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Summer Stages: BWW Top Picks for Summer Theater in West Virginia

Summer Stages: BWW Top Picks for Summer Theater in West Virginia Summer Stages: BWW Top Picks for Summer Theater in West Virginia

Theaters in West Virginia this summer will offer a much more contemporary and controversial offering of new plays. However, traditional blockbuster summer stock musicals will still be readily available in any number of summer theater seasons in the state. The top three summer theater seasons and events from West Virginia are listed below, but are only a small offering of the many fantastic performances and live theater seasons occurring in West Virginia this summer.

Contemporary American Theater Festival

Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV

The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) company will celebrate the 24th season and a unique mix of new and exciting plays this summer. CATF will occur at three theaters on the campus of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV, presenting "newest plays in West Virginia's oldest town". Five plays will be presented in rotating repertory from July 11-August 3. Festival patrons would be able to see all five plays in the span of a two day visit. The 2014 season will feature three world premiere plays: The Ashes Under Gait City, Uncanny Valley and Dead and Breathing. Charles Fuller's drama One Night will receive a powerful production, along with the working class comedy North of the Boulevard. In addition to the five plays, festival patrons can also attend free staged readings of plays in consideration for the 2015 CATF season, post-show discussions, after-show salons with the festival producing director and managing director, the popular Lunch and Art series with members of the CATF acting company and Breakfast with Ed, a brunch meal and discussion with festival founder and director, Ed Herendeen. For more information, please visit

West Virginia Public Theater Summer Season

Metropolitan Theater, Morgantown, WV

West Virginia Public Theater is a professional summer stock theater in Morgantown, West Virginia, presenting a traditional and modern mix of musicals. The season, you can find out "Good Times Are Here to Stay" during Dames at Sea, running July 9-13, spend "Some Enchanted Evening" at South Pacific, running July 16-20, "Move It On Over" to the musical revue Hank Williams: Lost Highway, running July 23-27 and take an "Amazing Journey" with The Who's Tommy, running July 30-August 3. Performances occur at the Metropolitan Theater in downtown Morgantown, West Virginia. For more information, please visit

New Voice Play Festival

Old Opera House, Charles Town, WV

Not among the usual summer stock familiar favorites, the New Voice Play Festival, founded in 2008, seeks to showcase four new, rarely or never before performed one act plays. Playwrights may submit original works to the competition during the winter months. From a selection of over sixty submissions from playwrights all over the nation, the four best plays are chosen and fully staged and performed. This year the four shows which will receive the world premiere productions include Mama's Almost Birthday, by Lily Rusek, Ethel, by Seth Freeman, Plumber's Butt, by Jay Huling and Shimmer, by Tess Light. After the performance, audience members are asked to vote for their favorite show and the winner and runner-ups are announced after the final performance. The New Voice Play Festival runs one weekend only, June 20 and 21 at 8:00 and June 22 at 2:30 PM. For more information about the New Voice Play Festival or other upcoming performances at the Old Opera House, please visit

Photo Credit: CATF Media Gallery, 2013 and the West Virginia Public Theater

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Johnna Leary Johnna Leary is a vocal performance musical theatre major at Shepherd University. She is the Arts and Styles Section Editor of the Shepherd University newspaper, The Picket. She previously wrote for The Brooke Scene as a student news correspondent and interned at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Johnna frequently performs in educational and local theater productions. Her favorite roles include Johanna (u/s) and Young Lucy in Sweeney Todd at Shepherd, Isabel in Scrooge! The Musical and Mallory/Avril in City of Angels at the Old Opera House, Amy March in Little Women at the Apollo Civic Theater and Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Lily St. Regis in Annie at the Washington County Playhouse. Johnna is also active in many performing organizations, serving as secretary for Scene Stealers, the student-run musical theatre performance group and a member of the Vocal Jazz Octet, Women's Camerata, Masterworks Chorale and Sigma Alpha Iota at Shepherd University.

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