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Shepherd theater festival gets mention in Congressional Record

July 20, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE
  • Ed Herendeen and Lisa Younis accept a framed copy Monday of remarks in the Congressional Record made recently by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Rockefelller praised the 20-year existence of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University. Herendeen is founder and producing director of CATF and Younis is president of the board of trustees.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer,

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Twenty years of producing the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University has netted a mention of congratulations in the Congressional Record.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., cited the festival Monday for its two decades of success in a ceremony at the university.

According to the senator's office, the Congressional Record will note, in part that: "This renowned festival, in partnership with Shepherd University, is an extraordinary event that runs for several weeks each summer, bringing thousands of people to our beautiful state and highlighting Shepherdstown's arts community."

Rockefeller's pronouncement said, "the theater festival continues to produce and develop new American theater that not only examines current events and reflects on national trends but also serves as a haven for contemporary playwrights ... the festival confronts bold and controversial issues to prod the audience and explain new ideas."

The festival "is an incredible outlet for artists and for those of us who simply love the arts ..."

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In 2009, according to festival officials at the time, more than 11,500 patrons bought tickets to the plays. More than 600 filled out surveys saying where they spent money while in the area. Included was $2.1 million on lodging, food, other events, activities, transportation and shopping. In addition, the festival spent $1.1 million on stage materials, supplies and salaries of the actors and 90 employees who worked during the month-long show season.

According to the press release, the average patron spent $132 on top of the price of tickets.

Ed Herendeen of Shepherdstown is the festival's founder and producing director.

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