Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherdstown
Celebrate the power of stories Their power to thrill you, to entice you, to invigorate you. Their power to make you think. Join us for a weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia for the Contemporary American Theater Festival as we are inspired by new plays and applaud dynamic playwrights. Since we’ve always had a hard time choosing just 2 plays to see in one day, we are delighted we’ll be captivated by these 5 productions (including 4 world-premieres) in our first CATF overnight trip.
THE CAKE by Bekah Brunstetter A Delicious Comedy Della’s North Carolina bakery is legendary! She is overjoyed when her best friend’s daughter returns from New York to get married and asks Della to make her wedding cake. Della, a sweet-natured Christian, is forced to re-examine her deeply-held beliefs and her own marriage when she realizes there is not one bride, but two. Faith, family, and frosting collide in this timely new play by Bekah Brunstetter, writer for the NBC hit This is Us.
BERTA, BERTA - A World Premiere by Angelica Chéri A Sensuous (Love) Story After committing an unforgivable crime and doomed to surrender his freedom, Leroy is granted one final wish: a chance to make amends with his long lost lover, Berta. Their reunion swells from a quarrelsome beginning to an impassioned consummation of their love. Set in the 1920s, Angelica Chéri’s riveting tale, inspired by the legendary prison song, poses the question – can Leroy and Berta’s bond survive the fate that awaits them?
MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN - A World Premiere by D.W. Gregory A Political Thriller A Soviet journalist with the gift of total recall. A psychologist seeking to rehabilitate herself. A government censor with a secret past. Over two decades their fates become entwined as victims and collaborators in Stalin’s campaign to rewrite public memory. Long before fake news was a trending topic, it was called propaganda. And in the Soviet Union, circa 1938, it was the grease that kept Stalin’s machinery of terror in motion. D.W. Gregory takes us to a world where justice is arbitrary and freedom as we know it does not exist. “A playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke.” - The New York Times
Late Morning [In America] with Ronald Reagan - A World Premiere by Michael Weller An Intimate Conversation In retirement from leading the free world, Ronald Reagan invites us into his office for lemonade and recollections of things he rarely (if ever) shared before. Except maybe with Nancy. From award winning playwright, Michael Weller (CATF’s Fifty Words and The Full Catastrophe) comes a new play written in collaboration with award winning film and television actor, Tim Matheson (West Wing, Jumanji, Animal House) as Ronald Reagan.
The House on the Hill - A World Premiere by Amy E. Witting A Searing Drama Cousins Alex and Frankie haven’t spoken in seventeen years. After more than a decade of trauma, silence, and unease, can a new baby help their shattered family heal at last? Interweaving time and memory, The House on the Hill is a shocking and suspenseful story of two women, coming together to face their shared tragedy and an uncertain future.
This thought-provoking weekend will also include talk-backs with CATF casts and directors and a special discussion with Ed Herendeen, founder and producing director of CATF. Through his leadership, the Theater Festival has produced 105 new plays – including 40 world premieres and nine commissions – and has gained a reputation as one of America’s most important producers of new work. If you want to be engaged, entertained, inspired, transformed, and transported by the power of a good story ~ this is the trip for you!
Saturday, July 21 - Sunday, July 22 @ $ 499.00 Single Supplement $65.00 Depart 10:00 am serving brunch. Reagan at 12:00 pm followed by Memories at 2:30 pm. We’ll then check into the Clarion Hotel to refresh. Depart hotel at 5:30, serving wine and cheese before dinner on your own at one of our recommended restaurants in Shepherdstown. A shuttle will be available to our evening play, Cake at 8:30 pm. Our day ends back at the hotel with a chance to sleep in the next morning. On Sunday morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out. We’ll be in our seats for Berta, Berta at noon and House at 2:00 pm. We’ll depart for Baltimore at 4:30 pm serving happy hour and snacks with an arrival at Oheb at approximately 6:00 pm. (This schedule will change slightly as we confirm our talk-backs and private conversations with CATF casts and directors.)
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