Liz McCormick Published

CATF to Be in New York City in October


The Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown will, for the first time, take one of its world premieres to Off-Broadway in New York City.

In August, CATF finished up its 24th season, but that wasn’t quite the end. To its surprise, the festival was invited to transfer one of this season’s productions to New York City’s Off-Broadway venue, 59E59 Theaters. The play chosen was Uncanny Valley by Thomas Gibbons.

Uncanny Valley is set in the near future and portrays the relationship between Julian, an artificial intelligence being, and Claire, a neuroscientist tasked with teaching him how to become “human.”

This is the first time in the Festival’s 24 year history that it will move one of its Shepherdstown productions as-is to a new venue.

“It’s a really thrilling opportunity,” said Ed Herendeen, the founder and producing director of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, “You know we’ve had several of our plays produced in New York…and several of our plays have been produced around the country at regional theaters, but this is the very first time one of our productions will transfer to New York City.”

Herendeen says this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the success of the festival and its location.

“We are passionate about our geography. We really, really believe that place matters, and in many ways, the success of the Contemporary American Theater Festival is directly related to our geography; the eastern panhandle, Shepherdstown, the state of West Virginia. So this is going to give and shine a positive light on our state.”

Uncanny Valley by Thomas Gibbons will be presented in New York City between October 2-26.

To learn more about the play, you can visit the CATF website or watch this teaser trailer from the Contemporary American Theater Festival’s Vimeo page.