Archive | Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF)

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Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘The Second Girl’

Ronan Noone’s The Second Girl received its second chance opening at the Contemporary American Theater Festival last weekend and, like its hardscrabble characters, it’s a well-deserved second chance. The Second Girl is a touching, hard-knuckle portrayal of working class Irish immigrants, with a twist. That twist: it all takes place in the kitchen of one […]

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Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘20th Century Blues’

Susan Miller’s 20th Century Blues, which opened last weekend at Shepherdstown’s Contemporary American Festival, speaks right from the heart of successful, east coast boomer women. Four 60-something women meet for the 40th annual anniversary of the night they spent in jail in the 1970s. Each year, Danny, the photographer, has captured their group’s heart and soul in black and white. Now, with her […]

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Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF): ‘pen/man/ship’

The Contemporary American Theater Festival opened Friday, July 8, 2016, for the 26th time: five new plays with five new stories to tell. In Chistina Anderson’s pen/man/ship at the in-the-round Marinoff Theater, the audience is the crew on an old whaling ship bound for Liberia. Charles Boyd, the ship’s African American “impresario”, played by the steely-eyed Brian D. Coats, has secluded […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Playwrights Interviews: Part 5: Chisa Hutchinson and “The Wedding Gift” by Sharon J. Anderson

Here is Part 5 of 5 in a series of interviews by Sharon J. Anderson, Contemporary American Theater Festival Trustee/Professional Story Listener and Creative Director. Meet Playwright Chisa Hutchinson and learn about her new play, The Wedding Gift. Sharon: Audiences are going to be challenged by The Wedding Gift for several reasons. One, it features full-frontal nudity. Two, […]

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Spine: The 26th Contemporary American Theater Festival: Ed Herendeen’s 26th Snapshot of America’s Theatrical Culture

The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, is approaching its second quarter of a century of new American plays. This year’s rotating repertory includes: Christina Anderson’s pen/man/ship Allison Gregory’s Not Medea Chisa Hutchinson’s The Wedding Gift Susan Miller’s 20th Century Blues Ronan Noone’s The Second Girl Ed Herendeen remains the […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Playwrights Interviews: Part 3: Allison Gregory and “Not Medea”

Here is Part 3 of 5 interviews by Sharon J. Anderson, Contemporary American Theater Festival Trustee/Professional Story Listener and Creative Director. Meet Playwright Allison Gregory and learn about her play, Not Medea. Sharon:  Have your children seen or read this play? Allison: No, they haven’t. Very early on in the process, my daughter (who was then 13 […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Playwrights’ Interviews: Part 2: Christina Anderson and “pen/man/ship”

Here is Part 2 of 5 interviews by Sharon J. Anderson, Contemporary American Theater Festival Trustee/Professional Story Listener and Creative Director. Meet Playwright Christina Anderson and learn about her play pen/man/ship. Sharon: This is a big play with a small cast. It deals with black/white, rich/poor, male/female, young/old, free/slave, and gay/straight issues . . . do you need […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Playwrights Interviews: Part 4: Ronan Noone and “The Second Girl” by Sharon J. Anderson.

Here is Part 4 of 5 interviews by Sharon J. Anderson, Contemporary American Theater Festival Trustee/Professional Story Listener and Creative Director. Meet Playwright Ronan Noone and learn about his play The Second Girl. Sharon: The Second Girl has been described by some critics as, “Downton Abbey meets Eugene O’Neill.” What do you think of that? RONAN: It’s […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Playwrights Interviews: Part 1: Susan Miller and “20th Century Blues”

Here is Part 1 of 5 interviews by Sharon J. Anderson, Contemporary American Theater Festival Trustee/Professional Story Listener and Creative Director. Meet Playwright Susan Miller and learn about her play 20th Century Blues. Sharon: After reading 20th Century Blues, I wondered if you planted a tape recorder in my living room the day before I had three […]

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Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) Announces Its 2016 Line-Up of Plays

CATF ANNOUNCES ITS 2016 LINE-UP OF PLAYS To take place in rotating repertory July 8 – 31, 2016 Featuring new plays from Christina Anderson, Allison Gregory, Chisa Hutchinson, Susan Miller, and Ronan Noone The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University has announced its 2016 line-up featuring five new American plays, including three world premieres. Theater […]

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‘World Builders’ by Forum Theatre at Woolly Mammoth

I first saw Johnna Adams’s World Builders this summer, when it premiered at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I was immediately struck by the ingenuity of its premise and the artistic and creative implications of its design. Seeing it again, now by Forum Theatre and performed at Woolly Mammoth’s rehearsal room, […]

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Spine: Review of ‘We Are Pussy Riot’ at Contemporary American Theater Festival

Pussy Riot, punk truth tellers and guitar playing agitators and feminist rabble rousers who stood up to the Russian State and its Church affiliates under Vladimir Putin. They went into Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior and staged a demonstration against the Orthodox Church’s support for Putin; Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church said that […]

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The Playwright’s Playground – The Playmakers CATF 2015: Part 4: Playwright Sheila Callaghan on ‘Everything You Touch’

This Special Edition of The Playwright’s Playground begins ‘The Playmaker Series: CATF 2015.’ In a series of in depth conversations, I speak with the artistic teams associated with the plays at this year’s Contemporary American Theater Festival. Playwrights, and the Directors share revealing behind the scene insights about their inspirations and the development of their […]

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The Playwright’s Playground – The Playmakers CATF 2015: Part 3: Director Nicole A. Watson on ‘World Builders’

This Special Edition of The Playwright’s Playground begins ‘The Playmaker Series: CATF 2015.’ In a series of in depth conversations, I speak with the artistic teams associated with the plays at this year’s Contemporary American Theater Festival. Playwrights, and the Directors share revealing behind the scene insights about their inspirations and the development of their […]

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