The 2016/17 Hungry Hearts Tour returns to Staunton for the Blackfriars Playhouse Spring Season

With the clock ticking down on 2017 Actors’ Renaissance Season performances, the ASC 2016/17 Hungry Hearts Tour is gearing up to head back home to Staunton to present the 2017 Spring Season at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Kicking off with the Band Candy Benefit Concert on April 9, the Spring Season will include rotating repertory performances of Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, along with the Blackfriars Playhouse premieres of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). ‘Star-crossed’ is the unifying feature for the lovers in all four plays resulting in laughter and tears in infinite variety. Seeing the arc of Our Town’s family dynamics side-by-side with the Capulets and Montagues allows us a unique opportunity to feel the timeless power, pain, and passion we all feel as we navigate our way through living, loving, parenting, and dying. Each production in the repertory sheds light on previously overlooked connections in the other plays in the Season.

When love tangles the heartstrings of the title characters, it takes two clever women, a pair of devoted servants, and a dog to make things right. Jealous lovers, a crossdressing heroine, and a daring escape into the forest make The Two Gentlemen of Verona simultaneously a familiar and completely refreshing trip. The pay-what-you-will opening of The Two Gentlemen of Verona is April 12. Pre-show lectures are on April 12 and May 3.

With its ravishing language and uproarious comedy, Romeo and Juliet celebrates love’s triumph and its trivialities. Thumb-biting, dance, and swordplay share the stage with sonnets, bawdy wit, and soul-searching speeches in this profoundly human and always surprising treasure. Romeo and Juliet’s pay-what-you-will opening is April 13. Pre-show lectures are on April 13 and 19.

A moving look at life in the small town of Grover’s Corners, Our Town examines what it means to grow up. Through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Dying,” Thornton Wilder studies the deeply personal yet remarkably universal lives of the Webb and Gibbs families. This poignant American tale explores friendship, love, and death, but most importantly, what it truly means to live. Shakespeare’s staging conditions illuminate Thornton Wilder’s ideas like never before in this critically important, revelatory production. Our Town’s pay-what-you-will opening and Blackfriars Playhouse debut is April 14. Pre-show lectures are on April 20 and 27.

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) joins the repertory later in the month. After being dragged head-first into the worlds of Othello and Romeo and Juliet, Constance Ledbelly finds out what happens when Shakespeare’s tragic couples get a “happily ever after.” To get back home, Constance must decode an ancient text while discovering the truth about herself. The cast of Romeo and Juliet reprise their roles in this Blackfriars Playhouse debut. Pay-what-you-will preview and opening are April 26 and 28 respectively.

The Spring Season features Josh Clark, Cordell Cole, Andrew Goldwasser, Sara J. Griffin, J.C. Long, Ross Neal, Aleca Piper, Kyle Powell, Ronald Román, Zoe Speas, and Constance Swain.

An opening night party will be held on April 14 at Yelping Dog in downtown Staunton after the opening of Our Town. Premium level tickets start at $42 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 1.877.MUCH.ADO. Residents of Staunton, Waynesboro, or Augusta County can take advantage of $18 local rush tickets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Actor talkbacks are held after each Thursday night performance. Student, Senior, Military, and AAA discounts are available.