Lucy Thurber and Kyle Bradstreet Plays Will Premiere at Contemporary American Theater Fest

News   Lucy Thurber and Kyle Bradstreet Plays Will Premiere at Contemporary American Theater Fest
The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) at Shepherd University will present two world premieres in its five-play repertory season July 8-31 in Shepherdstown, WV.

The 21st season includes regional premieres of plays by two Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, two world premieres (including a CATF commission) and a second production of a new play.

The lineup includes:

From Prague
By Kyle Bradstreet
World Premiere
Directed by Ed Herendeen

"Prague — the city of ghosts — is the lingering backdrop for three wounded voices, all clamoring to be heard, all indelibly bound to each other. The characters — Samuel, an exiled patriarch and disgraced academic; his son, Charles, a zealot barely clinging to his faith; and Anna, the beautiful expatriate whose life has been upended — find themselves in a crumbling church where memory and consequence collide. Kyle Bradstreet's poetic new play creates a landscape for people with nothing left to lose, and only the past to regain."

By David Mamet
Directed by Ed Herendeen

"Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet tackles America's most controversial topic in a provocative new play of sex, guilt, and accusation. Two lawyers find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with the crime of raping a black woman. Mamet turns his jagged spotlight on the quest for truth in a world full of lies. This high-voltage, incendiary drama rips the cover off of what is thought — but never said — along the vicious path to justice."

Ages of the Moon
By Sam Shepard
Regional Premiere
Directed by Ed Herendeen

"Old friends reunite over bourbon on ice to reflect upon the shadows of their lives. Fifty years of love, friendship, and rivalry are put to the test at the barrel of a shotgun in this gritty new play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard. The characters are older and the booze goes down a little harder as Shepard spins a poignant hangdog tale of remorse and regret for two men at the twilight of life's journey into night." We Are Here
By Tracy Thorne
Second Production
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien

"Playwright Tracy Thorne braids the joyful past with the devastated present as three generations of a family endure unimaginable loss with compassion, humor and song. This is a story about a modern family coping with the death of a young son. Strong-willed, smart, funny, each member must find the way to peace and redemption in a world built on love and survival."

The Insurgents
By Lucy Thurber
World Premiere CATF Commission
Directed by Lear deBessonet

"John Brown. Harriet Tubman. Timothy McVeigh. Nat Turner. All deeply religious. All heard voices from God. All were extremely patriotic and loved their country. And all believed in violence. Their stories and unique historical markers meld into a contemporary family's quest for identity and survival. Off-Broadway sensation Lucy Thurber fearlessly tackles the often fine line between martyrdom and terrorism."

In addition to the plays — produced in rotating repertory, which allows audience members to see all five shows in just two days — the 2011 season will also feature free lectures, discussions, staged readings, music and art exhibitions. Patrons have the opportunity to purchase tickets to events including lunches with artists and breakfast with CATF founder and producing director Ed Herendeen.

For tickets and information about accommodations, call (800) 999-CATF (2283) or visit


Over the last 20 years, the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University staged 85 American works, including 32 world premieres, by 60 different playwrights. With a budget of more than $1 million, the Theater Festival sells 11,000 tickets each summer, bringing patrons and visitors to West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle from 33 different states. A 2008 economic impact survey reported that CATF generates more than $2 million for the local economy each season.

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