FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Performances continue as scheduled unless we experience a loss of power or extremely dangerous conditions at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

In the event of a weather-related cancellation, you will be contacted through the email you provide during your ticket purchase with the cancellation announcement and your options—you may request to move to a different performance, to receive a refund, move to a placeholder good for a year, or opt to make a tax-deductible donation with the cost of your ticket.

If we ARE able to continue the performance, for patrons who cannot travel safely, we will gladly issue replacement tickets for another performance of the same play, pending availability, or move your tickets into a placeholder voucher good for any performance within the calendar year. Please contact the Box Office before curtain time of the show you’ll be missing to let us know you won’t be attending and to make arrangements. The Box Office email is tickets@americanshakespearecenter.com.

ASC welcomes children seven and older to the Blackfriars Playhouse throughout the year.

Children three and older are welcome to A Christmas Carol during the Holiday Season and sensory-friendly performances of our 90-minute productions.

Please be aware that our productions are classic Shakespearean comedies/tragedies/histories, meaning that in addition to the sublime silliness or solemnity, the text is often bawdy, irreverent, and/or downright salacious. The American Shakespeare Center honors the spirit of the play as written, and recommends patrons exercise their best judgment when deciding if these stories are suitable for their children.

Some shows require a more specific content advisory. We always recommend reading a summary of the plays to use your best judgment.

For our Non-Shakespeares, they will range in content matter and themes. Please check the specific show pages on our website or call the box office for details.

A talkback occurs after the performance, where a selection of the actors will come back on stage and answer some questions from the audience. They are not required and last about 15 minutes. The audience can ask questions about the performance or the actors’ process. They are not different performances.

Previews are a set of public performances of a theatrical production that take place before its official opening. The purpose of the preview is to allow the creative team time to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvements or adjustments that weren’t found during rehearsals. They are usually followed by another rehearsal to make any adjustments needed. It is a regular full performance with no stopping.

We aim for 2 hours with an intermission, but some shows are a little longer or shorter. Some shows will not have an intermission at all. We will not have concrete times until we get closer to the opening of the shows, but once we have the info available we will add it to each show’s individual event webpage. You can also check the follow-up emails about your performance for run time information.

Yes, we do sell e-gift cards! Visit this webpage for details. 

We do not sell blank tickets, but we do sell e-gift cards! An e-gift card can be used to purchase tickets for performances or other ASC events. The gift card is valid for 5 years from the date of purchase. They are not refundable and have no cash value. To purchase, please visit this webpage or call the Box Office.

Gift cards can be redeemed for all public ticketable events including shows, education programs, and engagement events either online or through our Box Office.

To use online, build your ticket order as normal. Once you get to the payment page, select “Use Gift Card” and enter your gift card number.

We can offer a refund if your performance/event is still 30+ days away. If there are less than 30 days till your event, we can instead exchange your ticket for a placeholder voucher that will be good for one year from the date of receipt. Placeholders will be worth the same price as you paid for your original ticket. If you would like to upgrade your seating selection when redeeming your placeholder, we are able to process that extra payment.

Placeholders are redeemable over the phone, email, or in person. They cannot be redeemed during online checkout.

Unfortunately, we cannot retroactively add a discount to your ticket order. Please use your eligible discount on your next ticket purchase!

Actors in the age of Shakespeare were predominately, if not exclusively, white males. Women didn’t take to the professional English stage until after the Restoration (1660), so Shakespeare’s female roles were played by boys.

Fortunately, we’ve moved beyond Elizabethan casting practices. We look for actors of all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. We cast women as male characters and men as female characters. We cast actors of color in any and all roles. We believe that Shakespeare’s plays tell the stories of us all and want our casting to reflect that. Learn about all our staging conditions and practices here.

Here is a note about 2023 casting from ASC’s artistic leadership: “The American Shakespeare Center firmly believes that our casting choices should mirror the rich diversity of our community. By approaching classic works with a fresh and diverse perspective, we strive to ensure that Shakespeare’s timeless texts remain vibrant and meaningful for future generations.” – Brandon Carter, Artistic Director

After you have selected your date and seats, you’ll be taken to the check-out screen. Make sure to read the details! At the top center of the third webpage, look for the section titled “Discount.” This is where you can enter the discount code, on the right-hand side of the screen. Type or paste your code into the box and hit “apply.”

Codes are case sensitive. You’ll know if the code was accepted by a green pop-up message appearing towards the top of the screen and a reduction in the total price. If it is red, the code did not work. Check the code for specifics on applicability.

Playhouse Tours occur Tuesday to Friday 10 AM and 2 PM or Saturdays at 10 AM. When we do not have shows, there may be more times available, dates and times may vary based on the Playhouse schedule. Playhouse Tours are $7 per person and last about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You will meet your tour guide outside the Playhouse at 10 S. Market Street. Tour guides will be present starting 10 minutes prior to the start of the tour. Purchase tour tickets here.

 

All Playhouse Tours must be booked at least 24 hours in advance to ensure the tour guide is present and the Playhouse is unlocked. If the date is not listed for purchase, that means that it is too late to book the tour.

