Contemporary American Theater Festival Preview

This summer, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival (CATF) will present five new, diverse plays at Shepherd University. According to the CATF website, these are “America’s newest plays in West Virginia’s oldest town.”

The 2014 summer will be the 24th annual season for CATF. The plays run from July 11–Aug. 3. Here is a quick snapshot of what you can expect to see from the CATF this summer.


“The Ashes Under Gait City” by Christina Anderson

After Gait City is rebuilt following a disastrous fire, a woman named Simone the Believer attempts to rally her Black American followers to return to the town. This powerful play wrestles the controversial topic of race in modern America. “The Ashes Under Gait City” will be shown in the Marinoff Theater.


“One Night” by Charles Fuller

Fuller’s new drama tackles the very real and very under-represented issue of rape in the United States military. Alicia, a discharged Army soldier, deals with the post traumatic stress of being raped during her deployment and the stigma that came with revealing the incident with the help of another discharged soldier. “One Night” will be presented in the Frank Center.


“Uncanny Valley” by Thomas Gibbons

The uncanny valley is a range of things that are very similar to, but not quite like, human beings: things we find creepy. In Gibbons’ original work, the idea is explored through a neuroscientist’s work with an artificially intelligent being on becoming human. “Uncanny Valley” will be shown in Studio 112 in the Center for Contemporary Arts.


“North of the Boulevard” by Bruce Graham

When four childhood friends meet again in a dilapidated garage to discuss the many issues facing their collapsing neighborhood, they are faced with an opportunity to reach better heights. Will they succumb to temptation or follow their moral compasses? “North of the Boulevard” will be shown in the Frank Center.


“Dead and Breathing” by Kristin Horton

In this dark comedy, an ancient, grumpy old woman attempts to convince her nurse to let her go. Assisted suicide is a controversial topic lately, so watch this hilarious play to get some new perspective. “Dead and Breathing” will be exhibited in the Marinoff Theater.
This season is promising to be exciting and entertaining, so make sure to see at least one show. Buy tickets online at Admission for one show is $20 for student tickets and $59 for regular tickets. Or see all plays with the five-show pass for $240. Enjoy the show!

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