CATF announces the return of Company Manager Nicole M. Smith

Shepherdstown, W. VA: The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) at Shepherd University, dedicated to producing and developing new American theater, welcomes Nicole M. Smith, as the full-time Company Manager. Smith served as CATF’s seasonal Company Manager from 2012 to 2014, before accepting a position at the notable Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. For Smith, returning to CATF is akin to returning home.

Well experienced in both stage and company management, Smith has worked with reputable and respected companies such as Arizona Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, The Juilliard School, and Theatreworks USA. With her academic training and professional experience, Smith professes “nothing compares to the work produced at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. The Festival’s plays are groundbreaking and extraordinary. I am greatly looking forward to my fourth summer supporting new plays and all of the astounding people CATF brings together.”

Smith continues, “I vividly remember each summer I spent in Shepherdstown working with some of the most extraordinary artists on riveting new plays. I have never felt so connected to the work happening on the stage.”

Ed Herendeen, Founder and Producing Director of CATF is “deeply touched that Nicole is returning to her artistic home at the Contemporary American Theater Festival.” Herendeen reminisces on Smith’s previous contributions to the Festival. “I feel very proud that Nicole continued her career at the prestigious Oregon Shakespeare Festival. And I am even happier that she is returning home to CATF and Shepherdstown.”

With the edition of Smith to the full-time staff, CATF grows from six employees to a team of 140 company members, who come together to produce six new plays in rotating repertory. Smith and the company management team are responsible for the transportation, lodging, and hospitality of the company, in addition to coordinating and executing Festival events.

The 28th Season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival will run July 6-29 with Pay-What-You-Can Previews July 1-5. Tickets may be purchased online at or through the box office by calling 800-999-CATF (2283).

The 2018 Festival line up is: The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter and the world premieres of Berta, Berta by Angelica Chéri; Memoirs of a Forgotten Man by D.W. Gregory; Thirst by C.A. Johnson; A Late Morning (in America) with Ronald Reagan by Michael Weller; and The House on the Hill by Amy E. Witting.