Have you become too… “time-honor’d” to attend the ASC Theatre Camp as a camper? Do you nonetheless find yourself missing the dewy streets of Staunton, the aching calves earned on the hike to Deming, or the flickering magic of the Blackfriars Playhouse stage illuminated by the glowing eyes of exhaustion during midnight dress rehearsals?

We’ve got a cure for those “missing my camp days” blues: join our new camp alumni group, the ASC Old Timers’ Society, or ASCOTS.


An ascot is a fancy kind of tie. It looks like this:







An ASCOT, on the other hand, is a member of the ASC Old Timer’s Society, the official ASC Theatre Camp alumni group. Most of the time, they look like people.

What another excellent question! You’re so smart. Yes, in fact, the ASCOTS do more than bask in the glow of their own excellence: they ASSEMBLE!

The inaugural ASCOTS Assembly took place in August, 2017.

ASCOTS Assembly 2: Electric Boogaloo will follow (like the sequel) this summer, August 9-12, 2018.

Assembly admission appraises at $350 per ASCOT and covers all costs associated with ASCOTS activities, including show tickets to all ASC performances, access to rehearsal and performance facilities (including the Blackfriars Playhouse), and your super ballin’ ASCOTS t-shirt.

Admission also includes meals. ASCOTS attend off-campus meal events (like the Arrival BBQ, Dress Rehearsal Pizza Party, and Secret Sonnet Farewell Brunch) together, as a group. For other meals, ASCOTS may eat in the MBU Dining Hall, or explore the many dining options in downtown Staunton on their own.

Admission does not include housing.

ASCOTS are free to make their own arrangements, or take advantage of our deal with the Howard Johnson in downtown Staunton.

  • We’ve reserved a total of 7 rooms (6 doubles and 1 single) at a specially discounted rate of $76/night +tax.
    • We suggest buddying up, because what’s camp without a roommate or two (or three or four)?
  • Just mention “ASCOTS” when reserving in order to get the special rate.
  • Last date to reserve with special rate is July 9.

I’m so glad you asked! Acting with alacrity and affirming attendance ahead of Monday June 4, 2018 to access our $50 Anticipatory Aviator Admission Abatement* – and adjust the actual amount of admission to $300.)

*AKA an Early Bird Discount. Get it?!?!

Details are subject to change, but a few things are certain about the ASCOTS Assembly:

  • You will collaborate with fellow ASCOTS to mount a (potentially abridged) Shakespeare production. Which means you will spend a significant amount of time in rehearsal each day.
    • Just wait till you see how we’re handling casting.
  • You will perform this production on the Blackfriars Playhouse Stage. At midnight.
    • I’m dead serious.
  • You will get Ralph’d to some degree, and likely Menzer’d to another.
  • You will get to experience a more… “grown up” version of the post-show actor meet-and-greet.
    • Try not to embarrass yourselves.
  • You will come back to Staunton. And when you leave, another tiny part of you will remain in Staunton forever.

Indeed, la. This example should give you a general idea of what to expect from the Assembly — treat it more like a set of guidelines than a rigid schedule

Thursday, August 10
Friday, August 11
Saturday, August 12
Sunday, August 13
Morning Morning Morning

Welcome Breakfast at the Playhouse

Lessons & Lecture with Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen

Rehearsal Observation: ASC resident troupe works on The Fall of King Henry (Henry VI, Part 3)

Breakfast at the Farmer’s Market


Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon
Lunch Break



Lunch Break

Matinee performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost


Secret Sonnet Farewell Brunch

Matinee performance of Peter and the Starcatcher

Evening Evening Evening Evening
Early Arrivers’ BBQ

Casting announcement for The Tempest

Secret Sonnet assignments


Dinner Break



Rehearsal with pizza

Evening performance of Much Ado about Nothing

Return to regularly scheduled life
Late Night Late Night
Split Banana Break


Final dress for The Tempest

Midnight performance of The Tempest in the Blackfriars Playhouse




In order to be an ASCOT, you must:

  1. have been a participant of the ASC Theatre Camp in any of the various incarnations and iterations of it’s 20+ year history (this includes YCTC), and
  2. have grown too old — excuse me, too “time-honor’d” — to continue attending camp.

Yes. Yes you can.

I’m gonna let Ben Curns answer this one. For those of you who do not know Curns, he has been an actor for the American Shakespeare Center’s resident, touring, and Renaissance troupes. He has also directed several shows for camp. He never attended camp as a camper, but why don’t you think about whether he qualifies as an ASCOT after you read what he has to say:

The summer of 2006 was a damn hard one. Thank goodness for that 2 Henry IV. Those young actors may never know how much I needed that…then again…they’re all really pretty sharp…maybe they do.

Campers aren’t the only ones profoundly affected by the experience of the ASC Theatre Camp. The ASCOTS is held together by its members’ shared bond of having that experience, not by their status as “camper” or “staff” and not by whether they attended “ASCTC” or “YCTC.” And that is the answer to that question. It has nothing to do with the fact that otherwise, none of the current camp admin staff would get to be members of the ASCOTS and that would suck for us.

Because the world isn’t fair. But, if you’re patient, you will be inducted into the ASCOTS society at the end of your final summer. You’ll even get a shirt! Look at these awesome shirts: