PASS OVER DIGITAL PROGRAM
People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead, turns himself into a monster.
~James Baldwin, 1953
This production is medicine. Despite its bitter, potentially rancid taste, we must endure the foul flavor so that the body might heal. We must sit together in the discomfort of our shared past so that we might finally see the truth of where we have been, where we are now, and what it might actually take to have the country we have all been promised. Let us destroy the lies of yesterday so that we can enter tomorrow in honesty and humility.
Whatever this production brings up for you, may it lead to our collective healing. We are thrilled to continue the American Shakespeare Center tradition of universal lighting and leaving the lights on. (Mostly.) Your experience of the play will not be complete until you connect with someone who saw the same show on the same night from a different section of the house. It took teamwork to make this production, and it will take teamwork to process its implications and lessons.
I dedicate this production to my mentor and friend Sue Lawless, and to legacies of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin.
~Christopher Burris, 2022
Content Warning and A Message on the Language of this Play
Pass Over contains very strong, racially-loaded language, adult themes, and violence. Read about its recent Broadway productionhere.
A message from Playwright Antoinette Nwandu
“Let me be crystal clear: aside from the actors saying lines of dialogue on the stage while in character, this play is in no way an invitation for anyone to use the n-word. Not during tablework, not during talkbacks, not during after-work drinks.
…When you want to talk about the n-word, say “the n-word” – Everyone will know what you mean.”
American Shakespeare Center illuminates the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, classic and new, refreshing the individual, fostering civil discourse, and creating community in the Blackfriars Playhouse and beyond.
We began in 1988 when Jim Warren and Ralph Alan Cohen formed the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, a traveling troupe that used Shakespeare’s staging conditions to perform his plays. By 2000, we had performed in 47 states, one U.S. territory, and six foreign countries. Partnering with the City of Staunton and aided by private donors and generous help from Augusta County and the Commonwealth of Virginia, we built the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse in 2001. With one troupe at home and one on the road, we expanded our educational offerings and created America’s first MFA program in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University. We also established an international biennial conference for scholars, and we became the American Shakespeare Center. In 2009, to honor our achievement of turning Staunton into a world Shakespeare destination, the Commonwealth recognized us with the Governor’s Arts Award. By our 30th year, in 2018, we had played to nearly two million people, produced all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays (many of them more than twice), 36 plays by his contemporaries, and a grand total of 286 different productions in 5,506 performances.
The world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s Indoor Theatre
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2022 Donors and Partnerships
The American Shakespeare Center gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of its current season supporters
All donors marked (*) are members of the Epizeuxis Society and all donors bolded contributed for the last 5 consecutive years.
NOBLES ($25,000- $49,999)
Jim & Shirley Gillespie
PATRONS ($15,000- $24,000)
Paul G. Beers
Ralph & Judy Cohen
AMBASSADORS ($10,000 – $14,999)
Christopher & Elizabeth Little
Seth & Sharon Stark
Myron “Buddy” Steves Jr. & Rowena Young
GALLANTS ($5,000 – $9,999)
John Broadbent & Marjorie Deutsch
Carolyn & Allen Dahl
The Evergreen Fund
Ronald Bailey & Pamela Friedman*
Nancy & Rob Kyler
Frances J. Lee-Vandell
Dr. & Mrs. Preston C. Manning, Jr.
Leigh & Danny McDaniel
Robert E. & Sara Lee Menzer
Thomas & Lyn Olson
The Krongard Foundation
G. Rodney Young
Find a full list of our supporters here.
Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation
The Conciliation Project
Big Red BBQ
Staunton Olive Oil Store
Professor Molly Molly Seremet
2021 Lodging Partners