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“don't miss it”

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
north carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“don't miss it”
Reviewed August 27, 2010

some performances are stronger than others. no doubt this is true anywhere. but this is consistently fine entertainment at a great price. if you want to see shakespeare as it was meant to be performed, you'll do no better than staunton, va.

2 Thank nc_dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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722 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A truly enjoyable performance!”
Reviewed August 21, 2010

Took our teens to see "Taming of the Shrew" at Blackfriars (a recreation of the Globe theater) in early August. It was extremely well done - all the actors/actresses were perfect, and the setting is not to be beat --- not a bad seat in the house. Those who sit on the stage or on the sides of the stage had the most fun, as the characters engaged them in the action quite often.

1 Thank WishfulThinkerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowie, MD
Level 6 Contributor
398 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Shakespeare made fun and accessible... great design of building”
Reviewed July 17, 2010

We saw "Taming of the Shrew." Got lower priced balcony tickets ($20), but great seats and acoustics. Actors do music in the half hour before the show. Fairly current songs with some relevance to the story: Should I Stay or Should I Go, Always Have to Steal My Kisses From You, Have Love Will Travel, etc. They really ham it up. The play was a lot of fun. I hope we do vacation in Staunton again... This would be the first thing I would plan. Even if you don't think you'd like a Shakespearean play, you would have a great time. I was able to follow everything despite the older language. In fact, there were a few times when changes in meaning were humorous, and they played it up for all it was worth.

2 Thank tlhjar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panajachel, Guatemala
Level 5 Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“World class theater in the heart of Shenandoah”
Reviewed July 5, 2010

I travel to Staunton a couple of times a year to see friends and to attend performances of the company at the American Shakespeare Center. It is hard to put into words how truly excellent these actors are. The plays are performed in the old Shakespearean style without varied lighting, orchestra, or special effects. I don't really know how they do it, but the comedy and the drama is so moving. They will make you cry - be it from the laughter or the sorrow. My husband loves the pre-show and intermission entertainment by members of the cast. I love the small town, artsy atmosphere in Staunton, so I totally get why these actors are here in the mountains. BUT - these people are rock stars and movie stars in hiding. They could be on any stage, anywhere in the world - they are that good! I'm sure it's the opportunity to perform the brilliance of Shakespeare in the amazing Blackfriars theater that draws them to Staunton and keeps them all in place. If you love Shakespeare, but really want to know his work deeper, go see a show here. If you think you hate Shakespeare, allow the Blackfriars to change your mind.

3 Thank Laure_Starry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Covington, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2010

You thought Shakespeare was boring in High School and College? Believe me there is nothing boring about this wonderful troupe of actors who bring theatre alive with the original text and a bit of extra fun in the mix. The time is over in a flash and you are craving more and can hardly wait for a return engagement.

3 Thank Larry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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