The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and Much Ado About Nothing fill the Blackfriars Playhouse with laughter


STAUNTON, VA – American Shakespeare Center’s 35th Anniversary Season continues with a summer slate of Shakespeare comedies, all performed in the beautiful Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theater. In this year that marks the 400th anniversary of the First Folio—the first printing of Shakespeare’s plays—these signature comedies take on new meaning and importance.

ASC’s summer 2023 titles include:

Katherina will not be wooed and wed, but Petruchio is persistent: who’s fooling whom in this merry comedy? Directed by José Zayas, this fast-paced staging of Shakespeare’s comic play-within-a-play is set in modern-day Padua, where Kate’s waspish wit and Petruchio’s plotting take on new zest.

One of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic comedies! You’ll feel joy of love won and the ache of love lost as this story makes you laugh, breaks your heart, and then somehow puts it back together again. One of ASC’s most popular traditions is on display in this “Actors’ Renaissance” production, as the players stage the show—no directors allowed. Like the actors in Shakespeare’s day, it falls to them to pull the costumes, block the scenes, and find the pace and passion in every line, creating a bond between the players as well as with the audience. It’s an up-close-and-personal experience that led Washington Post theatre critic Peter Marks to declare: “I arrived a skeptic, I left a believer.”

Mocking hypocrisy and corrupt authority, Shakespeare spins a sizzling morality tale where the falsely virtuous are exposed and true-hearted victims rewarded. Jenny Bennett directs this sharp-witted story.

The Players:

With a mix of ASC veterans and exciting company debuts, the cast of ASC’s summer 2023 in the ASC tradition, members of the repertory cast will perform multiple roles across the summer season.

Actors marked with * are members of Actors’ Equity.

Aidan O’Reilly*
Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Lucio in Measure for Measure, Friar Francis in Much Ado About Nothing

Aidan has performed in 41 roles in 22 ASC productions including: Jaques in As You Like It, Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well, Don John/Verges in Much Ado About Nothing, Malcolm in Macbeth, Fred in A Christmas Carol, Claudio/Froth in Measure for Measure, Horatio in Hamlet, Merrythought in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Esculus/Barnardine in Measure for Measure, Trinculo in The Tempest, Angelo in The Comedy of Errors, Paris/Gregory in Romeo and Juliet, Horatio in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Clarence/Ratcliffe in Richard III. Between his many and welcome ASC visits, Aidan has performed at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Marin Shakespeare Company, Prague Shakespeare Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Renegade Players (Artistic Director from 2007-2011), Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company (Artistic Director from 2012-2015), and Actor’s Theatre of Santa Rosa.

Alexis Baigue
Gremio and Haberdasher in Taming of the Shrew; Barnardine, Friar Thomas, Justice, Gentleman, Officer in Measure for Measure; Margaret and George Seacoal in Much Ado About Nothing

Alexis is familiar to 2022 season audiences (and beyond) for his roles as Gonzalo, Nymph in The Tempest; Escanes, Philemon, Pander, Lord, Sailor of Mytilene in Pericles; Gonzalo in Une Tempête; Jim Casy in The Grapes of Wrath; Iachimo in Imogen (aka Cymbeline); Francis Flute, First Fairy, and Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2019-2020 tour); and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.

Angela Iannone*
Curtis/Widow in Taming of the Shrew, Escalus in Measure for Measure, Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing

Making her ASC debut this season, Angela is an accomplished director, actor, scholar and playwright who has directed and acted with Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks, Titan Theatre Company in NYC, CATCO in Columbus, and others.

Brandon Carter*
Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew, Claudio in Measure for Measure, Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing

Brandon Carter has served as ASC’s artistic director since 2022. A member of the ASC company since 2018, he has performed more than 40 roles, from lovers (Orlando, As You Like It) to fighters (Menas, Antony & Cleopatra), schemers (Cassius, Julius Caesar) and incomprehensible scholars (Hugh Evans, Merry Wives of Windsor). At ASC, Carter made history as the first Black man in the United States to follow the journey of a wayward prince to King (Hal/Henry V).

He also served as an Artistic Associate and actor with the Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH), under mentors Ty Jones and Carl Cofield. Productions with CTH include: The Tempest, Macbeth, The First Noel, and The Three Musketeers. Other Off-Broadway credits include: Drunk Shakespeare NYC as Macduff, and Black Angels Over Tuskegee as Theodore.

Corrie Green*
Bianca in Taming of the Shrew, Juliet/Froth in Measure For Measure, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

Corrie’s previous ASC performances include Belle and Belinda in A Christmas Carol; Ariel in The Tempest; Antiochus’s Daughter, Marina, Ensemble in Pericles; Ariel in Une Tempête; and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet; Angelo in The Comedy of Errors. At other theaters, she has also played
Miranda in The Tempest (Firebrand Theatre Co); Juliet in the touring production of Romeo and Juliet and Luciana in Comedy or Errors, and Perdita in The Winter’s Tale (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); Ellison in Crying on Television; and Emmy in A Doll’s House Part 2 (Nashville Repertory Theatre).

Erica Cruz Hernández*
Tranio in Taming of the Shrew, Pompey in Measure for Measure, Borachio and Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing

ASC audiences have seen Erica as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol; Stephano in The Tempest; Antiochus, Bolt, and in the Ensemble in Pericles; Stephano in Une Tempête; Nurse and Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet; and Emilia, First Merchant, Second Merchant in The Comedy of Errors. Erica’s other theater credits include Medea in Mojada, Luis Alfaro’s adaptation of Euripides’ Greek Tragedy (Indianapolis Shakespeare Company); The River Bride, Hamlet, Cymbeline, and Assistant Director of The Moors (American Players Theatre Company); and performances in the Illinois, St. Louis, and Arkansas Shakespeare Festivals. Her television and film appearances include Law & Order: SVU, En Algun Lugar, and Midwestern.

