The biennial conference brings together Shakespeare scholars and practitioners.

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) will host the ninth biennial Blackfriars Conference in Staunton, Virginia October 25-29. Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, Shakespeare Association of America Executive Director Lena Cowen Orlin, Director of Shakespeare Institute Michael Dobson, and renowned scholar Dympna Callaghan will feature as keynote speakers. Internationally recognized production designer Richard L. Hay is the Blackfriars Conference Honoree.

The Blackfriars Conference is a biennial conference bringing together Shakespeare scholars and practitioners to examine Shakespeare in study and performance. Hosted by the American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, the conference seeks ways for scholars and practitioners to collaborate. Past conferences have featured notable scholars and practitioners such as Andrew Gurr, Tina Packer, and Stephen Greenblatt. The conference is known for its “Blackfriars Bear” which chases presenters exceeding their time limit off the stage.

“From its beginning in 2001, the goal of the Blackfriars Conference has been to open a conversation between scholars and artists that creates a better understanding of how they work with Shakespeare and in so doing gives them new tools for their own work,” says ASC Co-Founder and Director of Mission Ralph Alan Cohen. “Each conference more artists have joined the conversation, and this year the best balance yet of page and stage will prove that the ‘farmer and the cowman should be friends’ and Shakespeare folks should all be pals.”

“I am so full of anticipation at being surrounded by people who love the work of William Shakespeare as much as I do,” says keynote speaker Rauch. “I eagerly look forward to exchanging ideas and production tales with colleagues from all over the country.”

The Blackfriars Conference takes place October 24-29 at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. Bill Rauch’s keynote will be broadcast on Facebook Live on October 26th at 10:30am.