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

Opposite of many summer stock seasons offering Golden Age musicals and classic plays, theaters in West Virginia this summer will offer many new, thought-provoking premieres, modern twists on classic works of theater and contemporary musicals in some of the state's professional theaters. Listed below are four of the top picks for live theater shows this summer, but these are only a small offering of the many fantastic performances and live theater seasons occurring in West Virginia.

Contemporary American Theater Festival

Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV

The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) company will debut a unique mix of new and thought-provoking plays with some basis in classic theater and history 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 8-31 and festival patrons would be able to see all five plays in the span of a two day visit. The five productions this year include Not Medea, The Wedding Gift, 20th Century Blues, pen/man/ship and The Second Girl.

In addition to the five plays, festival patrons can also attend free staged readings of plays in consideration for the 2017 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. In addition, a new feature this season is the Friday Film series at the Shepherdstown Opera House, every Friday at 2:00 PM. For more information, please visit

West Virginia Public Theater Summer Season

Metropolitan Theater, Morgantown, WV

The New West Virginia Public Theater, in collaboration with the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts, is a professional summer stock theater in Morgantown, West Virginia. Presenting a mix of classic theater and musical comedy this year. the 2016 summer season will open with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, running from June 30 to July 10, followed by a modern twist on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, running from July 7 to July 17. 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 their world premiere productions include Bad Move, Fast Fall, First Do No Harm and Grim Tidings. 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 24, 25 and 26. For more information about the New Voice Play Festival or other upcoming performances at the Old Opera House, please visit

Greenbrier Valley Theater Summer Season

Greenbrier Valley Theater, Lewisburg, WV

Opened in 1966 and known as the "State Professional Theatre of West Virginia", the Greenbrier Valley Theater is the professional theater with a commitment to community involvement. The summer season will open with On Golden Pond from June 17 - July 2, followed by the original musical premiere of Cinderellish by Emmy Award winning composer Arnold Margolin and Weslie Brown. Closing out the season is the county western crowd-pleasing musical Pump Boys and Dinettes. For more information on upcoming performances, please visit

Photo Credit: CATF/Seth Freeman

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