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.