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CATF hosts Pulitzer prize winner Charles Fuller

By Staff | Feb 28, 2014

The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University will announce its 2014 season with playwright Charles Fuller-who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1982 for A Soldier’s Play-on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Shepherdstown Opera House (131 W. German Street). Theater Festival Producing Director Ed Herendeen will introduce the five plays that will make up the 24th season, including the new play from Mr. Fuller. The event, “An Evening with Charles Fuller,” begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $15.

“Announcing the summer’s repertory is always one of the highlights of my year,” said Mr. Herendeen, “and to have a theater legend like Charles Fuller join us in Shepherdstown is an honor. I have long admired his career and I believe our audiences and community will be inspired by his passion, insight, and powerful artistic voice. I cannot wait to work with Charles and all of our playwrights this summer as we once again put into action our mission of producing and developing the new American theater.”

After announcing and detailing the 2014 season plays and programming, Herendeen will then interview Mr. Fuller live on stage about his new play, his career, and his personal history of working with some of the most important theaters and theater artists of the last forty years.

Limited tickets are available and can be purchased by visiting the Theater Festival website at www.catf.org or by calling 304/876-3304.

Charles Fuller was born and lives in Philadelphia. He first achieved critical notice in 1969 with his play The Village: A Party. He later wrote works for the Henry Street Settlement Theater and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. His 1975 play, The Brownsville Raid, won him further critical acclaim and he won an Obie Award for Zooman and the Sign in 1980. His next work, A Soldier’s Play, was a hugely successful play featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington in its New York City production. It went on to win the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama along with the New York Critics and Edgar Awards. Mr. Fuller adapted his play into the film A Soldier’s Story, directed by Norman Jewison, which garnered nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globes, and Writers Guild of America Award. He has also written short fiction and screenplays for CBS, Showtime, NBC and PBS.

The Contemporary American Theater Festival is a professional, LORT D theater dedicated to producing new plays. It was founded by Ed Herendeen in 1991 and is hosted on the campus of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown.

To date, it has produced 100 new works for the stage, including 37 world premieres, by 74 different writers, including Sam Shepard, Jane Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, David Mamet, Lee Blessing, Lucy Thurber, Mark St. Germain, Keith Glover, and Lydia R. Diamond. Its plays have gone on to be produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally, and adapted into blockbuster films. In 2012, the Theater Festival received its second Governor’s Award (WV) for Leadership in the Arts. Its four-week festival of five plays and ancillary programming is presented before an audience of over 14,000, generating over two million dollars in economic impact to the region. It receives substantial funding support from the State of West Virginia, Shepherd University, National Endowment for the Arts, Shubert Foundation, Ted Snowdon Foundation, The Weissberg Foundation, the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, Nora Roberts Foundation, Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and the West Virginia Humanities Council. It is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the National New Play Network.

The Theater Festival will present its 24th season July 11 Aug. 3, 2014. Complete information along with ticket options will be available at www.catf.org beginning Mar. 3. Social media connections can be made at twitter.com/thinktheater and facebook.com/CATFatSU.