WV's Contemporary American Theater Fest Premieres Lee Blessing Play and Keith Glover Musical, July 9-Aug. 1

News   WV's Contemporary American Theater Fest Premieres Lee Blessing Play and Keith Glover Musical, July 9-Aug. 1
The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) returns July 9 in historic, scenic Shepherdstown, West Virginia, offering a summer season of world premieres and area premieres, including a new play by Lee Blessing.

Producing director Ed Herendeen's slate, July 9-Aug. 1, boasts the world premiere of Lee Blessing's Flag Day; the area premiere of Richard Dresser's two-actor Rounding Third; a world-premiere new musical by Keith Glover called The Rose of Corazon; and Stuart Flack's Homeland Security.

"These are fascinating, challenging, and certainly thought provoking times," said Herendeen, in a statement. "We wanted to create a season that speaks to our ever-changing common experiences and engages our audience to join in the dialogues that in many ways define our world. We invite all theatre lovers to share the journey."

The sleepy college hamlet of Shepherdstown is a 90 minute drive from Baltimore and Washington, DC.

The 2004 CATF season, presented in rotating repertory, will include:

  • Homeland Security by Stuart Flack, "a provocative new play on a very current topic," according to production notes. "A 32-year-old, second generation Indian doctor and his American girlfriend are detained at O'Hare airport for questioning when they return home from a vacation in Amsterdam. The play traces the impact of the interrogation on the couple and explores how each person comes to view themselves, each other, and the world."
  • Rounding Third, by Richard Dresser, the "biting comedy about two mismatched men teaming up to coach a Little League baseball team." The play had an Off Broadway run and is now blossoming around the nation in regional houses.
  • Flag Day, by Lee Blessing, "explores race relations by using deep, satirical comedy and darkly visionary imagery. In two parts (Good, Clean Fun and Down and Dirty), Flag Day examines our rawest emotions on this most combustible of American themes. High atop a corporate office building, two men – one white, one black – seek harmony in their high-pressure world. When their simmering prejudices need venting, they resort to a corporate-approved 'solution' that lets them speak their minds without fear of reprisal. Meanwhile, in a story inspired by recent real-life tragedy, a young writer imagines the long conversation between a dying white man who lies embedded in a car windshield and the black woman who is trying desperately not to let this distraction ruin her celebration of Flag Day."
  • The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay, by Keith Glover with music and lyrics by Keith Glover, Billy Thompson and George Caldwell, "tells the tale of Rosa, a rescued World War I war bride. She starts her new life in America with a husband who can walk on the wind and a magic rose growing in the garden that can change her fate forever, if it will only bloom." In addition to the fully-produced plays, audiences are offered post-show discussions, the "Under the Tent Lecture Series" and the staged reading series.

    The 2004 CATF acting company includes Michael Flanigan (Flag Day, The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Arielle Jacobs (The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Albert Jones (Flag Day), Perry Ojeda (The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Celina Polanco (The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Andy Prosky (Homeland Security, Rounding Third), Caesar Samayoa (The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Lee Sellars (Flag Day, Rounding Third), Amol Shah (Homeland Security, The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Christianne Tisdale (Homeland Security, The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay), Scott Whitehurst (Homeland Security) and Roslyn Wintner (Flag Day). Musicians Fareed Haque and Kalyan Pathak perform during Homeland Security performances.

    Tickets and packages for the 2004 CATF Season are now on sale. For more information, call (800) 999-CATF or visit www.catf.org.


    Since 1991 CATF has produced 50 new plays, including 17 world premieres. The Festival has showcased new works by leading playwrights including Sam Shepard, Joyce Carol Oates, John Patrick Shanley, Lisa Loomer, Lee Blessing, Richard Dresser and many others.

    Catherine Irwin the is festival's managing director.

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