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“Shakespeare as you haven't seen it before - don't miss!”

American Shakespeare Center
Ranked #1 of 35 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
Level Contributor
84 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Shakespeare as you haven't seen it before - don't miss!”
Reviewed April 16, 2010

If you thought Shakespeare was boring when you studied it in school or you thought it was only for the "serious theater", guess again! Blackfriars Playhouse presents his plays, and those of Shakespeare's contemporaries too, as the audience of their day would have seen it, complete with "lights on", interaction with the audience, stools on stage and dialogue as conversation you can relate to. The actors are marvelous, each and every one - sometimes playing several roles in one play. There's usually 3 or more plays running concurrently with the same actors, so you can spend a weekend in this lovely small town, enjoy fine restaurants, stay in comfy hotels (even right next door to the playhouse) and see several plays in a weekend! Don't miss this wonderful place!

1 Thank BigReader
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
  • French first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Great date night activity!”
Reviewed April 16, 2010

I go to Blackfriars every time I come to Staunton from Baltimore. The actors are just amazing! I have been there probably more than a half dozen times. For extra fun, get seats onstage. You might get the Don Rickles treatment! It's so great. Plus, they allow drinking inside and sell great local wines/beers.

Thank ColonelT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Tour good; performance bad”
Reviewed January 16, 2010

I took a $5.00 tour with an acto rwho read the wall plaques to us and didn't seem to know much about the archeology of the original Blackfriars. He gave a very nice rendition of his upcoming role, and I thought I was in for a treat that evening, seeing Faustus. I even bought $60 of over-priced souveneirs at the gift shop!

I left the "performance" at the intermission. I bought the most expensive seat, and I spent an hour and a half looking at the backs of the actors. The acoustics were so bad that I couldn't hear half of what was said. I thought that the venue lent itself to playing to all sides, but the actors played to the "cheap seats" at the front of the stage exclusively. This performance was disappointing.

I am sure that Staunton is proud of its theater. The non-authentic reconstruction, the bad acoustics, and the propensity of the actors to satisfy themselves makes this venue substandard.

2 Thank mjski53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
292 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“First rate theater company”
Reviewed November 3, 2009

We saw "Much Ado About Nothing" here on a Friday night in October. The production was fantastic. The actors did an excellent job in keeping with the integrity of the play while adding in modern but appropriate tidbits. Tickets may seem like a lot for a small local theater but it's well worth it and they offer student, senior, military, and AAA discounts according to their brochure. We were able to sit in the front row. You can also opt to sit on stage for a few dollars more and sit on a stool and be part of the action. A very fun evening with fine acting.

1 Thank RWAJ08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Much Ado About This Playhouse”
Reviewed July 2, 2009

Attended Much Ado About Nothing at the Blackfriars in June, Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful. Hilarious! Shakespere with a modern touch. Actors were great. Also they performed folk music before and at intermission. Sat in general admission section on second level front row. Seats were much more comfortable than I thought and view was great. Would recommend this to all . . . even if Shakespere is not your thing.

1 Thank Cajun_girl_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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