The Contemporary American Theater Festival attracts theater fans, theater tourists and adventure seekers who travel short and long distances to see and experience our work…they follow us…they take to the road to see contemporary theater. We have created a sub-culture of audience members who participate in the entire experience.

Where else can you spend two days seeing and experiencing five new plays in a beautiful, rural, historic American town?

Where else can you meet other theater lovers and form a kinship and bond over art and culture?

Where else can you have total access to the makers of art and engage in a living conversation?

Where in America can you join a community of art travelers from across the nation and world and form relationships with people like yourself…who feel competent and free to question our contemporary world?

Where else can you shop, dine, relax, walk and talk-theater…talk  about real life issues, concerns and fears by listening to live theatrical stories?

Every July our audience takes to the road and joins a community of thrill seekers…truth seekers…beauty seekers…knowledge seekers…interesting and engaging human beings who form kinship’s with other human beings. This is an annual community made up of friends, traveling companions and strangers who all share a common (spiritual) bond. Many of you have been attending the Festival for years! I think that is REMARKABLE! You reunite in Shepherdstown with the same folks each season. You make the annual CATF TREK. You are a part of the CATF ODYSSEY…a unique theater adventure to be shared with friends…old friends…new friends etc…

Our loyal fans know what I am talking about when I describe the CATF TREK and the close bonds that a shared Festival experience brings. New relationships are quickly developed, as strangers become friends in the supportive environment of the Festival. We provide an opportunity for “random encounters” every summer. The random Festival encounter is perfect, cosmic, generating reunions and the warm glow of artistic and intellectual curiosity.

The Contemporary American Theater Festival is sort-of a secret society of people checking out great contemporary theater while escaping from everyday life to encounter a sense of belonging. Each person defines the festival experience a little differently. Sure the plays, the programming, the artists are the main attraction. But the audience is YOU. The audience is US!

I believe that our audience feels a special connection, brotherhood and kinship that you just can’t replicate at other theater venues…because we offer an entire experience that is about more than just seeing a play. Our geography…our location…our destination is truly unique.

How do you define your Festival experience? Please share with me a story about a “random CATF encounter”. Please share a personal CATF story. Tell me a remarkable CATF experience. I look forward to hearing from you on this Blog or via facebook etc…I want to hear from you.

Ed Herendeen, Producing Director