Discover the ultimate theater experience in Shepherdstown, the oldest town in West Virginia, where the Contemporary American Theater Festival produces the newest plays in America.

Since its founding in 1991, Festival has produced over 144 new plays, including 66 world premieres and eleven commissions. Plays produced at CATF have gone on to have robust lives including regional productions, Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, and film adaptations.

Marinoff Theater. CATF

The Festival

Named as one of the top theater festivals in the world, by publications such as The New York Times, American Theater, and World Guide, the Contemporary American Theater Festival shapes the future of American theater. Each summer, the Festival produces bold, new plays, allowing audiences to experience all of the plays in the season in as little as two days. The plays produced at the Festival spotlight daring and diverse stories, in a truly fearless fashion.

In addition to its dedication to storytelling, CATF celebrates the dynamic between the artist, the audience, and the work. Comprised of lectures, discussions, stage readings, and more, the talktheater series provides opportunities to discuss issues and themes raised in the season’s plays. This vibrant pairing of contemporary plays and invigorating discourse fosters a unique and unforgettable experience.


Along with thought-provoking theater, Shepherdstown and the surrounding area host historic sites, artistic and cultural events, outdoor recreational activities, and more. Stay in a charming, historic inn or surround yourself with sophisticated elegance; shop the locally-owned and unique boutiques; and treat yourself to the splendid taste of Shepherdstown’s numerous restaurants.

You’ll discover the ultimate theater experience and more in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.