The Portable Shakespeare Festival

Bring a world-class Shakespeare Festival to your venue at a fraction of the cost of producing it yourself

For more than 25 years, the American Shakespeare Center has thrilled theatre-goers by presenting a repertory of three great plays performed by the same troupe of gifted actors.  Like Shakespeare’s audiences, your audience will delight in seeing the same actors play different characters in different plays on different days.  Prince Hal today, Cassio tomorrow, Master Ford the day after.  And each of our ASC Tours have three very different plays to give you and your crowds a variety of flavors that you just can't get if you only book one title; we provide a mix of comedy, tragedy, history, Shakespeare's greatest hits, his under performed gems, and great plays by his contemporaries.  ASC’s unique and immersive approach to Shakespeare is the greatest way for students and audiences to experience these amazing plays.  The American Shakespeare Center’s Portable Shakespeare Festival is the ultimate Shakespeare experience.


With three shows and up to six workshops, this package is sure to thrill, delight and educate.  This package allows your audience to see all three shows in true rotating repertory, a great lost joy in today’s theatre world.  Maximum Shakespeare for minimum cost.


With six shows and up to twelve workshops, an ASC On Tour Week not only represents your best economic value, but it allows your audience to immerse itself in the total theatre experience…giving them a special “backstage pass” to meet and learn from the actors who bring the ASC On Tour magic alive on stage. Some venues bring us in for a week-long residency that includes morning performances for local high school students and evening shows for their community.  Other venues book a residency geared specifically to their institution or community. 

Our Tour Operations Manager can also help you tailor a package of performances and workshops to create your own “à la carte” residency.  Our flexibility in working with you to get the residency you want is unparalleled among touring companies.  ASC On Tour invites you to join the ranks of those venues that have entertained thousands of patrons and generated significant revenue through a carefully planned ASC On Tour residency.  Whether you are a performing arts center, an English or Theatre department, or a campus activity board; an extended residency by the ASC On Tour represents your best economic value.  Please contact our Tour Operations Manager today for a quote:


“For the last fifteen years, the partnership between our festival and The American Shakespeare Center has allowed thousands of students from schools throughout western Kentucky, northern Tennessee, southern Illinois, and southeastern Missouri experience and appreciate Shakespeare’s drama.  Western Kentucky has a largely rural population with little to no access to professional theater.  For many students and community members alike, plays performed by ASC On Tour are the first Shakespearean drama they have ever attended, and often represent their only exposure to professional-level theater.  The educators in our eighteen-county region have told us repeatedly that they need the ASC performances to help bridge the achievement gap in their Humanities curriculum; in essence, without ASC, our educational goals and cultural opportunities would suffer.  We have the ASC to thank for improving our quality of life. People are stunned by how enjoyable and accessible the ASC makes the plays.  Shakespeare’s plays, at their core, are meant to be seen and heard in a communal setting, and I feel confident in saying that I know of no national or international touring company that is better than the ASC at recreating the dynamically interactive original staging practices that Shakespeare’s own audiences experienced.  ASC On Tour’s unfailing dedication to artistic excellence will always represent the greatest benefit to the people of our region, and I recommend them wholeheartedly.” 
—Dr. William R. Jones, Assistant Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Department of English and Philosophy, Murray State University, Murray, KY / Chair, Murray Shakespeare Festival

"The American Shakespeare Center has been coming to St. Lawrence almost since they were founded.  Their visit is the sort of tradition, for the community as well as for the campus, that inspires devotion: our audience brings treats to the actors; compares last year’s performances to this year’s; and shares stories of packed houses, puppet shows, and actors popping through windows.  What you get with a long visit from the troupe is so much more than you can get from a single performance; it’s the creation of a passionate community, one where your students have the leisure to notice how themes interact across plays, how actors adapt to different roles, and how very vibrant both Renaissance drama and the tradition of the stage are."
—Dr. Sarah Barber, Assistant Professor of English, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY

"Each year, for about fifteen years, ASC reignites a passion for Shakespeare here in Huntsville, Alabama.  The local arts community—which includes actors, readers, teachers, retirees and even some NASA engineers—has consistently and repeatedly attended performances of all three plays.  Overall, our attendance averages 900, with many audience members buying tickets for the next night’s performance on their way out of a performance.  We especially target local K-12 students, many of whom have never experienced live Shakespeare.  The dynamic actors and energetic staging provide an exciting first impression that is especially appealing to many younger audience members and greatly increase their appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays.  Some teachers offer one of ASC’s plays as part of their standard curriculum and then bring students who, sitting among more experienced theater-goers, certainly follow along—and they get the jokes.  This project couldn’t be more successful.  Their three-play repertoire appeals to a variety of tastes and interests, and we plan to invite ASC back for years to come."
—Dr. Jeff Nelson, Associate Professor of English, The University of Alabama in Huntsville / Chair, Shakespeare Committee, Huntsville Literary Association