Lee Blessing's Chilling Lonesome Hollow Gets World Premiere in WV July 4

News   Lee Blessing's Chilling Lonesome Hollow Gets World Premiere in WV July 4 Contemporary American Theater Festival's 2007 season in repertory July 4-29 will include the world premiere of Lee Blessing's Lonesome Hollow, a drama about life in a penal colony for sex offenders.
Playwright Lee Blessing
Playwright Lee Blessing Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The season in the quaint college hamlet of Shepherdstown, WV, 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., will also include the recent plays My Name is Rachel Corrie, based on the writings of the young American woman who died in the Middle East (starting July 5); Richard Dresser's comedy The Pursuit of Happiness (starting July 5); and Jason Grote's contemporary spin on the Arabian Nights tales, 1001 (starting July 4).

Pulitzer Prize nominee and Tony Award nominee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods) sets his new drama (also launching July 4) in the near future, "where sex offenders are quarantined in mysterious penal colonies," according to CATF notes. "Tuck, a highbrow artist once renowned for nude photographs, builds a spiritual labyrinth in the colony called Lonesome Hollow and finds himself in the same boat with a brutal pedophile. Both men – one sacred, one profane – struggle to understand the new rules of crime and punishment under a government given extreme powers of authority. A cautionary tale of vengeance and community standards, Lee Blessing's drama charts a characteristically slippery moral slope."

Hal Brooks directs the production.

Lee Blessing has written over 25 plays, including A Walk in the Woods, Eleemosynary, A Body of Water, Going to St.Ives, Cobb, Two Rooms, Down the Road and Thief River. World premieres at the Contemporary American Theater Festival include Whores and Flag Day. Blessing's plays have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and Tony and Olivier Awards and have earned Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, L.A. Critics Association and Drama-Logue Awards, among others.

Ed Herendeen is founder and producing director of Contemporary American Theater Festival, "dedicated to producing and developing new American theatre." Since 1991, CATF has produced 59 new plays, including 22 world premieres. The Equity-affiliated CATF is in residence on the campus of Shepherd University. For more information, visit www.catf.org or call (800) 999-CATF.

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