Gabriela Castillo-Miranda
Biondello in Taming of the Shrew, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Don John/Sexton in Much Ado About Nothing

Making her ASC debut this season, Gabriela brings diverse performance experience including Belmira in River Bride (American Players Theatre); Jaquenetta in Love’s Labour’s Lost (American Players Theatre); Adalina in ¿Y tu abuela, Where is she? (Visión Latino); Chalie in Back in the Day (UrbanTheater Company); Carmen in Sergio’s Museum (Theatre[502]); Ariel in The Tempest (Warehouse Theatre Educational Tour); and Yordanka in Erógenas (Teatro Fragmentario).

Jack Young*
Baptista and Peter in Taming of the Shrew, Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure, Antonio and Verges in Much Ado About Nothing

Currently serving as the Artistic Director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival, Jack makes his ASC debut this season. Although new to the Blackfriars stage, Jack has deep connections to ASC as he is the head of the University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program, a program that trained a number of ASC actors, including Meg Rodgers and Philip Orazio. In addition, Jack has performed and directed with The Warehouse Theatre, Primary Stages NYC, ACTION! Theatre in LA, Houston Shakespeare Festival, TITAN Theatre NYC, and the Texas Shakespeare Festival.

Jess Kadish
Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, Mariana/Officer in Measure for Measure, Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing

Making her ASC debut this season, Jess’s acting credits include Viola in Twelfth Night and Regan in King Lear in Montana Shakespeare in the Parks; Alabaster (16th Street Theatre); The Locusts (The Gift Theatre); I Now Pronounce (New Jewish Theatre); Twelfth Night, Henry V, Travesties, Failure: A Love Story, Iago’s Plot, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, Kingdom City (Illinois Theatre); My Father’s Keeper (Latinx Theatre Commons); La Fulana Respetuosa, Blowout (Aguijón Theatre).

Joe Mucciolo
Vincentio in Taming of the Shrew, Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure, Conrade/Balthazar in Much Ado About Nothing

Joe performed with Shakespeare in the Park/The Public Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Judson Theatre Company, Grassroots Shakespeare DC, 1st Stage in DC, Toms River Shakespeare Festival, and Compass Rose Theater. This season marks his ASC debut.

Meg Rodgers*
Grumio in Taming of the Shrew, Elbow in Measure for Measure, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing

Meg has been a resident company member with ASC since 2018. She has previously performed in more than 26 productions and played more than 45 roles; some favorites including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Katherine/Dauphin in Henry V, Meg Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Feste in Twelfth Night, and Anne Page in Anne Page Hates Fun. She has also performed with Virginia Stage Company (Pistol and Alice in Spring 2023’s Henry V), Hope Repertory Theatre, and Houston Shakespeare Festival.

Nic Sanchez*
Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew, Provost in Measure for Measure, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

ASC audiences have seen Nic in many roles including Christmas Present/Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol; Duncan, Porter, Old Man, Lord, Siward in Macbeth; Grey, French King, Gower, York in Henry V; Clown (Lavatch), Soldier in All’s Well That Ends Well, Cover/Swing in Twelfth Night; and First Gentleman/Cover/Swing in Othello. At other theaters, Nic has played Toby in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the ‘Burg); Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare-to-Go); Josh in These and Those (New York Theatre Festival); Officer in Comedy of Errors and Lucio, Froth, Barnadine in Measure for Measure (Smith Street Stage).

Philip Orazio*
Christopher Sly in Taming of the Shrew, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing

With an impressive resume including performances at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Queer Classics Theater, Artist Repertory Theater, Road Theater Company, and Nomadic Theater Company, Philip makes his ASC debut this season.


José Zayas, who will direct The Taming of the Shrew, has directed over 100 productions in New York, regionally and internationally, including ASC’s 2022 Romeo and Juliet and 2020 The Grapes of Wrath. Other directing credits include: The Queen of Basel (Studio Theatre), Exquisita Agonia (Repertorio Espanol), The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (BAM, Mass MoCa, US and European Tour), A Nonesuch Celebration (BAM), Washed up on the Potomac (San Francisco Playhouse/Flea Theater), and Undocumented (Joe’s Pub).

Jenny Bennett, who will direct Measure for Measure, is a frequent ASC collaborator (Twelfth Night 2022, The Comedy of Errors 2022, Richard III 2018, Much Ado About Nothing 2017, King Lear 2016, The Winter’s Tale 2015). A fourth-generation theatre woman, Jenny lives in New York City where her directing roles have included The Three Musketeers and Henry V off-Broadway with The Classical Theatre of Harlem, where she is an Artistic Associate. In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Jenny founded a theatre company and collaborated with international artists for seven years. Taiwan directing includes Macbeth, Dangerous Liaisons/Weixian Guanxi, Romeo and Juliet, Into the Woods, and As You Like It! (a musical she co-wrote).

Tickets for The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and Much Ado About Nothing are on sale now, online at, by phone at 540-851-1733 or 1-877-MUCH-ADO, or in person at the Blackfriars Playhouse Box Office, 10 South Market St., Staunton.

About the American Shakespeare Center

Located in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley in Staunton Virginia, The American Shakespeare Center is a world-class professional theater company whose mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. Year-round in its Blackfriars Playhouse — the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre — ASC’s innovative programming and “shamelessly entertaining” (The Washington Post) productions have shared the delights of Shakespeare, modern classics and new plays with millions over the past 35 years. Beyond the Playhouse, ASC is a hub for Shakespeare education and scholarship. Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.