Features four students from the University of Iowa’s Theater program, under the direction of CATF alum Anne Marie Nest

Shepherdstown, West Virginia: The Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University (CATF) has announced its Acting Apprentice showcase, entitled “Dry Land,” which is free and open to the public. The acting apprentices are Molly Brown, Allyson Jean Malandra, Keyla McClure and Adam H. Phillips, all of whom have lead roles in the production. “Dry Land,” written by Ruby Rae Spiegel, is directed by Anne Marie Nest. The apprentices also appear in three of CATF’s Main Stage shows: On Clover Road, Everything YouTouch and WE ARE PUSSY RIOT.

The Iowa-CATF Acting Apprenticeship is a brand-new partnership led by University of Iowa Professor Anne Marie Nest, who has appeared in several of the Festival’s productions throughout the years. The program—funded by the University of Iowa, as well as donations from Chris Bavolack and Martha Huelsbeck—is an exclusive arrangement between the Festival and the University of Iowa’s Department of Theatre Arts.

Commenting on the program, Nest stated that, “This exclusive partnership offers University of Iowa undergraduate and graduate theater students the opportunity to gain professional experience with some of the leading directors, playwrights, and actors from around the country… acting and understudying in the Festival gives young actors the opportunity to hone their craft.”

Producing Director Ed Herendeen said, “We’re pleased to work with these talented up-and-coming actors. Having them participate in our shows aids our casting process. It also allows them to see what it’s like to create this type of theater in a professional setting. These students are the next generation’s theater artists, and we’re happy to have a hand in sculpting their work ethic and aesthetic.”

“Dry Land” is set in the locker room of a high school swimming team and the narrow hallway of a college dorm.  The characters—Amy (Malandra), Esther (McClure), Reba (Brown) and Victor (Phillips)—struggle with the messiness of youth. They find themselves adrift in a sea of misinformation, loneliness and unexpected humor as they attempt to confront the cold, harsh realities of life and make sense of their surroundings.

“Dry Land” will be performed in CCA I/Studio 112 (92 West Campus Drive) Fridays at 2 pm on the following dates: July 17, July 23 and July 30. Admission is free but tickets are required.

To reserve tickets for “Dry Land,” and for more information about the 2015 season, visit or call 800/999-CATF. Social media connections (#catf) can be made at and