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"Not Medea" by Allison Gregory at Contemporary American Theatre Festival, as part of a 2016 NNPN rolling world premiere. Pictured: Joey Parsons and Ben Chase. (Photo by Seth Freeman)

Contemporary American Theater Festival Announces 2017 Summer Season

The festival will expand its slate to stage six plays in rotating repertory, including four world premieres.

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA.: The Contemporary American Theater Festival has announced its 2017 season (July 7-30), featuring six productions running in repertory, up from their usual five.

“We are expanding our ambitious and insatiable appetite to make art that matters,” said artistic director Ed Herendeen in a statement. “These stories will create and foster vital discussions with our audience. The festival is a place for inclusive dialogue and conversation about our society. We may not have the answers, but we will never stop asking the urgent and pressing questions.”

The season lineup will include the world premiere of Kara Lee Corthron’s Welcome to Fear City, about a young African-American man with dreams of being a poet in the Bronx in 1977.

Also on the docket is the world premiere of Allison Gregory’s Wild Horses, about a summer that forever alters an adolescent girl, as portrayed by her adult self.

The summer season will include the world premiere of Chelsea Marcantel’s Everything Is Wonderful, about a family who struggles to hold it together after two Amish boys are killed in a car accident.

The world premiere of We Will Not Be Silent by David Meyers will also be staged, following a German college student who leads one of the few major acts of civil disobedience during World War II with the group called the White Rose.

Also in the lineup will be Eleanor Burgess’s The Niceties, about two left-wing women, a boomer and a millennial, who confront their differences head-on.

The summer festival season will also include Evan Linder’s Byhalia, Mississippi, a Southern drama about a white couple who unexpectedly give birth to a black child.

In addition to the six productions, CATF will hold free lectures, discussions, and staged readings as part of its “talktheater” programming.

Founded in 1991, the Contemporary American Theater Festival produces provocative new plays and world premiere productions in rotating repertory each summer.

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