Off Center Theatre Company began as a community theatre group in 1999. In January 2001, the company began to pay artistic and technical staff and made the switch to being a non-Equity professional theatre company. In this capacity, Off Center produced from 15 shows from Jan 2001 to May 2005. Founding Artistic Director Margeau Baue Steinau took over directorship of the company in 2005, shortly after which, in 2006, Steinau and other local artists formed the Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (SATE), under the umbrella of Off Center Theatre.
SATE began weekly training in 2005, the foundation of which is based in Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints and Tadashi Suzuki’s theatre movement methods. Since January 2009, SATE began incorporating contact improvisation and Pilobolus-style dance movement into its weekly training. Viewpoints is philosophy and technique in training an ensemble using a set of names given to certain principles of movement through time and space. Suzuki method was developed from understanding ancient Greek theatre and Japanese performance styles, which emphasize physical strength and control.
The Ensemble has trained in venues across St. Louis, including, The Koken Art Factory at 2500 Ohio, Tower Grove Abbey, and finally established a residency in September 2008 at The Chapel, a music, theatre, and fine arts venue in Clayton.
Since being established as an ensemble, SATE has produced Sonnets for an Old Century (December 2006), Pride’s Crossing (September 2007), Slightly Off the Air (August 2008), Primal (October 2008, nominated for a 2008 Kevin Kline Award), Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (February 2009, a St. Louis premiere), Macbeth (July 2009, with an all female cast), Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls (September 2009), Heiner Mueller’s Hamletmachine (June 2010, June 2012), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (May, November 2011), and Burn This (May 2012).