SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA.: This year’s Contemporary American Theater Festival will feature five new plays, including four world premieres, to be performed July 10–Aug. 2 in rotating repertory on the campus of Shepherd University.
“This season we celebrate 25 years of producing and developing new American theater, but this season in not about looking back, ” said founder and producer Ed Herendeen in a statement. “This season is about reigniting our ideals, values, goals and mission. This season is about finding new ways to make our audiences laugh, dream, shiver, weep, and think…theatre.”
The festival begins with the world premiere of Johnna Adams’s World Builders, about a clinical trial drug that begins to cure two patients of schizophrenic dreams. Nicole A. Watson will direct.
Next is Sheila Callaghan’s Everything You Touch, a dark comedy about the struggle to find inner beauty through the story of a fashion designer in the 1970s. May Adrales will direct. (The play had its premiere last year at Los Angeles’s Theatre @ Boston Court, in a coproduction with Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in New York, where it played in February and March.)
Next will be the world premiere of Steven Dietz’s thriller On The Road, about a distraught mother who hires a private investigator to find her runaway daughter. Herendeen will direct.
Following will be the world premiere of Barbara Hammond’s We Are Pussy Riot, the story of the female punk rock activists whose performance art in a Moscow Church garnered them world recognition as well as persecution. Tea Alagić will direct.
The last play in the repertory is Michael Weller’s The Full Catastrophe. Based on David Carkeet’s novel, this play follows the story of an out-of-work linguist who participates in a research experiment by living with a married couple as their relationship counselor.