American Shakespeare Center

Staunton, VA
American Shakespeare Center logo

The American Shakespeare Center was founded in 1988 as a professional traveling troupe, the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express. In 1999 the company settled in Staunton, Virginia to create an energetic hub of theater, scholarship, and education. They adopted their current name in 2005 to better reflect their mission: to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare's theater, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The company is home to resident and traveling troupes, distinctive education programs, and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre. The American Shakespeare Center produces a rotating repertoire of 14-17 plays that run 12 months a year in the 300-seat playhouse. Their traveling troupe is on the road six months a year, performing and providing educational workshops in performing arts centers, high schools, community centers, and colleges throughout the United States. Through the use of some of Shakespeare's original staging conventions - including universal lighting, minimal sets, a brisk pace, and a deep attention to the language - the company creates a distinctive connection to, and relationship with, audiences of every age.

American Shakespeare Center will present student matinees of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Henry V, The Tempest, and The Winter's Tale. The company will provide related educational activities, including workshops, residencies, and a study guide. They anticipate reaching 235 schools in District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.