Ed Herendeen, CATF Founder

Ed Herendeen

Ed Herendeen

Founder & Producing Director

Ed Herendeen founded the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia in 1991 with the mission to produce and develop new American theater. Through his leadership, and operating under an LORT D Actor’s Equity Association contract, the theater festival has produced 133 new plays – including 56 world premieres and 11 commissions – and has gained a reputation as one of country’s most important curators of new work. Hosted on the campus of Shepherd University, CATF produces a four-week season of six plays in rotating repertory and attracts a national audience and an ever growing international audience.

Ed has also worked at The Walnut Street Theater, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Missouri Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, The Lyceum Theatre, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. CATF was presented with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1999 and the Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts in 2012. Ed was honored with the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from Ohio University and has served on the Admissions Committee for New Dramatists, as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has served on the board of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for American theaters.

Ed retired from CATF in 2021.