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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.


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!

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.

Ralph Connelly

Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017

We saw Peter and the Starcatcher. The best live performance I've seen in years. The intimate environment allowed the highly talented cast to draw the audience into the action on the stage. Wonderful actors. Engaging plot line. Great fun. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Ben Van Rooy

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017

Even though Steven King wrote many of the "Shakespearean" plays, this place was good despite its incorrect name. By the reptilians! Their play about there being much ado about nothing was good, and it taught me much about the post modern culture of Stephen King's alien world of "Italy". Me and my FeLlOw petrol monkeys (otherwise known as humans) unanimously found the snacks and service great. sanctify this place, that is is of the reptilian favor it of course.

Masiel Dubois

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

A few weeks ago I went on a field trip to see a Peter Pan play at the ASC. It was AMAZING! The actors were so good at the job and so kind afterward. The theatre is beautiful and clean. The only thing is you can’t take pictures of the plays, but it’s understandable. I definitely recommend going to see a play at the ASC.

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