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American Shakespeare Center/Blackfriars Playhouse

10 S. Market Street


The American Shakespeare Center recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare's theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education.

Who We Are

The American Shakespeare Center -- through its performances, theatres, exhibitions, and educational programs -- seeks to make Shakespeare, the joys of theatre and language, and the communal experience of the Renaissance stage accessible to all. By re-creating Renaissance conditions of performance, the ASC explores its repertory of plays for a better understanding of these great works and of the human theatrical enterprise past, present, and future.

Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, Virginia

In our hometown of Staunton, Virginia, the ASC has constructed a re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse, and also has plans to build an open-air re-creation of London's second Globe Theatre, which was built in 1614 after the original 1599 structure burned to the ground. By following the basic principles of Renaissance theatrical production, we give our audiences some of the pleasures that an Elizabethan playgoer would have enjoyed.


Lynn Gilbert

Saturday, April 28, 2018
These performances NEVER disappoint. I have seen a dozen. The acting is so all in, so engaging, even if you have no idea what they are saying, you can generally follow the story. The actors are that good at conveying meaning with phrasing, expression, and gesture. Take in a comedy and delight in the humor that has withstood the centuries and still delights us today. Every seat offers a good view. Stretch your comfort zone and try the Gallant’s Stools on stage for a truly memorable experience. Be sure to arrive early for the playful, energetic musical performance.

Daniel P.

Monday, July 2, 2018
Came to watch sense and sensibility. What a great play. The crew is extremely energized and love what they do. The actors even sing prior to the play with their amazing voices. So much talent in on place!

christie hoover

Thursday, March 8, 2018
I don't know how I've lived in Virginia for 33 years and this was my first visit. We saw Hamlet and the company had me fully engaged from the welcome to the bows. I loved the natural setting with lights on in the house so the actors make eye contact with audience members (no third wall here). And Josh Innerst was simply amazing. I don't know how he would ever have the energy to do two shows in one day. Go!

Laura Knisely

Friday, March 30, 2018
We drove over 7 hours just to see the production of Hamlet. We are so glad we did. It was certainly well-done.

Viki Gossen

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018
A one of a kind playhouse worth going out of your way to see, but it's in a cool town so spend some time there if you can and see a fantastic play! Be there early as the entertainment before the play is a highlight. We go once or twice a year.

American Shakespeare Center/Blackfriars Playhouse is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media