At the American Shakespeare Center, we believe the most direct route to knowing and appreciating Shakespeare is to see his plays at the Blackfriars Playhouse. Students who experience performances of Shakespeare’s plays in ways which engage his stagecraft as well as his wordcraft gain a unique understanding and appreciation of the plays they would not otherwise have. To facilitate this engagement, the ASC offers 10:30am shows on Thursday mornings during the school year, so that groups from middle schools, high schools, home-schools, colleges, and other academic institutions can take advantage of the learning opportunities our theatre presents. (To proceed straight to information on purchasing tickets, please see our Academic Group Sales page).
|27||The Merchant of Venice|
|4||The Two Gentlemen of Verona|
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|25||The Merchant of Venice|
|1||The Two Gentlemen of Verona|
|8||The Merchant of Venice|
|15||The Two Gentlemen of Verona|
|20||The Merchant of Venice|
|5||A Christmas Carol|
|6||A Christmas Carol|
|7||A Christmas Carol|
|11||A Christmas Carol|
|12||A Christmas Carol|
|13||A Christmas Carol|
|14||A Christmas Carol|
|18||A Christmas Carol|
|2||Love's Labours Lost|
Twelfth Night - A feast of language and songs, sublime and subversive, this play breaks rules and bends gender to show romance in all its guises and disguises. From separated twins to a heroine in disguise, from the gulling of a pompous fool to the triumphs of devoted love, Twelfth Night brilliant showcases the linguistic heights and staging techniques for which Shakespeare's comedies are so famous.
Love's Labour's Lost - The King of Navarre and his three schoolmates are ripe for an education in love from the Princess of France and her three best friends. This giddy and extravagant comedy is Shakespeare's most exuerant wordfest -- a joyful carnival of love, loss, and hope.
Romeo and Juliet - With its ravishing language and uproarious comedy, Romeo and Juliet celebrates love's triumph and its trivialities. Verona's walls embrace the volatility of youth as well as the wisdom and restraint that often escape young and old alike. Thumb-biting, dance, and swordplay share the stage with sonnets, bawdy wit, and soul-searching speeches in thsi profoundly human and always surprising treasure.
All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare paints a sly portrait of the human condition in all its motley colors in this funny, wise, and bittwersweet comedy. In its world of soldiers and clowns, countesses and commoners, All's Well tricks us into believing that lies are true and that truth is fantasy - a dark fairy-tale filled with laughter, miracles, and re-birth.
Troilus and Cressida - The biggest names in classical history -- Achilles, Hector, Ajax, and Helen of Troy -- collide in Shakespeare's foray into the Trojan War. Patriotism conquers loe as the characters navigate the all-too-personal ramifications of war.
A Christmas Carol - Our holiday season matinee attracts students of all ages every year for some ghostly season’s greetings. Younger students particularly enjoy the good cheer of Bob Cratchit and his family, the terrifying spectre of Jacob Marley, the music and dance at Fezziwig’s party, and the story’s inspiring resolution.
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As You Like It - To escape death, the extraordinary Rosalind, her brave cousin Celia, and one of Shakespeare's funniest fools flee into the forest, where they discover shepherds and aristocrats; country folk and lovers; and, ultimately, life, love, joy, and freedom. Your students will appreciate the quick wit of this play as well as the all-too-familiar signs of effervescent first love.
The Servant of Two Masters - Disguised lovers, tricky servants, and well-meaning parents cross and double-cross one another along the canals of Venice. The characters' search for a happy ending depends entirely on the titular servant Truffaldino, whose attempt to double his wages unravels with delicious mayhem in this joyous, 18th-century lark.
Othello - In this magnificently complex study of extremes, Shakespeare pairs his most loving and trusting leading man with his most ruthless and conniving villain. The radiant language of love transforms into delirious ravings in this ravishing and unforgettable classic. Your students will not only witness the dangers of jealousy and distrust, but will explore themes of race and "belonging" that still echo today.
The Merry Wives of Windsor - Two Windsor wives team up to outsmart and outmaneuver the lusty Jack Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's wittiest and most beloved bad boys. Shakespeare blends romance, farce, and festival in his liveliest and most affectiona portrait of domestic life in Elizabeth I's England.
