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“A talented troupe in a charming venue”

American Shakespeare Center
Ranked #1 of 37 things to do in Staunton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Blackfriars Playhouse is the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre. "Stunning", says Frommer's. Located in historic downtown Staunton, VA, this 300-seat Renaissance theatre offers productions of Shakespeare and classic plays year round that the Washington Post says are "shamelessly entertaining" and the Boston Globe says are "phenomenal...bursting with energy”.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 25, 2013

The American Shakespeare Center, modeled after the original Blackfriar's theater, is a must see for drama enthusiasts, Shakespeare aficionados, and those who simply enjoy a good show.

The theater itself is charming...an all wooden construction with tiered bench seating, (cushions & back supports are available for a fee), on-stage seating, and a marvelous balcony.

The troupe of actors are talented and versatile. I've seen the same actor play Brutus in Julius Caesar, Claudius in Hamlet, and the Merchant in the Merchant of Venice, in addition to smaller roles. He and his fellow actors never cease to delight and impress. Students of Shakespeare will appreciate the nuances and vivacity brought to the plays, and those entirely unfamiliar with the Bard, will nonetheless be able to follow along; the actors aptly convey the ideas behind the unfamiliar Elizabethan language.

Given the length of the plays, and the often bawdy content, this attraction is probably best for groups of friends, couples, individuals, or families with teenagers.

Thank TNTinVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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505 - 509 of 748 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2013

Our first visit - so we took the tour in the morning - which provided good background for a visit in the evening for a "pay as you wish" performance of "Return to the Hidden Planet", a Tempest spoof/50's-60's rock musical and more. The description sounded unconventional - but it worked beautifully! The high energy level of the actors and their surprisingly strong singing voices of songs of our generation combined to make this a night to remember. The theater is intimate and such an ideal size that the actors need no mikes - the acoustics seem perfect. We will certainly return. Our only regret is that we had to leave to return to work and just missed "Romeo and Juliet".

Thank ChesapeakeBayMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Beautiful theater recreating one of Shakespeare's originals in England. Excellent performances - we saw three in two days. Actors were amazing. Small theater so every seat in the house is a good one. Will return often.

Thank CATXVAchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

I attend plays at the Blackfriars Theatre every time I visit Staunton. Indeed, it's the reason I go to Staunton at all. Top quality professional productions in an intimate theater with great acoustics. Friendly staff and actors (who you'll see around town after the show). Wonderful educational offerings like their summer Shakespeare camps (my daughter attended for 3 years). The plays (Shakespeare and his contemporaries, plus a smattering of more recent plays and Christmas offerings) are always a lot of fun.

Thank Margaret R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

Best Shakespeare performance I've ever seen. I will admit that I had seen this play a number of times before, so it was finally getting comprehensible. But the acting was so good - the characterizations, the diction - that I really could follow most everything. And although I've seen several of Shakespeare's comedies, this is the first time I actually laughed out loud. The theater itself, of course, is wonderful and intimate, but the troupe of actors really is the highlight. They brought this show to life.

1  Thank Pax G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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