THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

Shakespeare's Sitcom

Romance, farce, and a loving portrait of Elizabethan domestic life blend in this irresistible comic confection.

John Harrell. Photo by Lauren Rogers Parker.

The Hand of Time Tour Comes Home

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

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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Merry Wives of Windsor American Shakespeare Center Actors' Renaissance

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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Henry IV, Part 1

Anne Page Hates Fun

By AMY E. WITTING

Directed by STEPHANIE HOLLADAY EARL

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 foreign exchange 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 – April 14
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Anne Page Hates Fun

Arden of Faversham

By UNKNOWN AUTHOR

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 – April 12
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Arden of Faversham

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

Directed by AMANDA McRAVEN

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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Summer: Festival Season Titles Announced

Artistic Director Ethan McSweeny announces his inaugural season at ASC.

Band Candy is Back

Celebrate with our rockin’ and talented actors while raising money for the music they make – that’s a pretty great two-in-one.

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.

2019 Subscriptions On Sale Now!

Get up to 35% off tickets for shows starting June 25, including our Summer, Fall, and Holiday seasons. Subscribers get exclusive early access to Summer/Fall tickets before they go on sale to the public!

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.”