Last Thursday we were in New York City attending a very successful CATF BUZZ PARTY hosted by our friends Doug Moss and Roy Hardin at their fabulous downtown loft. It was a very cool event and we met many new potential CATF patrons. CATF playwrights Sheri Wilner, (HUNGER and FATHER JOY); Michele Lowe (INANA CATF 2010); Max Baker (EELWAX JESUS 3-D POP MUSIC SHOW CATF 2010); Lucy Thurber (CATF commission 2011) joined us at this promotion event. Max and Michele talked about their upcoming plays at the 2010 Festival. Lucy spoke about her 2011 CATF Commission: The JOHN BROWN PROJECT and Sheri spoke about her experience working at the Festival. Sheri also read a quote from Todd London’s new book OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NEW AMERICAN PLAY published 2009 Theatre Development Fund. This is the quote from page 256:

“Some theatres are lauded as much for the bonds they forge with audiences, as for their support of artists. The Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV., is one such organization. In separate discussions, a writer and an artistic director applaud the work of artistic director Ed Herendeen, for cultivating among his theatergoers a genuine interest in exploring dramatic form, especially in challenging work. The playwright marvels at the degree of investment this small theater inspires from its semirural community. “He’s a P. T. Barnum out in West Virginia. (Herendeen) has completely educated his audience. They’re so excited that he is bringing in brand-new plays, and that they can now identify themselves as this breeding ground for new plays. He’s also educated his board that he’s going to pick something he loves. Don’t question it. He would take a bullet for any of those four plays that he chooses. He believes in them so strongly and it’s contagious. They may hate his choices, but they love arguing them with him at the bakery…”

This quote is from Chapter Six: Positive Practices and Novel Ideas. I recommend Todd’s book for those of you who are interested in new plays. OUTRAGIOUS FORTUNE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NEW AMERICAN PLAY looks at the lives and livelihoods of American playwrights today and at the realities of new-play production from the perspective of both playwrights and not-for-profit theaters.

Tonight we will be attending our Washington DC BUZZ PARTY at the MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL hosted by CATF Trustee, Erich Hosbach. The event begins at 6PM-8:30PM at 1330 Maryland Ave, SW. If you are in the DC area please join us. I will be giving a preview of our 2010 Repertory.

CATF BUZZ PARTIES create excitement and Buzz. They are an opportunity for “Social Marketing” and “spreading the CATF Story.” We hope to inspire and motivate our loyal CATF audience base to invite their “social network” to attend the 2010 Festival. Our goal is to motivate our loyal base…our early adopters to become CATF Evangelists. We have an important story to tell. BUZZ PARTIES help us to tell our story. They create AWARENESS of the Theater Festival. They help us to create a stronger presence RE: our Brand and Identity. Our goal is to interact with our audience base and inspire them to participate in the CATF marketing process by becomming CATF Evangelists. Evangelists create AWARENESS…that leads to …CONSIDERATION…which leads to…PURCHASE.

Please make a comment below. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on “Social Marketing.” 

Ed Herendeen 




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