General Manager Joshua Midgett Departs CATF

General Manager Joshua Midgett Departs CATF

While reminiscing on his time in Shepherdstown, Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) General Manager Joshua Midgett professes "I will fondly remember the talented artists, leaders, and friends I've had the chance to work with while living and working in the eastern panhandle."

This statement comes as Midgett prepares to depart the CATF, a nationally known professional theater dedicated to producing and developing new American plays, housed at Shepherd University. As of October 1, he will step down from his current position, which he has held since 2015, to continue his career as the managing director of Alaska's state theater, Perseverance Theatre. This transition is a homecoming for Midgett, as he grew up in Alaska.

Midgett remarks the experience, knowledge, and opportunities he gained at CATF prepared him for his next set of challenges. "While I am sad to be leaving the Shepherdstown family and CATF community, I am excited to return to Alaska and use the tools I've acquired at the Festival to face the numerous challenges and opportunities that await me at Perseverance Theatre."

With Perseverance Theatre's newly created managing director position, Midgett will assume the theater's financial management responsibilities and compliment Art Rotch, the theater's artistic director. Midgett's strategies for strengthening and maintaining the success and financial health of Perseverance include increasing the theater's audience base, reconnecting with community partners, and bolstering contributed income from individual donors.

Ed Herendeen, founder and producing director of the Contemporary American Theater Festival shares he is "so proud of and thankful for the work that Joshua has contributed to this Festival. Over his past four seasons, the Festival has expanded and continued its prominence in the new play industry. Joshua and his ability to think critically and creatively have certainly contributed to the Festival's growth and high profile."

During his time in West Virginia, Midgett has been instrumental in CATF's financial management, contributing to the success of several record-breaking seasons for the new play festival. Midgett has also assisted with the Festival's daily operations, strategic planning, the Festival's growth from five to six plays, and was vital in creating a healthy cash reserve.

Combing his passion and expertise in both financial and performing arts management, Midgett oversaw the CATF's economic impact study. The findings of this study will be released in early 2019 and will demonstrate the direct and indirect fiscal impact experienced by Jefferson County and area businesses as a result of the annual summer theater festival.

When Midgett came on board as CATF's general manager, he became a known community entity by becoming an active member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce board, directing several productions for Shepherd University's Department of Contemporary Art & Theater, and graduating from Leadership Jefferson.

Herendeen has "no doubt that Mr. Midgett's talents will thrive at Perseverance. The entire CATF company and I wish him well on his next adventure and look forward to seeing the extraordinary work he will do at Perseverance."

Housed at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) is dedicated to producing and developing new American theater. Since its founding in 1991 by Ed Herendeen, the Festival has produced 127 new plays, including 52 world premieres and 10 commissions. Each summer, CATF produces six new plays in rotating repertory throughout the month of July. Plays originally produced at the nationally recognized festival have gone onto have robust lives in regional theaters across the country, Off-Broadway, Broadway, and have been adapted into films. CATF is regularly praised in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and American Theatre. For more information, visit the Festival online at

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