The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) announced its 23rd season of plays at an event held Tuesday evening.
Shepherdstown's historic Opera House hosted the event for the second year. CATF Producing Director, Ed Herendeen introduced a full room of fans to this season's five new plays.
Herendeen discussed this year's unique lineup, which includes two commissioned pieces: "H2O" and "Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah" and a third world premiere play, "A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World."
Work by legendary theatrical writer Sam Shepard will once again be featured in CATF's roster of plays. This season Herendeen will direct "Heartless," by Shepard, as well the Jon Kern play "Modern Terrorism, or They who want to kill us and How we learn to love them."
Just a few years past its 20th summer, CATF will celebrate its 100th play produced this season.
"We're hitting a milestone," Herendeen said.
Reinforcing a sentiment he expressed last year, Herendeen said that he is once again excited to produce contemporary American works of theater in West Virginia's oldest town.
"Place does matter." he said.
"We love our geography. We love Shepherdstown, West Virginia."
Herendeen broke news that the American Theatre Critics Association will be holding its conference in Shepherdstown during CATF this summer. Herendeen expressed his excitement for the association's "immersion experience," which he believes will shed an even greater spotlight on the town itself.
"This is going to be extraordinary for the town," he said
As in years past, plays will be held on Shepherd University's campus at venues including the newly constructed Stanley C. and Shirley A. Marinoff Theater located in the second phase of the university's Center for Contemporary Arts.
In addition to the plays performed in rotating repertory, CATF will once again host a series of talks.
"Breakfast with Ed" returns, as well as "Lunch and Art," and a host of free programs including, stage readings and late night salons will also be held throughout the season.
The festival begins July 5 and ends July 28. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 1-800-999-2283 or online at www.catf.org/boxoffice. A complete schedule of plays can be found by visiting CATF.org.