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Rousuck's Review: Contemporary American Theater Festival

Seth Freeman

It's Thursday, and theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us for another of her weekly reviews of the regional stage.  Today,  she spotlights the six plays being presented in rotating repertory at this year's Contemporary American Theater Festival, a showcase for important new work held annually since 1991 on the campus of Shepherd University in historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia. 

The six plays at this year's Festival are: 

My Lord What a Night by Deborah Brevoort, an account of the real-life friendship struck up on a fateful evening in 1937 between two legendary icons: singer Marian Anderson and Princeton astrophysicist Albert Einstein;  Support Group for Mena play by Ellen Fairey about the changing definitions of male identity; A Welcome Guest by Michael Weller, another world premiere commissioned for this year's Contemporary American Theater Festival -- and directed by Festival founder Ed Herendeen -- that explores intolerance, insanity and how much we have in common with our enemies; Wreckedplaywright Greg Kalleres's tale of the isolating power of guilt; Chester Baileya play by Joseph Dougherty about the resilience of the human mind; and Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son, a semi-autobiographical narrative that challenges stereotypes of manhood, race and fatherhood, written by Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez. Mr. Suarez also performs solo in the play's title role.

The 29th annual Contemporary American Theater Festival continues at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, through Sunday, July 28th.  For information about the Festival schedule and tickets, click here.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.