CATF's Herendeen Inducted Into College Of Fellows
On April 20th Ed Herendeen, the Founder and Producing Director of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the John F. Kennedy Center Awards. This membership is a result of Herendeen's lifetime contributions to American theater and adhering to the Festival's mission of "producing and developing new American theater." Formed in 1965, the College of Fellows touts their membership is "an honorary society of outstanding theatre educators and professional theatre practitioners." Herendeen is one of only seven theater artists to be inducted this year.
Upon receiving this recognition, Herendeen shares that he is "humbled to be inducted to such a notable and prestigious group of artists. My purpose has always been to share stories that challenge and provoke audience and artists alike. I'm honored that the College of Fellows of the American Theatre see value in this charge and the mission of the Contemporary American Theater Festival."
David Leong nominated Herendeen for membership. A well-respected theater academic, professional theater artist, and Certified Fight Master of the Society of American Fight Directors, Leong professes "Ed is one of the most important artists in the field. He has given birth to the playwrights of tomorrow by helping emerging artists establish their voices, while supporting established writers with their new projects." Leong concludes with, "On a personal note, I hope this honor will continue to propel the Contemporary American Theater Festival to the next level of national stature."
Before founding the Contemporary American Theater Festival, Herendeen directed at regional theaters throughout the country including: The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Missouri Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, The Lyceum Theatre, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 1991, he moved to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to found the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University, with the mission to produce and develop new American theater.
Under Herendeen's leadership, the Festival has grown to producing six new plays in rotating repertory throughout the month of July. Patrons from 38 states and the District of Columbia, as well as patrons from Canada and across Europe, regularly attend the Festival. Inclusive of the 2019 season, CATF has produced over 133 new plays, including 56 world premieres, and 11 commissions. Many of the plays originally produced at CATF have gone onto have robust lives at regional theaters across the country, productions on and Off-Broadway, and adapted into films. As part of the 2019 Festival, Herendeen is directing the world premieres of My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort and A Welcome Guest: A Psychotic Fairy Tale by Michael Weller.
Upon reflection of his induction into one of the greatest societies for theater educators and professionals Herendeen states, "I owe this recognition of the hundreds of dedicated and talented company members of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, all of the artists who have come to Shepherdstown to create bold, new plays in the past 29 years. I thank you for all of the work that you have done not only in Shepherdstown, but across your careers to ensure American theater thrives."
The 2019 Season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival runs July 5-28. The plays include: My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort (world premiere); Chester Bailey by Joseph Dougherty; Support Group for Men by Ellen Fairey; Wrecked by Greg Kalleres (world premiere); Antonio's Song / I was dreaming of a son by Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez (world premiere); and A Welcome Guest: A Psychotic Fairy Tale by Michael Weller (CATF commission and world premiere).
For more information about Ed Herendeen and the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University, visit CATF online at www.CATF.org. Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 800.999.CATF (2283).
For more information about the College of Fellows of the American Theatre visit www.thecollegeoffellows.org.
Photo by David Leong