January 11, 2019 – April 13, 2019

Merry Wives of Windsor American Shakespeare Center Actors' Renaissance

Why, then the world ’s mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.

Urban legend claims that Queen Elizabeth asked Shakespeare to write a play featuring “the fat knight in love.” In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff is certainly in lust, if not truly in love. The objects of his affection, two clever Windsor wives, team up to outsmart and outmaneuver one of Shakespeare’s most beloved bad boys. Romance, farce, and a loving portrait of Elizabethan domestic life blend in this irresistible comic confection.


Dr. Ralph Lecture | March 22, 5:00 pm

Inside Plays Workshop | February 12 & March 17, 11:00 am

Post Show Talkbacks | February 14, March 7

Contains some adult content. ASC welcomes children age 7+

Runs approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes

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Stuff That Happens
  • Justice Robert Shallow and his young relative Abraham Slender arrive at their friend Master Page’s house to confront the notorious Sir John Falstaff who has “beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.” Sir Hugh Evans accompanies Justice Shallow in an effort to mediate the dispute.
  • Justice Shallow and Slender meet Falstaff in front of Page’s house. Falstaff defuses the situation and joins the Pages for dinner.
  • Justice Shallow, Sir Hugh, and Master Page attempt to match the reluctant Slender with Master Page’s daughter, Anne.
  • At the Garter Inn, Falstaff tells his men that he is low on funds. He devises a scheme to woo Mistress Ford and Mistress Page to get at their husbands’ money.
  • Sir Hugh sends Slender’s servant, Peter Simple, to Mistress Quickly to ask for her help in wooing Anne Page for Slender. The idea backfires when Mistress Quickly’s employer, Doctor Caius (who is trying to woo Anne for himself), finds Simple at his house. Doctor Caius challenges Sir Hugh to a duel.
  • Fenton, another suitor to Anne Page, also comes to Mistress Quickly for help in wooing Anne.
  • Mistress Page and Mistress Ford receive identical love letters from Falstaff. They plot how to get revenge on the lecherous knight.
  • Falstaff’s men, Pistol and Nym, betray Falstaff by telling Master Ford and Master Page about Falstaff’s efforts to seduce their wives.
  • Jealousy, disguises, dunkings, fairies, and reconciliations ensue.

Blackfriars Playhouse

10 S Market St Staunton, VA 24401