Unfortunately, all ticket packages dated 2020 or prior are now expired.

Yes, our ticketing system charges a $5 ticket fee on all transactions. The fee can be seen after you select your seats online and move to the next page. Hit “see details” on the checkout page to view.

All but one row in our theatre, JJ on the second level, has either a dedicated seatback or wall. We also have cushions on all seat bottoms and cushions for the back. The ones for backs are first come first serve, so you are welcome to bring your own.

Wheelchair-accessible seating is available on the first and second levels for all our performances.

Hearing assistance receivers and follow-along scripts are available at the box office.

Service dogs are permitted in the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Vision-Impaired patrons may request a complimentary companion ticket.

10 South Market Street, Staunton, VA 24401

The ASC Box Office is open Wednesday-Friday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays/Sundays from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Box Office email: tickets@americanshakespearecenter.com

Finding parking in downtown Staunton is pretty easy! The New Street Garage is the closest to the Blackfriars, but there are plenty of lots scattered around town (typical exit fee $1 after 5:30 and on weekends). Street parking is available near the Blackfriars and is free on weekends and weekdays after 5:00 PM.

From Friday at 4 PM till early Monday morning, Beverly Street shuts down from the Spring-early Fall for outdoor dining. Please plan accordingly for road shutdowns and traffic delays if you are joining us on the weekends.

Placeholders are ticket credits. If you can’t make it to a show and let us know beforehand or booked the wrong date, the Box Office will switch your tickets into placeholders. The placeholder will be good for one year from the date of exchange. To use placeholders, please email or call the box office with your order or item number to make the exchange. Placeholders are not redeemable for online checkout.

We would love to have your event at the Blackfriars Playhouse! Please fill out the form HERE and our team will get back to you.

Service dogs are permitted, but no other pets are allowed inside the Playhouse for performances, tours, or events.

There is no shortage of stellar restaurants around downtown Staunton. Explore our MAKE IT A WEEKEND guide to find restaurants, hotel deals, and more!

Our Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries play contest is still currently on hold as of 2023. We generally do not accept unsolicited script submissions outside of this program.

Our theatre has a “thrust” style stage, meaning we have an audience on three sides since the playing space is thrusted into the audience. We have a First Level and Second Level. Access to the first level is through the Main Lobby. Access to the Second Level is through the Main Lobby and up the Staircase (or Elevator) to the left when you walk in. There is no public access to the second floor inside the Playhouse. Seat prices are determined by day of the week and where you sit. The range is $36-$65. The color chart to the right of the seating map online will tell you the prices for specific seats. Any seat marked with a “x” and in a gray color is already sold. Any seats in the color Black are not for sale.

On the First Level Rows A-H are in the center most section. Row A is the lowest point in the theater, sitting there you will be looking up at the action. As you get further back towards Row H, the seats are raised higher than the ones in front. Rows N, I, O, and Row L (Seats 3-9) are all ground level, meaning there are no steps to access these seats. Along the outer rim of the First Level, Rows M, P, J, and K all have a few steps to the seats. Rows on the sides of the screen have an angled view of the stage or are viewing the stage from a side.

On the Second Level we have an outer ring of seats. Rows on the sides of the screen have an angled view of the stage or are viewing the stage from a side. Seats towards the top of the computer screen are over the stage, the view is looking down on the action. Some seats upstairs have limited but not obstructed views.

With the exception of Row JJ on the second level, all other rows have either a dedicated seat back or wall to lean up against. Row L on the First Level are what we call the Lord’s Chairs, they are similar to a Director’s chair in style with a leather strip for a back and arm rests. All seats have a cushion for the bottom.

On both levels by the Restrooms we have extra cushions for patron’s backs, these are first come first serve. You are more than welcome to bring your own cushion. Cushion fun tip: for seats with a wooden seat back, the cushion slides over the seat back!

Any Seat with a circle in the box is an obstructed view seat. These require a slight lean to the left, right, or front.

Seats with the letter “C” in them are Companion seats for the Accessible seating spaces. If you are not part of a party in the Accessible seating spaces, you will not be able to be seated in those spaces.

Seats with the Handicap Accessible Symbol of the wheelchair are spaces for patrons in wheelchairs or scooters. There is NOT a chair or bench in those spaces. If you have purchased these seats and do not have a member of your party in a wheelchair or scooter, the House Manager during the performance will do their best to get you into another seat pending availability. There may be an upcharge depending on availability. The ASC does not have wheelchairs or scooters for patrons.

We don’t have a specific dress code beyond a basic “no shirt, no shoes, no service.” Our audiences tend to dress in a range of casual to semi-formal with some people preferring to dress up a bit for a night at the theatre while others prefer to stick to casual dress. We welcome both options!

Visit our Ticket Deals and Policies page for more details about tickets, discounts, etc. Learn more about group ticket options here.

If you can’t find the answer to your question on our website, please contact us so we can assist.

To reach the Box Office for show, ticket, gift shop, and Playhouse Tour inquiries, please email them at tickets@americanshakespearecenter.com or give them a call at 1-877-MUCHADO.

For general or miscellaneous inquiries, please email our marketing team at info@americanshakespearecenter.com.