Build confidence and expand creativity with the ultimate team sport: Theatre.

Offered in partnership with City of Staunton Parks and Recreation.

With Shakespeare’s text as our touchstone and his technology as our laboratory, the Drama Club meets once a week in 12-week terms to explore Shakespeare’s wordcraft and stagecraft through play, building confidence and expanding creativity by working together to craft and rehearse a final performance of Shakespearean scenes at the Blackfriars Playhouse.Included in the cost of the Drama Club is a $15 ticket for each participant to join the group on a field trip to the Blackfriars Playhouse. Drama Club members will also be invited to attend other (optional) performances with the group at a special rate.

Learning outcomes

Drama Club introduces participants to the vocabulary of theatre, generally (things like “blocking” and “stage right/left”) as well as Shakespeare’s language, specifically (why do they talk like that?).

Participants gain all the benefits of theatrical training: greater collaborative skills, enhanced creative and critical thinking, increased awareness of physicality and movement, personal responsibility, and group camaraderie (to name a few). Specifically, they learn how to work together to put on a play and gain valuable performance experience in doing so. Making theatre isn’t just about memorizing lines and writing down blocking: it’s about knowing when to lead and how to follow, listening actively and responding genuinely, taking care of yourself and your teammates, and working together on a project that will always be greater than the sum of its parts.

Participants also gain an advanced, early understanding of Shakespeare—hopefully before they encounter his plays in an academic environment. The objective of Drama Club is to foster a lifelong love of theatre in general and Shakespeare in particular. Available evidence suggests early exposure (before the onset of “Shakesfear” in high school) to be the best way to achieve that objective.

Drama Club meets weekly at the Nelson Street Center (900 Nelson Street, at the corner of Liberty and Nelson streets) in downtown Staunton, VA.

Drama Club meets on Sundays from 1-3PM.

Drama Club is open to budding thespians ages 8-12.

Enroll in Drama Club through Staunton Parks & Recreation Department.

Enroll Now

Drama Club enrollment costs $115 per participant and includes 12 weeks of club meetings and a ticket to a performance at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse.


Syllabus subject to change.


spring 2020 cycle

January 19–April 25, 2020 | Sundays, 1:00-3:00PM


Engage families who’ve never had a reason to come to the Playhouse before; cultivate future audience members (and campers!); inoculate students against Shakesfear before they’re exposed to the virus; deepen our relationship with and commitment to serve the community of Staunton


rehearsal schedule

  • Sunday, January 19: Welcome to Club (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
    • Icebreakers, introductions, overview of Club goals and schedule
  • Sunday, January 26: Play/Audition Prep (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
    • Introduction to Julius Caesar and preparation for Auditions
  • Sunday, February 2: Auditions (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
    • Attendance at this Sunday’s auditions is mandatory for all clubbers. If your clubber needs to miss the auditions for any reason, please contact me ASAP to make alternate arrangements.
  • Sunday, February 9: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, February 16: Field Trip (Blackfriars Playhouse, 1:30-4:30PM)
    • We will be attending the 2020 Actors’ Renaissance Season production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Blackfriars Playhouse.
    • Please plan to drop your clubber off at the Blackfriars Playhouse (10 S Market Street) at 1:30pm and pick them up from the Playhouse after the show, which should conclude no later than 4:30pm.
    • Tickets for each clubber are included in the cost of registration.
      • Parents & siblings may purchase additional tickets at a discount if they would like to accompany Drama Club on our field trip.
  • Sunday, February 23: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, March 1: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, March 8: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, March 15: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, March 22: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, March 29: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Saturday, April 4: Playhouse Rehearsal (Blackfriars Playhouse, 9am-12pm)
  • Sunday April 5: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Sunday, April 12: NO CLUB — HAPPY EASTER!
  • Saturday, April 18: Playhouse Rehearsal (Blackfriars Playhouse, 9am-12pm)
  • Sunday, April 19: Rehearsal (Nelson Street, 1-3PM)
  • Saturday, April 25: FINAL PERFORMANCE (Blackfriars Playhouse, 9am-12pm)
    • Our final performance will be in the Blackfriars Playhouse at 10am. Clubbers will need to arrive at 9am. The performance is a part of Shakespeare’s Birthday Party, which is free and open to the public. Invite everyone you know!