Fall Into Shakespeare

The Summer/Fall Season is here to bring you rollicking comedy, thrilling intrigue, and classic stories.

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Allie Babich. Photo by Michael Bailey.

Holiday Season

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

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Aleca Piper and Andrew Goldwasser. Photo by Lindsey Walters.

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.

As You Like It

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Directed by RALPH ALAN COHEN

Sponsored by ANONYMOUS

To escape death, the extraordinary Rosalind, her brave cousin Celia, and one of Shakespeare’s funniest fools flee into the woods. There, in the bewitching Forest of Arden, they discover shepherds and aristocrats, country folk and lovers – and, ultimately, life, love, joy, and freedom. Shakespeare’s glorious and wise comedy As You Like It reminds us of everything it is to be alive.

June 13, 2018 – December 2, 2018
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as you like it

Emma

By JANE AUSTEN

Adapted by EMMA WHIPDAY

Directed by Stephanie Holladay Earl

For “handsome, clever, and rich” Emma Woodhouse, romance can be hit or miss. A self-declared matchmaker, Emma uses her considerable (and misguided) talents to find partners for her less-fortunate friends. Though she declares she’ll never marry, even Emma falls victim to the pitfalls of love in Jane Austen’s witty and charming tale.

June 14, 2018 – December 1, 2018
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zoe speas

Richard III

By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Directed by JENNY BENNETT

Richard III chronicles the cataclysmic end of England’s greatest power struggle, the Wars of the Roses. Richard is the play’s remarkable, charismatic, and repulsive ringmaster – he takes the audience into his confidence as he plots to kill everyone before him in line for the throne. Being seduced by Richard’s shameless treachery is one of theatre-going’s most delicious guilty pleasures.

July 6, 2018 – December 1, 2018
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jessika williams

The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter

By GEORGE ETHEREGE

Directed by CHRISTOPHER MARINO

The rake Dorimant and a merry gang of ladies and gents are up to no good in The Man of Mode. Dorimant’s involvement with a married woman and her younger friend complicate his budding interest in Harriet, a beautiful heiress; the romantic interests of his friends and their parents complicate everything else. Throw in disguises, tricks, and one fancy fop, and this witty comedy of manners will have you rolling in your seat.

August 22 – November 30
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john harrell

A Christmas Carol

By CHARLES DICKENS

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 – 26
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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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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 7, 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, her New Hampshire hometown wonders why she stopped smiling. Single, content and almost 40, she teaches English at her old high school, hoping to inspire at least one student a year. With her childhood friend Courtney Ash insisting on celebrating life in the face of terminal cancer and her Egyptian immigrant student Alaa Farag starting a marriage protest in the town square, Anne Page and her neighbors in Windsor, New Hampshire are forced to face marriage, love, life and loss. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Anne Page Hates Fun explores the issues of equality, power, and consent challenging one small New Hampshire community and the ideals of love that apply to us all.

February 7, 2019 – April 14, 2019
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The Belle's Stratagem

By HANNAH COWLEY

Letitia and Doricourt, though engaged for years, haven’t seen each other since they were children. In this comedy of town and country, Letitia outwits and outplays her “worldly” betrothed to win his love. A cast of characters, including Letitia’s tricky father, the divided Touchwood couple, and a pair of rogues, all wind up at a masquerade ball where mistaken identity makes the best match.

February 28, 2019 – April 13, 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 20, 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 How do you pass the years it can take a jealous heart to cool? Spinning a world out of the 16-year gap at the heart of Shakespeare's infamously bewildering The Winter's Tale, this play traces the exiled queen Her and her attendant Pauly as they navigate life in the wilds of a modern Bohemia. Meanwhile, the king laments his action and seeks an outlet in songwriting. Their abandoned child, P., takes up with some bohemian artists and rebels against the patriarchy…while also falling in love with one of its better-looking representatives. Full of flings, jealousy, and privilege gone awry, 16 Winters explores what can be salvaged from the wreckage of betrayal.

SPRING SEASON ONLY
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Meet our new Artistic Director

Internationally acclaimed theatre artist Ethan McSweeny joins the ASC as our next Artistic Director.

Attend the 30th Anniversary Gala

Celebrate 30 years of ASC history at the Blackfriars Playhouse and Stonewall Jackson Hotel.

ShakesFear: Book Signing

Join author and ASC co-founder Ralph Alan Cohen at the Blackfriars Playhouse for a book signing prior to Wednesday evening's performance of AS YOU LIKE IT.

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.”