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“A definite for your 'to do' list!”

American Shakespeare Center
Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Staunton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
“A definite for your 'to do' list!”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

ASC is an amazing place... the actors are top-notch, and every performance we've attended has been fabulous. Mostly Shakespeare plays, but they do put on other productions throughout the year as well (especially at Christmas... i.e. Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' and Sedaris' 'The Santaland Diaries', as well as musical performances and such). They do an excellent job of making their productions extremely accessible for the audience, and there is a lot of audience interaction in each performance. The Blackfriar's Playhouse at ASC was built as an exact replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, and just as Shakespeare did, they 'do it with the lights on'. So no darkness during the shows... and it works. People come from far and wide to attend performances at ASC, and I highly recommend a visit to anyone! (There is an age minimum for most shows, so good to check on this if you are attending with children.) They offer 'pay what you will' preview and opening nights, where you can attend and donate as you like on your way out - versus paying for a ticket ahead of time. You do have to wait in line and aren't guaranteed a certain seat, but it's well worth it if you need a less expensive way to experience the shows. (Or you can of course support the center and put in large donations as well, of course!) ASC is a true gem, and has made Shakespeare fun for me. I love this place and attend performances as often as I'm able - and highly recommend it for everyone else, too!

Visited May 2013
Thank jellykins445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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703 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Seaford, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A hidden gem.”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I have lived in Virginia for over 20 years and only recently heard about the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse. You looking for some exceptional, professional entertainment? Well this is the place. Hidden in quiet Staunton, Virginia is a replica of the original indoor theater built by Shakespeare with a company that rivals the professionalism of any broadway show I've seen and in some cases the comedy of Saturday Night Live.
Take the time and the weekend to visit Staunton, stand in a B&B like the Frederick House and enjoy a wonderful theater event in the heart of Virginia!

Visited September 2013
Thank mcbrains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
90 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

I have been going to the ASC for 4 years and have been entertained 18 times in my quest to see all of Shakespeare's plays. I have never been disappointing, even if the play itself is not the best, the actors make it worth the trip. They are Shakespearean Masters and worth more than they charge. I usually watch a few plays during a trip since I drive 3 hours to get to Staunton, but I have made the trip to and from just for one show. If you have time take the behind the scenes tour.

Visited October 2013
Thank Roonwit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“So Glad to Be Back”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We were delighted to learn that the theatre is playing year round. It had been a summer visit highlight a year ago and the center piece of our visit last month. The interior space is a unique setting that makes for a participatory experience. The cast was wonderfully talented as actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and whatever else the script called for. They have no fear in playing the comedy broadly but can deliver a broad range of emotions with great skill. This theatre has been in business for twenty-five years, no small accomplishment, and they certainly this success during our visits.

Visited September 2013
Thank Cyclingsanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“What a beautiful Theater!”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I went with friends to the American Shakespeare Center to see the one-man show, "Santaland Diaries", by David Sedaris. The venue was absolutely beautiful. The woodwork is amazing the atmosphere is very intimate. The show was brilliant. This is no "small town" theater. They are a polished, high caliber troupe that really does a fantastic job! The theater is located in the heart of a quaint downtown area with dining and coffee houses and many other artsy destinations. I would recommend this theater without hesitation to anyone living in or visiting the area!

Visited December 2012
Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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