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Shepherd University Archives-- Reading Room Displays: Reading Room Display Summer 2021-Theater

Display Title

STAGECRAFT: Theater at Shepherd 1898-2021


1898-Greek and Latin classes performed Iphigenia as part of an evening's entertainment

1906-Elocution Department becomes a formal department of Shepherd College

1910's-1920's--Plays are performed by organizations and produced by classes (ex. Juniors), under the general direction of the Head of Elocution Department

1930's-1940's--Alpha Psi Omega (drama fraternity) keeps stagecraft going

1950's-1970's- Dr. Vera Malton creates a Drama Department; she and Mr. Wade Banks oversee all drama productions on campus

1963--In October, a drama group, The Shepherd Players, forms (Picket, Oct 16)

1981-Dr. Guy Frank and Dr. Jones launch 41-day Festival of the Arts to celebrate Contemporary Arts Center opening (this building is now the Frank Center

1991-State grants funds for theater festival (Contemporary American Theater Festival), directed by Ed Herendeen; CATF premieres in this year

2008- Contemporary Arts Center Phase I building dedicated

2021-CATF returns after COVID-19 pandemic causes its cancellation in 2020

*All bold text indicates an item inside the display case represents that time period




Displays from Archives and Special Collections




Shepherd loves performances--has always done so since its earliest days. This term celebrates the drama department from its beginnings until the present day, from portions of evening entertainments to the current Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) season.

From Picket reviews in 1898 to the Contemporary American Theater Festival in the present, see the people and places stagecraft occurred (and still occurs) on campus.

Photos of the Display

Photo of items on the left side of the 2021 Summer Display: an article from 1898 Picket; photos of a small play in the 1906 College catalog; a matted photo of the 1916 Sophomore Class cast of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Left Side of the Display

From the front of the case to the back

  • Review of the play Ipihgenia in the Picket, December 22, 1898
  • "Elocution Department" and photos of play "Jepithat's Daughter" in 1906 college catalog
  • Cast photo of A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1916
  • Photo of play performed in Reynolds Hall (1950)

Right side of the 2021 Summer Display: a dedication program for the Contemporary Arts Building Phase I; a season advertisement (square) for the 1999 Contemporary American Theater Festival season; an articleand pictures in the Picket, the college newspaper, of a play given in 1981 during the "Festival of the Arts"

Right Side of the Display

From the back of the case to the front

  • Photo of "Speech and Drama" faculty (1970 yearbook)
  • Photos and blurb about a play given during "Festival of the Arts in the Picket (April 10, 1981)
  • Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) advertisement (square) for the 1999 Season
  • Dedication Program for Contemporary Arts Center Phase I in 2008
  • First page of  CATF 2021 Season program (PDF)

Center pf the 2021 Summer Display: Title and sources page; open book of play's script from the opening season of Contemporary American Theater Festival; a photo of a play produced in 1950, held in Reynolds Hall; a photo of "Speech and Drama" faculty in the 1970 college yearbook (back of case); first page of the 2021 Season CATF program (front of case)

Center of the Display

From front of the case to the back

  • Display title and sources
  • First page of Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) 2021 Season program (PDF)
  • CATF 1991 Season scripts, open to a random page
  • Photo of play performed in Reynolds Hall (1950)
  • Photo of "Speech and Drama" faculty (1970 yearbook)

Photo of Display Title and Sources Used in Creating the display

Display Title and Sources

All photographs of the display were taken by Ms. Jess Roberts


CATF, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, begun by Ed Herendeen in 1991, has been a July event for years, only halted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The home page has a wide range of information and presentations, including a new section of video programs called "Unmuted Library"  that explore topics that have been shared in contemporary theater.

Rude Mechanicals

The Rude Mechanicals is a Shepherd University drama group that focuses on ancient, medieval and Renaissance plays.  This drama group is part of the English and Modern Languages Department. The group's faculty advisor is Dr. Ellzey.

 The Rude Mechanicals home page