Program areas at ASC
Situated in the heart of the shenandoah valley, the American Shakespeare Center's blackfriars playhouse has delighted hundreds of thousands of audience members from all over the world.the original blackfriarsshakespeare's blackfriars theatre was originally a 13th century monastery. Henry viii dissolved the monastery in 1538 when he removed the catholic church from england. The monastery's numerous buildings and gardens were divided up and sold off to private interests.james burbage purchased the property from the estate of thomas cawarden in 1596 and converted it into a playhouse. Shakespeare's company began performing there in 1608, charging twelve times as much for tickets to the indoor theatre as they did for the outdoor.the original blackfriars burned in the 1666 great fire of london.constructiona product of years of research, the blackfriars playhouse was built in 2001 at a total construction cost of $3.7 million. It was designed by the late richmond architect tom mclaughlin. Former Shakespeare's globe director of research andrew gurr and the late c. walter hodges, illustrator of the globe, advised the work.todaythe blackfriars playhouse is open year-round for performances of Shakespeare's plays and contemporary works in productions hailed by the Washington post as "shamelessly entertaining." Even during the 2020 pandemic, American Shakespeare Center was able to safely produce both online and for live audiences. Terry teachout of the wall street journal declared that American Shakespeare Center's was "among the most ambitious responses to the coronavirus."
In study: classroom and beyondcamp - in the last two decades, our immersive theatre camp has welcomed more than 1,200 teens to staunton for our two 3-week sessions.teacher training - we've trained hundreds of teachers to cure "shakesfear" through our quarterly teacher seminars.corporate training - our corporate leadership program provides insights into leadership and collaboration by exploring how Shakespeare's text reveals the arts of persuasion, spoken and unspoken.student workshops - led by experts at home or on the road, our workshops cover everything from stage combat to unraveling Shakespeare's text.consortium - our collegiate consortium strengthens the study of Shakespeare nationwide through a mutual exchange of study and performance.archives - students and scholars can mine our 30 years of production history-- online, at Washington & lee university, and at the blackfriars playhouse.
On tour: Maine to texaswe have brought Shakespeare to more than 500 venues across the u.s. Since 1988. Our tour reaches upwards of 20,000 patrons each year. We begin in september each year traveling from Virginia to Maine before returning to staunton in november, where the troupe performs in our holiday season. In january, our touring troupe travels to Texas and back before their triumphant return to staunton for the spring season.