Mary Baldwin AND THE AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER’S THRIVING PARTNERSHIP
Just steps away from the MBU campus stands the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse, home of the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) — S&P’s partner. The painstakingly crafted, oak-paneled theatre serves as a second home and a shared laboratory for S&P students, and the many resources of ASC provide ample opportunity for collaboration and invention.
The Blackfriars stage creates an unparalleled feeling built upon the collective experience of the live moment — between fellow audience members, audience and player, teacher and student, speaker and listener. ASC preserves Shakespearean staging conditions, without sets and with the lights up, which highlight this sense of community. Both ASC and S&P are dedicated to invigorating the language and theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries for modern audiences.
This ideal partnership puts students at the forefront of the field and connects them to a vibrant global network of Shakespearean scholarship and artistry.
Both ASC and S&P are dedicated to invigorating the language and theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries for modern audiences. This relationship puts students at the forefront of the field and connects them to a vibrant global network of Shakespearean scholarship and artistry.
On the broad stage surrounded by intricate woodwork, S&P students hone their acting, directing, costuming, and speaking skills while keeping Renaissance plays fresh and accessible to modern audiences. In addition, the playhouse is a destination for world-renowned Shakespearean scholars and theatre experts, who converge in Staunton every other fall for the weeklong Blackfriars Conference.
American Shakespeare Center at a Glance
- Founded in 1988; training teachers of Shakespeare since 1992
- Professional resident company and separate road troupe with an annual four-play repertory
- Touring troupe is America’s most traveled Shakespeare company: 47 states and five countries to date
- During the Actors’ Renaissance Season, veteran ASC actors mount full-length productions in a matter of days, striving to reproduce the energy and excitement of Renaissance theatre
- Extensive educational outreach with workshops and seminars for teens, teachers, and scholars, including the annual American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp.