MAD by Sarah Bierstock to be Read at the Inaugural Fall Reading Series of The Contemporary American Theater Festival

The Contemporary American Theater Festival will be presenting its inaugural Fall Reading Series. For over thirty years, the professional new play festival held performances in July. This is the first time the festival will offer programming outside of its traditional summer season.

Peggy McKowen, appointed as the festival’s Producing Artistic Director last year, selected the plays. “I was looking for plays that felt fresh – exploring themes and styles CATF has not recently produced.”

Sarah Bierstock

The plays produced in the Fall Reading Series are under consideration for CATF’s 2023 July season, which will be McKowen’s first season of curating the festival’s summer repertory.

The plays in the Fall Reading Series are: Spiritus/ Virgil’s Dance by Dael Orlandersmith; Our Shrinking Shrinking World by Richard Dresser; MAD by Sarah Bierstock; Your Name Means Dream by José Rivera; and Lavender Men by Roger Q. Mason

“These plays have some laughs, something we all need right now. But, they also have a strong sense of purpose about life,” said McKowen.

Readings will take place between October 21 and November 5 and will take place at the Marinoff Theater on the campus of Shepherd University, which hosts CATF, and at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, WV.

Audience members can determine their own admission price, with a suggested amount of $10.

For the full schedule, to make reservations, and for more information about the Contemporary American Theater Festival’s Fall Reading Series, visit CATF online at