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The American Shakespeare Center, Staunton

blackfriars-1“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” –William Shakespeare

One can hardly think of theatre without the Bard himself coming to mind, and if you’ve ever seen a Shakespearean play, you know each production of a treat. Whether you prefer drama or comedy, Shakespeare has a play for you, and furthermore, you have the opportunity of enjoying his works right here in the Shenandoah Valley.

The American Shakespeare Center (also called the Blackfriars Playhouse) in Staunton, Virginia is the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre. Not only do they re-create these Elizabethan productions, but they also carry on certain traditions of the time as well. For example, the lights remain on during the entire performance, and you won’t find any extravagant special effects to distract from the storyline.

Right now, the Blackfriars is offering performances of five fantastic shows right now—The Tempest, Measure for Measure, The Sea Voyage, Women Beware Women, and Love for Love.

The Tempest: “Shakespeare’s final solo play is a moving fairy tale, a wondrous magic show, and a farewell to the stage that still defines our humanity.(

Measure for Measure: “An unblinking look into the way humanity confuses lust and love, goodness and self-righteousness, Measure for Measure explores who sins most in a congregation of murderers, pimps, politicians, whores, nuns, and nobles.” (

The Sea Voyage: “Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Fletcher and Massinger’s homage throws French pirates, Portuguese castaways, and a society of Amazonian women together on a New World island” (

Women Beware Women: “Family betrayals, romantic infidelities, and false friendships abound in Women Beware Women, where the ladies of the Florentine court must play to win in a deliciously wicked game of lewdness and lies or else risk the ultimate loss, their lives. Middleton’s searingly wicked play is as provocative now as it must have been 400 years ago” (

Love for Love: “In William Congreve’s witty farce, love and money square off as two brothers attempt to follow their hearts without losing their inheritance” (

Find yourself nearby B&B lodging, and indulge in a fantastic theatrical experience.

5 Things to Enjoy in Lexington, Virginia


With its rich history, its downtown activities, and its proximity to the some of the natural wonders of Virginia, Lexington, VA is the ideal option for a getaway. Keep reading for 5 of our favorite things to enjoy in this Shenandoah Valley town:

  1. A Stay at a BBHSV Inn: Of course the first activity on our list has to be a stay at our two Lexington-based B&Bs! Visit a B&B at Llewellyn Lodge for a quiet stay only a short walk to Main Street activities. Escape to the hillside just outside of downtown at Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast.
  2. A Visit to the Historic Site: Whether you’re touring the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Lee Chapel and Museum, the George C. Marshall Museum, or the Cyrus McCormick Museum, Lexington, VA is a must-visit for any history buff.
  3. A Show at the Virginia Horse Center: This renowned horse center is perfect for the equestrian lover. Take in the saddlebreds at the Winter Tournament Horse Show, the hunters and jumpers at the Stonewall Country Horse Show I, or the stadium and cross country jumps in the Virginia Jumper Derby.
  4. A Growler at a Local Brewery: Sip and savor a Chocolate Coffee Stout, a Strong Irish Red Ale, or a Green Chile Ale at Blue Lab Brewing Company. Take a swig or two of Vienna Lager, Schwartz Bier, or Striped Pass Pale Ale at Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery and Tap Room.
  5. A Local Event: From Mardis Gras festivities to plays and exhibitions, there is also something happening in Lexington (even in mid-winter!). Click here for more information about upcoming events.

Banana Cream Pancakes from Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites

SONY DSCPancakes Ingredients:
3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Butter (for cooking)

Banana Cream Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup apple juice
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

Pancakes Directions:

Whisk buttermilk and yolks in large bowl. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Whisk flower mixture into buttermilk mixture. Beat whites in medium bowl until stiff, but not dry. Fold whites into batter.

Pour about 1/2 cup batter on skillet that has been heated and brushed with butter. Arrange banana slices on top of pancakes in a single layer (about 8 slices per pancake). Cook in usual fashion. Serve with Banana Cream and Maple Syrup.

Banana Cream Directions:

Combine bananas, apple juice, powdered sugar and lemon juice in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until bananas are very soft, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bananas to food processor. Add 1/3 cup cooking liquid (discard remaining liquid). Puree until smooth. Chill until cold. Whip the cream and fold into banana puree.

Eat and enjoy! Thanks to Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast Suites for this recipe.