Welcome to the Marinoff!

Last week, Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley announced the official name of the theater housed within the new phase of the Center for Contemporary Arts.  This 180-seat flexible space will be called the STANLEY C. AND SHIRLEY A. MARINOFF THEATER in honor of a recent legacy gift made by Dr. Stanley Marinoff to the Shepherd University Foundation. This endowment gift will be used for the long-term support of CATF’s programming and education initiatives.


In January, at the CATF annual board retreat, Dr. Shipley and Ed Herendeen announced this to the board at a private event in the lobby of the new theater (scroll down for more photos):
Stan at podium

Dr. Stanley C. Marinoff

Dr. Marinoff made the following remarks:

This Endowment gift is a continuation of the Marinoff family’s commitment to the Contemporary American Theater Festival. There has been a Marinoff on the board for 21 years, and in fact, Shirley was an original board member and one of the first in the community to see CATF’s potential. She would be proud of this day and to see how far we have progressed over these years.

I remember early-on in the Festival’s history when I had to co-sign a bank loan to keep everything going; now we have financial stability–a testament to the great strides we have made. This is a gift that will last forever.  It is made to help enshrine a permanent future for CATF and guarantee that the organization can forever benefit and know that it can count on my family’s support.  It will ensure that future students, artists, and audiences will be impacted by this gift for years and years to come. It is a long-term pact that will serve the organization and community in perpetuity. With this gift, I am able to know that every future CATF season, and future University students, will be supported by the Marinoff family.

Shirley and I first discovered Shepherdstown the same year CATF was founded and as soon as we built our house here we became involved in the organization. I have witnessed this community and campus expand and grow over the last 23 years along with CATF.  The cultural fabric—and quality of life improvements—that the Theater Festival and the University has provided Shepherdstown is proof of the power and importance of the arts.

The University has supported CATF and has provided us our own modern theater. CATF’s partnership with Shepherd remains paramount to my support as both education and the arts share a mutual mission of opening minds and inspiring critical thinking.  Shepherd’s focus on a liberal arts curriculum, and CATF’s commitment to thought-provoking new work, continue to successfully fulfill this important need.

With this gift, our internship program will be expanded and a future generation of theater students will be given the opportunity to begin their careers at Shepherd University and CATF. Many former Marinoff Interns have gone on to work in theater around country, including our own James McNeel who was an intern in 1998.

There are so many needs in the world, and often the arts are the first to be cut.  This gift will, hopefully, help shelter CATF for when times are tough; and expand and develop the organization when things are not.  As Ed always says, the arts are not a luxury, but a necessity of a civilized society. This organization and this university are the pillars for the continued vibrancy of Shepherdstown.

Finally, I hope this gift will inspire others to consider the future of CATF by building up its endowments and continuing its home here on Shepherd’s ever-growing and beautiful campus. It is rewarding—even fun—to donate money to something you believe in deeply. —Dr. Stanley C. Marinoff, January 12, 2013.

Here are some additional photos from this festive day–one of the great keystone moments in the history of the Festival. Thank you Dr. Marinoff and the Marinoff Family!

(photos by Seth Freeman)

Allison hugs Stan

(pictured above) Dr. Marinoff is hugged by his daughter Allison Marinoff Carle, with Ed Herendeen and Trustees Ray Smock and Elena Echenique

SU Drum corps

(pictured above)  Members of the Shepherd University Drum Corps provided the musical backdrop to the announcement.

CATF board applauds

(pictured above) Members of the CATF Board and Honorary Board applaud the announcement.


(pictured above) Billy Thompson and Mary Hott sang in honor of the Marinoffs–the unofficial first performance in the theater!

Stan and Allison

(pictured above) Dr. Stanley Marinoff and Allison Marinoff Carle.

in the theater

(pictured above) On the (at that point unpainted) floor of the Marinoff Theater.

on the grid

(pictured above) “Up on the catwalk” – taking a tour of the theater: the Marinoffs with Dr. Mark Stern, Marjorie Weingold, Ray Smock, and Gary Horowitz (CATF Trustee R.B. Seem snaps photos in the distance)

Ed with Stan

(pictured above) Ed Herendeen shares a private moment with the Marinoffs. There has been a member of the Marinoff family on the CATF board since the Festival’s founding. Stanley’s late wife Shirley (Allison’s mom) was an early advocate and supporter of Ed’s work and vision.


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