The American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp provides students ages 13–18 a self-discovery laboratory with unparalleled opportunities to master college-level critical and creative skills. We invite students to explore the limits of their infinite potential by sparking curiosity, nurturing inquiry, encouraging effort, and rewarding growth in a safe, supportive, stable environment. A summer at the ASC Theatre Camp equips students to tackle challenges with confidence — in the Blackfriars Playhouse and beyond.
What We Do
The ASC Theatre Camp empowers high school students to leap into college life and learning with a secure safety net. With Shakespeare’s text and technology as our touchstone, the ASCTC experience boasts a unique combination of performance training, academic exploration, and the opportunity to meet minds sharing the same passion and persistence.
At ASCTC, we transport students out of their normal lives and beyond their comfort zone. We challenge them to explore the limits of their infinite potential in a safe, stable, supportive environment, and they emerge not only with finer control over their craft and better preparation for college, but also with more confidence, more capability, and more capacity for growth and change.
Twice every summer, 30-40 high-school students plunge into three weeks of intensive, immersive, incomparable programming in the Shakespearean Shangri-La of Staunton, Virginia – home of the American Shakespeare Center and the world’s only recreation of the Blackfriars Playhouse, Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.
How We Do It
ASCTC participants preview the college experience by living and working on the residential campus at Mary Baldwin University. They live in dorms, work in university classrooms and performance spaces, and eat in the dining hall. They spend their days rehearsing with professional directors, training with professional actors, and learning from professional academics: ASC actors, MBU graduate-level faculty, preeminent scholars, and (of course) each other. They spend their evenings at the Blackfriars Playhouse, spellbound by Shakespeare’s stagecraft.
Students can enroll in the college credit companion course and earn three college credits from Mary Baldwin University, transferable to other institutions. They can elect to stay for an extended week of internship experience, getting hands-on practice working with a professional theatre company. But all work and no play makes camp a dull sport – even when working feels like playing. Mornings off bring sleeping in and brunching at the local Farmer’s market. Days off bring trips to the lake, water balloon fights, dance parties, and well-earned opportunities to luxuriate in languorous laziness.
Three weeks of this chimeric, collaborative creativity culminates in the Final Performance Festival, where campers mount their final productions (for a packed house) on the Blackfriars Playhouse stage.