Performing Arts articles

From L: Julian (Alex Podulke) and Claire (Barbara Kingsley).

CATF: Thomas Gibbons’ ‘Uncanny Valley’ is uncannily good

CATF: Thomas Gibbons’ ‘Uncanny Valley’ is uncannily good

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va., July 19, 2014 – Back in the late 1960s, science fiction author Philip K. Dick wrote a novel whose title posed a most interesting question: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In 1982, a script loosely based on Dick’s haunting tale came to life in “Blade Runner,” a now classic science fiction

Daphne Gaines as Simone the Believer.

CATF: ‘Ashes Under Gait City’ and America’s ‘disappeareds’

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., − It’s hard to believe that the Portland, Oregon of today—realistically lampooned for its over-the-top latté liberalism and sanctimonious political correctness in TV’s “Portlandia”—was once part of a state where towns felt free to legally ban blacks from living within their boundaries. Worse, blacks currently residing in these jurisdictions at that time were

Founders Dinner at Stull Residence by Susana Bates

Napa Valley Festival del Sole: A celebration of art and wine

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA, July 18, 2014 – Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole is in full swing, right in the middle of a ten-day celebration of art, music, dance, wellness, cuisine and, of course, wine. Festival del Sole is truly a celebration of life, and the wine country lifestyle meeting the big city arts scene.   Napa

"North of the Boulevard" cast. From L: Trip (Brit Whittle), Bear (Jamil A.C. Mangan), Zee (Michael Goodwin), Larry (Jason Babinsky). (Credit: Seth Freeman)

CATF: Dying middle class, south of ‘North of the Boulevard’

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. VA., July 18, 2014 – It’s a genuine delight to see a play like Bruce Graham’s “North of the Boulevard” on this year’s CATF roster. First debuted last year at Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile, Mr. Graham’s funny but hard-hitting drama deals boldly with that rapidly vanishing breed otherwise known as America’s lower middle class.

Is Nurse Veronika really going to terminate Carolyn? (Credit: Seth Freeman)

CATF’s ‘Dead and Breathing’: A darkly comic Kevorkian riff

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. VA., July 17, 2014 – Chisa Hutchinson’s world premiere dramedy, “Dead and Breathing,” certainly makes you sit up and take notice from its very beginning. It’s a nonstop battle of wits from the opening bell between rich, elderly and terminally ill Carolyn (Lizan Mitchell) and her feisty, impossibly upbeat. nurse-caregiver Veronika (N. L.

Entryway, Contemporary Arts Center, Shepherd University home of CATF. (Via Wikipedia)

CATF 2014: Five new plays, five new reviews this week on CDN

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va., July 14, 2014 – We’ve just finished a frenetic weekend viewing all five of the brand new to nearly new plays at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, an increasingly well-known annual professional theater program held each July at Shepherd University in (relatively) nearby Shepherdstown, West (by God) Virginia. As has been our

Conductor Lorin Maazel: 1930-2014.

Castleton founder, renowned conductor Lorin Maazel dead at 84

PLEASE HOLD FOR FINAL. –tlp CASTLETON, Va., July 14, 2014 − Heartbreaking news struck the Castleton Festival Sunday as the annual musical event began this season’s final week. Internationally renowned Maestro Lorin Maazel, the festival’s founder, director, mentor and chief conductor, passed away from complications due to pneumonia on July 13, 2014. He had not been in

Cio-Cio San (Ekaterina Metlova) and B.F. Pinkerton (Jonathan Burton) in Castleton's "Madama Butterfly.") (Courtesy Castleton Festival)

A fine ‘Madama Butterfly’ continues at the Castleton Festival

CASTLETON, Va., July 9, 2014 – As we indicated earlier, a previously scheduled vacation prevented us from attending the opening night performance of the Castleton Festival’s new production of Puccini’s beloved operatic classic, “Madama Butterfly.” But we made up for that by catching this past Sunday’s performance (July 6 matinee) and were quite impressed by

The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) opens this weekend in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

CATF to open drama season Friday at Shepherd University

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., July 9, 2014 – The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) launches its 24th season Friday, July 11, featuring five new American plays, including three world premieres. This year’s featured playwrights include Christina Anderson, Charles Fuller (1982 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama), Thomas Gibbons, Bruce Graham, and Chisa Hutchinson. Running this year through August