Henry IV, Part 1 - In this thrilling and poignant coming-of-age story, Shakespeare gives us the whole world: the fabulous fat knight, the troubled king, the prodigal prince, the hot-blooded warrior, and a host of rabble rousers. Henry IV, Part 1 is Shakespeare's masterful exploration of family and friends; honor and happiness; and those moments when we must choose between the thing we desire and the thing we know we have to do. Your students will sympathize with Hal's quest for self-determination and may hear their own parents' words in the demands of King Henry IV.
When Shakespeare and his contemporaries wrote their scripts, they weren’t writing words to be seen on a page -- they were writing words to be heard in a theatre, as part of the complex and dynamic interaction of actor, audience, and playing. When your students see a play performed live, by actors who know what they are saying and why they are saying it, the language won’t seem difficult - they’ll forget to be scared of “thees” and “thous,” they’ll hear the jokes and laugh with them, they’ll stop worrying about trying to remember details of plot and will instead immerse themselves in the experience. They will understand why these plays still hold appeal, and they will discover what these great works have to say to them and to the modern world.
At the Blackfriars Playhouse, our actors use Shakespeare’s staging conditions to infuse his works with high energy and fresh vitality. Our productions are fast-paced, adhering as nearly as possible to the “two-hours’ traffic” that Shakespeare promises his audience at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet. Our thrust staging and universal lighting mean that your students become part of the action -- our actors will talk to them directly during the performance, as the actors of Shakespeare’s company would have done 400 years ago, engaging them as allies in the action, making them complicit in nefarious schemes, appealing to them for help or guidance. The universal lighting also means that your students will be able to watch each others’ reactions to what happens onstage. The music that our actors play during the pre-show and during interludes -- modern songs which your students are likely to have on their own iPods -- will help your students experience Shakespeare as relevant and exciting, rather than musty and old-fashioned. At the ASC, our goal is not just to get your students to see Shakespeare, but to get them to love it.
Learn more about our special group rates and see our 2012-2013 schedule on our Academic Group Sales page. To schedule your group to attend a performance, contact our Group Sales Manager at email@example.com or 540.885.5588 ext 24.
If you have questions about whether or not a certain play may be appropriate for your students’ age group, please contact our Group Sales Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.885.5588 ext 24, or our Academic Resources Manager, Cass Morris, at email@example.com or 540.885.5588 ext 21. We will be able to answer your questions about the production, and we can also point you towards online editions of the text, in case you would like to review the language for yourself. We also offer a complimentary ticket to teachers who wish to see a play before bringing their students to it.
In our Teacher Seminars, held in October, February, April, and July, ASC education artists will demonstrate classroom applications of the same methods and activities we use in our workshops and training. The play-specific seminars focus on making the plots, characters, words, and drama of Shakespeare's plays relevant and exciting in the classroom. We pay special attention to ways of undoing the "Shakesfear" that so often prevents students from enjoying the plays. We also look at the connections between the plays and standard requirements for English, theatre, and history curricula.
You can also check out our ASC Study Guides for useful classroom activities. Each guide includes instructions for working your students through a text from start to finish, beginning by familiarizing them with getting up on their feet to act through scenes. Other activities include: working with scansion and iambic pentameter, using basic rhetoric to find acting clues, making connections through historical perspectives, approaching difficult staging moments, examining textual differences, and using asides and audience contact, as well as a guide for having your students perform an abbreviated version of the play. For teachers working in the Commonwealth of Virginia, each guide also includes a comprehensive listing of the S.O.L.s which each activity can fulfill.
We also offer a selection of workshops, led by education artists and ASC actors, which you can schedule as part of your trip to the Blackfriars Playhouse.
|<< May 2013 >>|
Love's Labour's Lost
Sunday, May 19, 2013, 2:00 pm
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:30 pm
Twelfth Night - Student Matinee
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 10:30 am
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 1:00 pm
Love's Labour's Lost
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7:30 pm
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 10:00 pm
The Duchess of Malfi
Friday, May 24, 2013, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 2:00 pm
Love's Labour's Lost
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 7:30 pm
The Duchess of Malfi
Sunday, May 26, 2013, 2:00 pm
Love's Labour's Lost
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7:30 pm
The Duchess of Malfi
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 7:30 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 10:00 pm
Friday, May 31, 2013, 7:30 pm
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