It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas (Carol) around the American Shakespeare Center. As decorations go up around the Playhouse, the annual Christmas parade marches down the street, and rehearsals turn to final runs, several ASC actors—returning and new—traveled to enjoy some spots for local feasts and festivities during our season photo shoot. Check out these hot spots next time you are in town!

Veteran ASC actor Meg Rodgers (Mrs. Cratchit), returning from this past summer season, enjoyed a decadent slice of carrot cake at Magdalena Bake. A familiar sight from the Staunton farmers market, Magdalena’s brings a unique twist to baking by fusing American, European, and South American styles together. A quick trip down Beverley Street, Mrs. Cratchit’s next stop was an ASC favorite, the green room. Opened a few years ago by ASC veterans Benjamin and Lauren Reed, the greenroom features rotating beer and wine selections alongside tasty bites. Open late, stop by post show!



Brand-new to ASC Kenneth La’Ron Hamilton II (Fred, Young Scrooge), took in the sights of Gypsy Hill Park. This large city park features walking paths, a duck pond, and plenty of outdoor activities—a great place to stretch your legs between shows. During the Holiday season, check out the nightly light displays by local businesses—including ASC’s chandelier. Kenneth also tried Gloria’s Pupusaria—look for the bright yellow truck in downtown for fresh pupusas and other treats. We recommend trying the fried plantains. Fresh from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Kenneth was brought to ASC by fan-favorite Topher Embrey.



Joining us from James Madison University, Zainab Barry (Ghost of Christmas Past) is another new face at ASC. Her Staunton tour included a stop at the new coffee and food stop, Serendipity. Take a walk down by the train and check out their superb breakfast sandwiches and delicious pastry. Another great local stop is Latitudes Fair Trade Store—full floor to ceiling with artisan gifts from around the world and a full wall of Christmas ornaments!




Need a coffee before a matinee? Newcomer Mauricio Miranda (Bob Cratchit) checked out two local coffee houses. The By & By is a long-time favorite of ASC guests, located directly next to the theater, it has a great garden to enjoy lunch in good weather. Crucible Coffee, a little off the beaten downtown path, roasts its own beans and has a comfortable, family style seating area.




Finally, returning ASC actor Cordell Cole (Scrooge) enjoyed a lunch at Big Red Barbeque. Opened right as the COVID19 pandemic began, this local barbeque spot boasts pulled pork, wings, and rotating specials. A favorite among the ASC staff, this is a perfect spot for a satisfying lunch. It was enough to make Scrooge crack a smile!

We look forward to seeing you around town in Staunton, and in the Playhouse, this Holiday season and beyond.