one get "unadopted"? It is a difficult thing, but a few have actually managed it. An extreme personal attack on the QOE seems to be the preferred method although some have managed it by trying to "get custody" of Cat Boxe in their divorce. We don't take sides and we don't divy up well!

One last word, in case you might be uncertain: Cat Boxe is a matriarchy. Founded by women and led by women; allbeit women who love men. If you are reading this, you are more than likely a member of the family and should be very proud to have such a collection of wonderful relatives. I know I am.

Kathy "The QOE" Thornton

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