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CATF announces 24th season humanities event

By Staff | Jul 24, 2014

The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University has announced its 2014 Humanities events. The events, produced in tandem with CATF’s repertory season, will feature playwrights Christina Anderson, Charles Fuller (winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Thomas Gibbons, Bruce Graham, and Chisa Hutchinson; CATF will also host guest speakers Miranda Petersen (Protect Our Defenders Foundation), Bruce Duncan and the Bina48 Artificial Intelligence unit (Terasem Movement Foundation), Theresa M. Davis (University of Virginia), Dr. Julia Sandy-Bailey (Shepherd University), and David Leong (Theatre VCU).

In addition, the Theater Festival will present two stage readings of new plays from acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley and CATF commissioned playwright Barbara Hammond as well as an art exhibition by Scott Cawood.

In all, “Humanities at the Festival” features a series of free lectures, stage readings, post-show discussions, thematic classes, late-night salons, and art exhibitions on the Shepherd University campus in Shepherdstown. In addition, patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase tickets to audience immersion events including lunches with artists and breakfast with the Theater Festival’s founder and Producing Director, Ed Herendeen. Programming is supported by a generous grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

CATF Humanities Director Amy Brooks expressed her enthusiasm for this season’s lineup of academics, scientists, artists, and advocates. “At CATF, we believe that great theater doesn’t end when the lights come up. Great theater poses a series of questions to everyone who engages with it, from the Producing Director to production crews to audience members. The questions follow you home, keep you mulling over images and ideas at 3 a.m., and may even change the way you encounter the world the next morning. In other words: CATF is committed to making theater that makes meaning for ourselves and for our patrons in D.C., in Baltimore, and right here in Shepherdstown. And that meaning would be incomplete without a full program of fantastic Humanities speakers and events to supplement our 24th season of Think Theater.”

Full 2014 Humanities schedule


Take a scholarly approach to the CATF repertory and delve deeper into the inspiration and context behind the work on stage.

Saturday, July 19 at 10 a.m.: Theresa Davis, Dramaturg (University of Virginia)

Saturday, July 26 at 10 a.m.: LifeNaut & the Pursuit of Artificial Intelligence (with Bruce Duncan, Terasem Movement Foundation)

Saturday, Aug. 2 at 10 a.m.: Race & Residency (with Dr. Julia Sandy-Bailey, Shepherd University)

All CATF IN CONTEXT classes are in the Center for Contemporary Arts II (Room G-03), 62 West Campus Drive, Shepherd University. Free, but reservation required through the CATF Box Office (304-876-3473).


Lectures, discussions, and practical demonstrations of the issues raised in our plays.(FREE and open to the public)

July 19 at 4:30 p.m.: Addressing Sexual Assault in the Military (with Miranda Petersen, Programs and Policy Director, Protect Our Defenders Foundation)

July 26 at 4:30 p.m.: Meet Artificial Being Bina48, Inspiration for Thomas Gibbons’s Uncanny Valley (with Bruce Duncan, Managing Director, Terasem Movement Foundation)

Aug. 2 at 4:30 p.m.: Acting in the Extreme (with stage combat director David S. Leong, Theatre VCU)

All Saturday lectures are held in Reynolds Hall, 109 North King Street, Shepherd University.


Experience new plays in development and under consideration for the 2015 season, featuring members of the CATF acting company.

Tuesday, July 22: VISIBLE FROM FOUR STATES by Commissioned Playwright BARBARA HAMMOND.

LOCATION: Marinoff Theater, Center for Contemporary Arts II, 62 University Drive. Readings begin at 7 p.m.


Join CATF Founder and Producing Director Ed Herendeen for continental breakfast and in-depth conversation about the 2014 plays, the development process, CATF history, and trends dominating the field. Catering by Mellow Moods & Juice Bar. ($25; advance purchase required.)

July 20, 24, 27 and August 3 at 10 a.m.; July 18 at 9 a.m., Center for Contemporary Arts II, 62 West Campus Drive


Enjoy a catered lunch and talk theater with members of the 2014 CATF company. Learn about their careers, the creative process, and go behind-the-scenes of the plays seen on stage. Catering by Gourmet Cooke. ($30; advance purchase required.)

July 18, 25, and Aug. 1 at 12:30 p.m. Center for Contemporary Arts II, 62 West Campus Drive


Enjoy a late-night glass of wine (not included) and talk with CATF Associate Producing Director Peggy McKowen and Managing Director James McNeel about the work and the CATF experience. A relaxing way to unwind and finish the day’s conversation about the 2014 repertory. (Discussion is free; wine and food extra.)

Saturdays, July19, 26 & Aug. 2 at 10:30 p.m., domestic, 117 East German Street


Following a performance, participate in a moderated talk-back with members of the acting company. Does not include performance ticket which much be purchased.

July 23: Uncanny Valley by Thomas Gibbons (following 6 p.m. performance)

July 17: Dead and Breathing by Chisa Hutchinson (following 8:30 p.m. performance)

July 18: The Ashes Under Gait City by Christina Anderson (following 8:30 p.m. performance)


Local artist Scott Cawood is this summer’s featured artist. His work appears in THE SCRAP YARD SALON located in Room 113 of the Center for Contemporary Arts I (92 West Campus Drive).

CATF in Context, Lunch & Art, and Breakfast with Ed all require advance reservation or purchase. Contact the CATF box office by calling 800-999-CATF (2283), or 24-hours a day online by visiting www.catf.org/tickets.