hope love and light


Since March, the American Shakespeare Center has received an overwhelming outpouring of messages from teachers and students, long-time patrons and new friends. You shared your hope for the future, love for the company,and the desire to again sit in shared light at the Blackfriars Playhouse. Your heartening messages kept us going!

Bolstered by community support, we were among the first and the few theatres in North America to produce live theatre. Support from friends like you gave Jessika Williams’ marvelous Othello to audiences at home, on the lawn on the Blackburn Inn, and socially distanced at the Blackfriars Playhouse. Together, we basked in the musical stylings of Chris Johnston’s guitar and chuckled at John Harrell’s antics in Twelfth Night. When all of us who needed joy, who needed a gathering place, who needed to believe in the power of epic imagination, it was in that moment our community came together to create a true beacon of light for all to feel more alive through the experience of Shakespeare.

As we cannot be together in person, the American Shakespeare Center evokes the tradition of leaving a candle in the window, as a sign of hope for a safe return into the warmth and light of the Blackfriars Playhouse. As we await the return of the Actors’ Renaissance Season in March, we are asking you to help us ‘keep the lights on’ by leaving a lit candle in the windows of the Blackfriars Playhouse and our downtown businesses. Whatever you can contribute is welcome. A donation of $250 or more will light a candle that will radiate through downtown Staunton; creating a beacon of hope, love, and light to guide us until we can safely reconvene again.

As Sebastian offers Antonio in Twelfth Night, the ASC team can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.

We’ll see you at the Playhouse, soon.


Get in touch with our Development team to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Make your commitment ongoing.

Epizeuxis is the rhetorical device which denotes the repetition of words, for example, Hamlet’s famous phrase Words, words, words. Members of this society have pledged ongoing monthly or quarterly gifts.

Even just $10/month – the price of a couple of lattes – adds up to more than $100 annually.

 See Current Members   Join now


Maximize the impact of your gift with employer matching.

Check with your Human Resource Department to see what options are available through your workplace.

Often, all you need to do is fill out your company’s gift-matching form, and submit online or send it along with your donation to ASC. Sometimes your company will match your gift even if you’ve retired, or they will provide monetary donations to match your volunteer hours.

The following is an incomprehensive list of companies who have matching gift programs and/or have generously matched gifts for ASC in the past.

  • Aetna
  • Allstate Insurance
  • Ameritech
  • AT&T
  • Augusta Health
  • Bank of America
  • BMO Harris Bank, N.A.
  • Briggs and Morgan, P.A.
  • Cadence
  • Chase
  • Chevron
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Dominion
  • ExxonMobil
  • Fannie Mae
  • First Citizens National Bank
  • IBM
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Pfizer
  • Walmart
  • Voya Financial

Information about the 2021 Gala coming soon.

Learn About Our Virtual 2020 Gala

Make a difference in the life of a high school camper.

The ASC Theatre Camp is America’s preeminent college prep program for Shakespeare scholarship and performance.  Each year over 70 students gain practical skills in theatre performance and connections that last lifetimes.

The Sidney Stark III Memorial Scholarship Fund supports the American Shakespeare Center’s Theatre Camp which empowers high school students to leap into college life through the learning experiences within Shakespeare’s text. Named for Sidney Stark, an English teacher who dedicated his life to sharing the joy of language, this fund invests in students’ performance training, academic exploration, and the opportunity to share their passion with new friends from across the country.

We hear from students every year who are eager to participate, but can’t afford the cost of camp.  That’s we we started the ASCTC Scholarship Fund – so generous patrons can make a difference in the lives of our campers.

With your gift, we can help more high school students rediscover the universality of Shakespeare’s language, and make that treasure their own. We can expand the reach and impact of ASCTC to a broader range of campers, from here in Staunton and throughout the United States.

 Learn about ASC Theatre Camp  Donate

Shakespeare had a soundtrack.

You can help support ours.
Music is an integral part of every ASC performance, onstage at the Blackfriars and on the road with the touring troupe. The Band Candy benefit fund is an opportunity for you to directly support the musicians you love at the American Shakespeare Center.

Your gift will be used to purchase new in-house instruments; provide music lessons, upkeep, and repairs; pay musician salaries; and so much more. Next time you see actors whaling on a shiny new saxophone, you’ll know you helped put it in their hands.


Questions? E-mail development@americanshakespearecenter.com