Theater News

Casting Announced for the Contemporary American Theater Festival

The festival takes place from July 5-28 in Shepherdstown, WV.

Donja R. Love
Donja R. Love
(© David Gordon)

The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) announces the full casts and creative teams for its 2024 season. This year’s mainstage theater productions are Tornado Tastes Like Aluminum Sting by Harmon dot aut, What Will Happen to All That Beauty? by Donja R. Love, Enough to Let the Light In by Paloma Nozicka, and The Happiest Man on Earth by Mark St. Germain. Since its founding in 1991, CATF has produced over 144 new plays, including 66 world premieres and 11 commissions. This year’s festival will take place from July 5-28 in venues across Shepherdstown.

Tornado Tastes Like Aluminum Sting by Harmon dot aut centers around an autistic, nonbinary teenager with synesthesia, who, as a filmmaker, documents their parents around the house. The cast for this world premiere features Jean Christian Barry (How to Dance in Ohio) as Chantal Buñuel (born Gil Agnew), Roderick Hill (Lestat) as Joseph Agnew, and Jasminn Johnson (Ain’t No Mo) as Sherri Agnew. The production includes direction by Oliver Butler (What the Constitution Means to Me), dramaturgy by Craven Poole, costume design by Ashley Soliman, scenic design by Britton W. Mauk, projections design by Caite Hevner and Paul Lieber, sound design by David Remedios, and lighting design by Kate McGee.

What Will Happen to All That Beauty? by Donja R. Love (One in Two) is presented in two parts and explores questions of legacy, family, and healing against the landscape of the AIDS crisis in the ’80s and its impact on the Black community. The cast features Jude Tibeau as JR Bridges and Manny Bridges; Toni L. Martin as Maxine Bridges; Danté Jeanfelix as Abdul and Elijah; Keith Lee Grant as Troy and Reggie; MJ Rawls as Grace and Eve; John Floyd as Man with Baseball Cap, Eric, and Terrell; Steve McDonagh as Doctor Steinberg and Adam; and Jerome Preston Bates as Reverend Emmanuel Bridges Sr. and Radio Announcer. The production includes direction by Malika Oyetimein, intimacy direction by David Anzuelo, costume design by Nia Safarr Banks, sound design by Stephon Dorsey, scenic design by Luciana Stecconi, and lighting design by Matthew Webb.

Enough to Let the Light In by Paloma Nozicka follows a couple haunted by secrets that begin to emerge as they spend a night together celebrating a milestone. The cast features Caroline Neff (Linda Vista) as Cynthia and Deanna Myers as Marc. The creative team includes direction by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced), intimacy direction by Shura Baryshnikov, scenic design by Mara Ishihara Zinky, costume design by Peggy McKowen, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, and sound design by Christopher Darbassie.

The Happiest Man on Earth by Mark St. Germain is based on the memoir by the same name about the journey of a Holocaust survivor. The one-man play features Kenneth Tigar (Hunters) as Eddie Jaku. The production features direction by Ron Lagomarsino (The Last Night of Ballyhoo), sound design by Brendan Aanes, lighting design by Harold F. Burgess II, scenic design by James Noone, and costume design by Johanna Pan.

In addition to the Festival’s mainstage productions, CATF also hosts over 30 free talktheater events. Click here for more information.