Holidays at the Blackfriars

Bring the whole family to the Blackfriars Playhouse for an experience they'll be raving about at both the adults' and kids' tables!

Hilary Alexa Caldwell. Photo by Lauren Parker.

Actors' Renaissance Season

This season, we create theatre with no director, little costume assistance, and very little rehearsal time – similar to the way we believe Shakespeare’s company operated.

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David Anthony Lewis. Photo by Lindsey Walters.

Experience the Hand of Time Tour

Three dazzling productions bring Shakespeare's Staging Conditions to communities around the US.

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The Hand of Time Tour. Photo by Marek K Photography.

A Christmas Carol

By CHARLES DICKENS

Adapted by JAMES MCCLURE

The 2018/19 Hand of Time Tour takes a break from touring the country to give you some ghostly season’s greetings. Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim are all back to take Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life. Expect to be right in the middle of this beloved tale with new twists, surprises, and a production filled with music and cheer for the whole family.

December 5 – 29
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a christmas carol

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)

by MICHAEL CARLETON, JIM FITZGERALD, and JOHN K. ALVAREZ

Original music by WILL KNAPP

What better way to ring in the holidays than with every Christmas story ever? This fast-paced romp takes you on the Christmas journey of a lifetime, through your favorite holiday classics, and then some. Hold on tight as you take a tinsel-covered rollercoaster ride bursting with laughter, carols, and joy, and prepare to leave with memories to last a lifetime.

December 4 – 26
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every christmas story ever told and then some

The Merry Wives of Windsor

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Sponsored by BO AND SANDI ROSE

Urban legend claims that Queen Elizabeth asked Shakespeare to write a play featuring “the fat knight in love.” In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff is certainly in lust, if not truly in love. The objects of his affection, two clever Windsor wives, team up to outsmart and outmaneuver one of Shakespeare’s most beloved bad boys. Romance, farce, and a loving portrait of Elizabethan domestic life blend in this irresistible comic confection.

January 11, 2019 – April 13, 2019
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Henry IV, Part 1

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

In this thrilling and poignant coming-of-age story, Shakespeare gives us the whole world: the fabulous fat knight, the troubled king, the hot-blooded warrior, the prodigal prince, and the crew of big-hearted Eastcheap rabble-rousers. Henry IV, Part 1 is Shakespeare’s masterful exploration of family and friends; honor and happiness; and those moments when we are forced to choose between the thing we desire and the thing we know we must do.

January 13, 2019 – April 13, 2019
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Anne Page Hates Fun

By AMY E. WITTING

Companion play to THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

Sponsored by DR. SHERRY WOOD SHUMAN

Anne Page didn’t always hate fun. Now unsmiling and unmarried, Anne, her seriously ill friend, her immigrant student, and her neighbors in Windsor, New Hampshire protest marriage, risk their hearts, confront loss, and celebrate life. Romance, humor, and a loving portrait of contemporary small town life blend in this new play inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

February 7, 2019 – April 14, 2019
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Arden of Faversham

By UNKNOWN

On February 14, 1551, Thomas Arden was brutally murdered in his own home. Arden of Faversham follows the scheming wife, lover, and hired henchman who carried out the notorious murder that rocked Elizabethan England. One of the earliest domestic tragedies to focus on ordinary, lower-class citizens, this play proves that a grisly, true-crime tale always captivates audiences.

March 8, 2019 – April 12, 2019
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Antigone

By SOPHOCLES

Translated by ROBIN BOND

Directed by DOREEN BECHTOL

Sponsored by RICHARD B. SMITH

In the aftermath of her brothers’ bloody war, Antigone is left torn. Her brother Eteocles will be honored, but her brother Polyneices will be shamed and denied funeral rites. In this ancient tale, Antigone stands for morality in spite of punishment as one of the earliest heroines in drama. Sophocles’s drama from 441 BC holds startling relevance today, examining divinity, obedience, and law – and how love overcomes them all.

HAND OF TIME TOUR | SPRING SEASON
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The Comedy of Errors

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Directed by DESDEMONA CHIANG

In this rollicking farce, Shakespeare elevates Roman comedy to dizzying heights. Two long-separated twins, their two tricky servants (also twins), a jealous wife, and her lovelorn sister romp through this fast-paced comedy. Filled with mistaken identities and slapstick humor, The Comedy of Errors will have audiences laughing from the first confusion to the last.

HAND OF TIME TOUR | SPRING SEASON
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The Winter's Tale

by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

directed by KEVIN RICH

Shakespeare’s magnificent late play is a roller-coaster ride from romance to tragedy to comedy and finally to a place of transcendent beauty that few other works of art have ever gone. “A sad tale’s best for winter,” but after unleashing a wintry tempest onto his characters, Shakespeare ultimately conjures spring’s miraculous rebirth.

HAND OF TIME TOUR | SPRING SEASON
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16 Winters, or the Bear's Tale

By MARY ELIZABETH HAMILTON

Companion play to THE WINTER’S TALE

Sponsored by KEVIN AND DIANE WILSHERE

SPRING SEASON ONLY Just how long does it take a jealous heart to cool? And how do you pass the time while it does? Spinning a world out of the 16-year gap at the heart of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Mary Elizabeth Hamilton’s play 16 Winters, or The Bear’s Tale traces the journeys of the exiled queen and her loyal attendant, the jealous king and his dead son, and the abandoned princess and her rebellious artistic cohort.

SPRING SEASON ONLY
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DC Theatre Scene: What's Ethan McSweeny doing in Staunton?

So, having been given the keys to the Mercedes, is McSweeny going to soup it up any? The answer is, yes, a little, in a while.

Support Project Goodfellow

Warm clothing, non-perishables, and cleaning supplies donations are being accepted for Valley Mission at all Holiday Season performances through December 18.

UK Telegraph: ...a breathtaking evocation of a 16th century London Theatre...

Three hours drive south of Washington DC lies the small town of Staunton, where you will find Blackfriars Playhouse.

Subscribe to the 2018/19 Artistic Year today

Lock in the best seats at the best prices when you buy your subscription early. Packages start at just $270!

Washington Post: Ethan McSweeny to head ASC

“The longer I’m at this, I find that limitations are actually a kind of freedom. It really fires my creativity to imagine what you would do if you had nothing more than Shakespeare had.”