Officials set to unveil lineup for summer theater festival

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Though it’s still February, organizers of the Contemporary American Theater Festival plan to give theater fans a taste of summer next week.

On Tuesday, the festival’s producing director Ed Herendeen will unveil the five plays to be presented at Shepherd University starting July 5. This summer marks CATF’s 23rd season.

The announcment event at 7 p.m. at the Shepherdstown Opera House at 131 W. German St., according to James McNeel, who oversees publicity for the festival.

Tickets for the 2013 season, which concludes July 28, go on sale a week from today.

McNeel said the festival this summer will reach a milestone of 100 plays since its start as well as the opening of a new theater in the university’s Center for Contemporary Arts.

Joining Herendeen for next week’s announcement will be actors Joey Collins (who appeared in “Captors” by Evan M. Wiener and Neil LaBute’s “In a Forest, Dark and Deep” at CATF last summer) and Joey Parsons (a veteran of “Gidion’s Knot” by Johnna Adams, “Dear Sara Jane” by Victor Lodato and “Fifty Words” by Michael Weller).

Audience members Tuesday will get to watch as Collins and Parsons present short scenes from each of 2013 plays.

McNeel said the season announcement is free and open to both the press and public.

Founded in 1991, CATF has become a summertime staple in Shepherdstown. The lineup has included 95 new American plays, including 34 world premieres, by Pulitzer-winning playwright Sam Shepard and more than 60 other writers.

To learn more or reserve seats, go to catf.org or call the CATF box office at 304- 876-3473.

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