Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley has announced the name of the new theater in the second phase of the Center for Contemporary Arts. The 180-seat theater and multipurpose venue will be called the Stanley C. and Shirley A. Marinoff Theater when it opens later this spring. This naming opportunity is in recognition of a recent legacy endowment contribution to the Shepherd University Foundation by Dr. Stanley C. Marinoff, of Shepherdstown and Chevy Chase, Md., and in memory of his late wife Shirley.
The endowment fund is established to support the educational initiatives and artistic programming of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), hosted at Shepherd University since 1991. There has been a Marinoff on the CATF Board for the past 22 years: Shirley Marinoff was an original trustee of the theater festival and Dr. Marinoff currently serves on its board; their daughter, Allison Marinoff Carle, finished her mother's board term after Shirley's passing in 1996 and is currently on the festival's honorary board.
"The Stanley C. and Shirley A. Marinoff Theater is the centerpiece of Shepherd's newest academic and creative arts venue," said President Shipley, "and I look forward to enjoying many outstanding student and CATF productions there with the Marinoff family. Endowment gifts to the Shepherd Foundation serve as the backbone to the long-term growth and future of the University. We are grateful to Dr. Marinoff for his ongoing support of our campus community."
In a private announcement with the CATF board, Dr. Marinoff spoke about the value and impact the arts have in the lives of local residents and Shepherd students. "CATF's partnership with Shepherd remains paramount to my support as both education and the arts share a mutual mission of opening minds and inspiring critical thinking. This organization and university are pillars for the continued vibrancy of Shepherdstown. With this gift, I know that future CATF seasons and University students will be supported-in perpetuity-by our family."
Dr. Marinoff is originally from Philadelphia, Pa., where he and Shirley met. They came to the Washington area in 1973 where he was a practicing physician for over 30 years. They built a home in Shepherdstown the same year as CATF's inaugural season and became early supporters and advocates of the theater festival.
"The Marinoff family understood our dream to create a home for new American theater," said CATF Producing Director Ed Herendeen. "They embraced our imagination and creativity and the power of storytelling. They embraced the value of educating Shepherd University students through the arts. Their legacy gift will invigorate and inspire generations of future students and artists. I am humbled by their generosity."
The Marinoff Theater will feature its first professional productions this summer as part of the 23rd season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, July 5-28, 2013 (www.catf.org).