American Shakespeare Center gears up for the holidays

american-shakespeare-centerThe American Shakespeare Center is gearing up for its annual Holiday Season with festive, funny, and heartwarming performances that will please both the naughty and the nice. The 2016 Holiday Season continues in the tradition of past seasons featuring performances of A Christmas Carol, The Santaland Diaries, and The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

A Christmas Carol celebrates its fifteenth year of performances at the Blackfriars Playhouse with ASC on Tour’s Andrew Goldwasser donning the top hat this year as Ebenezer Scrooge. The classic tale by Charles Dickens is re-imagined for the Blackfriars Playhouse with new twists, surprises, and a production filled with music and cheer for the whole family. Goldwasser is joined by the troupe of the 2016/17 Hungry Hearts Tour, which returns to Staunton for the Holiday Season after visiting 21 locations on the fall leg of this year’s tour.

The Santaland Diaries has been a staple of the ASC Holiday Season for the past twelve years and will take its final bow (for a while) this year. It is an outrageously funny one-man play from David Sedaris about his experience as an unemployed soap-opera-writer-wanna-be taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City. ASC veteran Chris Johnston slips into the candy-cane tights for the first time in this modern holiday classic.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas is also slated to rotate off the Holiday Season line-up after this year’s production. What happens when Mary sees her fiancée making out with his co-worker on national TV? She dumps him and drop sher engagement ring into a Salvation Army kettle. What follows is a riotous adventure through a year in Mary’s life, offering a hilarious and modern alternative to the old standards of the holiday season. Miriam Donald Burrows returns to the Blackfriars stage for this perfect date- or girls-night  ASC classic.

Performances begin in rotation on November 29 and continue through December 31. Premium level tickets start at $42 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 1.877.MUCH.ADO. Pay-what-you-will performance are November 29 and December 1 for The Santaland Diaries, November 30 and December 3 for The Twelve Dates of Christmas, and December 2, 6, and 7 for  A Christmas Carol. Residents of Staunton, Waynesboro or Augusta County can take advantage of $18 local rush tickets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Student, Senior, Military, and AAA discounts are available.

About the American Shakespeare Center

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., 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. The ASC Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as “shamelessly entertaining” and by The Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy.” Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at