American Shakespeare Center announces 2017/18 Artistic Year

American Shakespeare Center Artistic Director Jim Warren announced the titles for the ASC 2017/18 Artistic Year at the opening night celebration of The Merchant of Venice on Saturday, January 14.

The 2017/18 Artistic Year runs June 2017 through June 2018 at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton and all over the United States with the 2017/18 Wicked Folly Tour.

The line-up will include 15 productions presented over 12 months in 4 separate repertory seasons, offering the largest number of plays per year by Shakespeare and Early Modern playwrights using Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions of any theatre in the world.

The 2017/18 Artistic Year features seven plays by William Shakespeare:
• Much Ado about Nothing
• Love’s Labour’s Lost
• The Fall of King Henry (Henry VI, Part 3)
• Macbeth
• The Taming of the Shrew
• Hamlet
• The Life and Death of Richard II

Also included are the Tony Award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher, a world-premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility tailored for the Blackfriars and ASC on Tour, a contemporary thriller about Shakespeare’s company Equivocation, the Restoration comedy The Way of the World by William Congreve, and two plays that nod to Hamlet: Antonio’s Revenge by John Marston, and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The first five of these six non-Shakespeare plays are Blackfriars premieres.

Holiday favorite A Christmas Carol returns to the Blackfriars Playhouse in December for its seventeenth annual production. It is joined in repertory by the family-friendly Every Christmas Carol Ever Told (And Then Some!) in its Blackfriars Playhouse debut.

“Our patrons can see more Shakespeare and Early Modern plays right here in Virginia than anywhere else on the planet,” said ASC Artistic Director Jim Warren. “In the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, we perform every month of the year in true repertory using Shakespeare’s staging conditions that bring out the fun, excitement, and heartbreak in the greatest plays ever written. And when we do modern plays, we also always use Shakespeare’s staging conditions, showing all who see us that going back to the future is the cutting edge of live theatre in the twenty-first century.”

All productions will be presented in the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA, “one of the most historically important theatres in the world,” according to British scholar Andrew Gurr. The 2017/18 Wicked Folly Tour will also take three productions (Macbeth, Sense and Sensibility, and The Taming of the Shrew) across the country to performing arts centers and universities.

Believing that Shakespeare’s stagecraft is as important as his wordcraft, the American Shakespeare Center has developed its own modern performance style based on how Shakespeare’s company performed plays at the original Globe and Blackfriars Playhouses in Renaissance London, an approach that the Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout calls “first rate theatre.”

Dubbed “shamelessly entertaining” by the Washington Post, ASC style includes having the audience and performers share the same light, seating the audience all around the stage and even on the stage itself, and having actors interact with audience members during the performance.

Subscription packages will be on sale in February and single tickets go on sale on April 15. More information is available online at, from the Blackfriars Playhouse Box Office by phone at 1.877.MUCH.ADO (682-4236), or in person at 10 S. Market Street in downtown Staunton. through June 2015.