Shepherdstown gearing up for another summer of engaging theater

Fans of bold, new theater have just three months to wait before the debut of the 2013 season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

Fans of bold, new theater have just three months to wait before the debut of the 2013 season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

What’s in store for Shepherdstown’s well-loved summer play festival?

Contemporary American Theater Festival founder Ed Herendeen calls the five works set to debut July 5 “complicated, vivid, fleshy and ambitious.”

Again hosted on the campus of Shepherd University, CATF this summer will mark its 23rd season with five new American plays in rotating repertory.

Here, a look at what’s on tap 90 days from now:


  •  “A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World,” a world premiere by Liz Duffy Adams
    It’s 1702, a decade after the Salem witch trials. About to leave the Colonies forever, long-lost Abigail Williams arrives at the frontier tavern of her childhood witch conspirator — Mercy Lewis—desperate to understand the madness that overtook their youth. Kent Nicholson directs.
  •  “Modern Terrorism, or They Who Want to Kill Us and How We Learn to Love Them,” a play by Jon Kern
    Ed Herendeen directs this provocative black comedy –a satire of paranoid times that explores themes of alienation, revenge and a yearning for purpose and fame. The action focuses on a trio of terrorists determined to bring retribution to America. Their only problem? They aren’t very good at it.
  • “H20,” a world premiere by Jane Martin
    An aimless young man catapults to stardom and soon is set to appear on Broadway in “Hamlet.”  That leads him to a young evangelical Christian. Jon Jory directs this drama/comedy/love story about self-destruction, notoriety and the dark journey to purity and salvation.
  • “Heartless,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard
    Herendeen again directs this work by Shepard, a poetic, enigmatic and humorous exploration of the failure to connect. The play’s focus is Sally, who shares a home with her sister, mother and family nurse. Then her new lover arrives and life is thrown for a loop.
  • “Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah,” a world premiere written and directed by Mark St. Germain F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway wrestle with art, creativity and personal destruction – and explore their mysterious bond – at the Los Angeles resort villa known as the Garden of Allah in the late 1930s.


For more on the new season of plays and for information on securing tickets or getting special pricing for packages of tickets for four or more plays, go online to or call the theater box office at 800-999-CATF.

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