Peggy McKowen’s association with CATF began in 2006, when she designed the costumes for Mr. Marmalade and Jazzland. As her time with the festival continued, she designed costumes for: Antonio’s Song: I was dreaming of a son, The Welcome Guest, The Wedding Gift, Not Medea, Everything You Touch, 1001, H2O, and Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah; and scenery for From Prague, Wrecks, and Gidion’s Knot.
In 2007, Peggy joined the full-time staff as the Associate Producing Director. Since then, she has produced new works by: Johnna Adams, Christina Anderson, Lee Blessing, Angelica Chéri, Kara Lee Corthron, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Lydia R. Diamond, Steven Dietz, Richard Dresser, Charles Fuller, Keith Glover, Allison Gregory, Barbara Hammond, Chisa Hutchinson, Dael Orlandersmith, J.T. Rogers, Antonio Edwards Suarez, Lucy Thurber, Michael Weller, Beau Willimon, Bess Wohl, and others.
Peggy strengthened CATF’s educational and outreach programming. She created new initiatives to increase and sustain the attendance of young audience members including Hostel YOUTH! for high school students and CATF/U for college students, and also reimagined the festival’s internship experience for emerging professionals.
Prior to joining the festival, Peggy was the resident designer for the Obie-award-winning Jean Cocteau Repertory in NY and the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. Her regional theater work has been seen at Arkansas Repertory Theatre; Barrington Stage; Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Tennessee Repertory Theatre; Texas, Dallas, and Houston Shakespeare Festivals; and Perseverance Theater. International theater work includes the B.A.T. Studio Theatre (Berlin, Germany); the Teatro Alfa Real (Sao Paulo, Brazil); and the E.T.A. Hoffmann Theatre (Bamberg, Germany). Peggy designed the first full-length English-speaking production of The Tempest in Beijing, China and the first Mandarin translation of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying for the Seven Stages Production Company in Beijing.
Peggy holds an MFA from the University of Texas (Austin), and has taught theater and humanities at Shepherd University, Dickinson College, Dickinson College/London/Rome, and West Virginia University, where she was Chair of the Division of Theatre and Dance for five years and received the Outstanding Creative/Scholarship and Teaching Award several times throughout her tenure. Peggy played a significant role in creating Shepherd University’s theater major – a B.A. in Contemporary Theater Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater.