Welcome to Our 2021 Summer Season

We’ve Missed You


When, at the beginning of Henry V, the Chorus – on behalf of the actors – asks the audience to use their “imaginary forces” to “piece out our imperfections,” Shakespeare is giving away the secret of theatre: actors need an audience to make their magic.  At the ASC we’ve always known that (we leave the lights on so you can work with us), but after this pandemic year we feel it stronger than ever.  We’ve missed you.

To celebrate your return, this summer season offers three plays — Macbeth, Henry V,andAll’s Well that End’s Well;three genres – a tragedy, a history, and a comedy; and two venues: one inside and one outside: the Blackfriars Playhouse, our world-famous recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, and the intimate garden of Rose Terrace, which houses the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program in our partnership with Mary Baldwin University.

There where “the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto your gentle senses,” you’ll find “a pleasant seat” and use your imaginary forces to help the witches meet with Macbeth.  Shakespeare’s “Scottish play” about simultaneously looks at such big subjects as ambition, the nature of evil, free will, and time, while it gives us – rare in Shakespeare – the domestic story of a marriage.

In June join us in Staunton’s jewel of a theatre, the Blackfriars, and with your imaginary forces help us “cram within our Wooden O” the story of the King Henry V, who presided over England’s most famous battle in its victory over the French at Agincourt.  Shakespeare turns the historical facts of that triumph into a complex human portrait of kingship; a look at war from the perspectives of the powerful and the poor, the victors and the losers, the leaders and the led; and, surprisingly, a look at love from the bottom to the top.  All of that generously sprinkled with humor.

Then, the first week of August, we add to our repertory All’s Well That Ends Well and invite you and your imaginary forces to France again for the final of Shakespeare’s mature comedies, a Cinderella story with more than a dash of bitters.  Here you’ll meet Helena, one of his strongest heroines, who uses her brains and her courage to try to win the man of her dreams against all odds. The playwright, showing us that “the web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together,” fills the play with wit, foolery, and wisdom.


Welcome back to the ASC’s theatre of imagination.  We need you to help us do that magic.






Ralph Alan Cohen

ASC Mission

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.

Learn More About ASC and Shakespeare’s original staging conditions

ASC History

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.

Learn More

ASC Safestart

ASC is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all patrons and ASC employees. Details on our SafeStart plan can be found here. We ask that all patrons wear a mask at all times at both of our Summer 2021 venues, maintain social distancing, and reschedule their visit if they are feeling ill.

Blackfriars playhouse


Blackfriars Playhouse

The world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s Indoor Theatre

Learn More About the Blackfriar’s Playhouse

ASC Gift Shop

ASC GIft Shop

From T-Shirts to Cookie Cutters—the gift shop has something from everyone. Check out the new Actors’ Renaissance Summer inventory!

 Shop from your seat, select pick up at checkout, and your order will be ready for you when you leave!

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  • Three “weird sisters” plan to meet with Macbeth.
  • The King of Scotland (Duncan) and his sons (Malcolm and Donalbain) receive reports that Macbeth, who is the Thane (Lord) of Glamis, and Banquo have been victorious in battle against Norway and the Scottish rebels, including the Thane of Cawdor. Duncan orders the execution of Cawdor.
  • Macbeth and Banquo encounter the weird sisters, who predict that Macbeth will be pronounced Thane of Cawdor, then King; and that Banquo’s children will be kings. Almost immediately, news arrives that King Duncan has named Macbeth the new Thane of Cawdor.
  • By naming his son Malcolm Prince of Cumberland, Duncan declares that Malcolm will succeed him on the throne. Duncan then invites himself to Macbeth’s castle, Inverness.
  • Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth telling her about the weird sisters’ prophesies; when Macbeth arrives, she urges him to “catch the nearest way” to the throne by killing Duncan.
  • Macbeth agrees to the deed and, after changing and rechanging his mind, kills the sleeping King that night. Lady Macbeth places the bloody daggers to frame the drugged guards for the murder.
  • Macduff discovers the murdered King in the morning, and Macbeth kills the guards out of “violent love” for the dead King.
  • The King’s sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee to England and to Ireland, respectively, fearing that they will be blamed for Duncan’s murder.
  • Macbeth becomes King and, in fear of the third prophesy (that Banquo’s sons will be kings), orders the murders of Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo is killed, but his son escapes.
  • The ghost of Banquo appears at a royal banquet, but only Macbeth can see him. After Lady Macbeth dismisses the guests, Macbeth resolves to revisit the weird sisters and foresees more violence to come.
  • The weird sisters use their magic to conjure apparitions who assure Macbeth that he cannot be defeated by anyone “of woman born” or vanquished until the Birnam Forest itself attacks him at his castle on Dunsinane hill (an unlikely occurrence, in Macbeth’s mind).
  • Macbeth orders the death of Macduff’s family.
  • Macduff joins Malcolm’s army in England. After Malcolm tests Macduff’s loyalty to Macbeth, Ross reports the savage murder of Macduff’s family, and Macduff swears to kill Macbeth.
  • Violence and death ensue.

  • Prince Hal has led a riotous youth with his tavern companions Falstaff, Pistol, Bardolph, Nym, and Hostess Quickly.
  • On his deathbed, King Henry IV tells Prince Hal to “busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”
  • After the death of his father, Prince Hal becomes King Henry V. One of his first acts is to banish Falstaff from his presence, putting his wild past behind him.
  • To prevent a bill that would deprive them of lands and possessions, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely have offered King Henry money and the blessing of the Church for an invasion of France.
  • The bishops describe to King Henry the “Salic Law,” which the bishops interpret as entitling Henry to the French throne.
  • The French Prince (Dauphin) sends King Henry a mocking reply to Henry’s claims to “certain Dukedoms” in France.
  • In London, Falstaff’s friends mourn his death; Pistol, Nym, Bardolph, and Boy depart to join the King’s war on France.
  • In Southampton, King Henry orders the execution of three English noblemen who have accepted French gold to murder him.
  • At the French Court, King Henry’s uncle Exeter demands that the French crown and kingdom be resigned to Henry or bloodshed will follow.
  • King Henry and his army lay siege to and capture the city of Harfleur.
  • At the French Court, Kate, the Princess of France, asks her gentlewoman, Alice, to teach her English.
  • At Agincourt, the night before battle: the French are confident of their superior numbers and yearn for the morning, when they expect sure victory.
  • Meanwhile, King Henry disguises himself and walks about his camp to talk with his soldiers.
  • The next morning, the English army engages the French in the Battle of Agincourt.
  • Victory, grieving, wooing, and history ensue.

  • Helena, the orphaned daughter of a physician, lives as the ward of the Countess of Rossillion.
  • Bertram, the Countess’s son returns home to assume the title Count of Rossillion upon the death of his father.
  • The King of France is ill.
  • The Countess and Lord Lafew discuss the King’s poor health.
  • Bertram leaves Rossillion for the French court.
  • Helena expresses her secret love for Bertram.
  • Parolles, Bertram’s follower, discusses virginity with Helena.
  • Helena leaves for Paris to cure the King using one of her father’s remedies.
  • The Countess’s Clown jests about life at the King’s court.
  • The King recovers from his illness and grants Helena her choice of a husband from all the Lords at court. She selects Bertram; he refuses at first because “her breeding” is that of “a poor physician’s daughter,” but the King orders him to marry Helena.
  • After the wedding, Bertram declares that he will travel “to the Tuscan wars and never bed her” and leaves for Italy with Parolles.
  • Bertram sends a letter to Helena in which he vows not to accept her as his wife until she wears his ring and has conceived his child, which he declares will never happen. Helena vows to “steal away” from France.
  • In the Italian wars, the Duke of Florence makes Bertram a general; Bertram meets and plans to seduce a widow’s daughter named Diana.
  • Helena travels to Florence and also meets Diana.
  • Bed-tricks, little deaths, lies, and revelations ensue.

brandon carter


THIS SEASON: Banquo in Macbeth; Henry V in Henry V, Dumaine Brother #2 in All’s Well that Ends Well

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 7 seasons and 24 Roles including Hal in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2; Cassius in Julius Caesar; Cassio in Othello; Orlando in As You Like It; Frank in The Willard Suitcases; Menas, Scarus, Mardian in Antony and Cleopatra

OTHER THEATRE: Justin in Blood at the Root (The Kennedy Center; The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa; National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa; Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Adelaide Fringe Festival; The National Black Theatre, NYC); Skeeter in The First Noel (The Apollo, NYC); Aramis in The Three Musketeers, Malcolm in Macbeth, Gonzalo in The Tempest (Classical Theatre of Harlem, NYC); Macduff in Drunk Shakespeare, Theodore in Black Angels Over Tuskegee (Off-Broadway, NYC); Associate Pastor in The Christians (Cadence Theatre, Richmond, VA) and Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love (Virginia Rep)

AWARDS: Hip Hop Theater Creator Award (Kennedy Center); Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Award (Adelaide Fringe Festival); Holden Street Theatres Edinburgh Award (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

EDUCATION: MFA in Acting, Penn State University; BA in Theatre, Longwood University; RYT +200, Lila Yoga Studios



Instagram: @mistercart3r

Elleon Dobias

THIS SEASON: 2nd Witch, Fleance, Macduff Son, Gentlewoman, Young Siward in Macbeth; Boy, Gloucester, Governor, Burgundy in Henry V; Rinaldo (Steward), Soldier, Lord in All’s Well That Ends Well.

PREVIOUSLY AT ASC: Ensemble in A Christmas Carol

OTHER THEATRE: Once (National Tour 2019), Indecent (Chicago Premiere, Victory Gardens), Haymarket (World Premiere, Underscore Theatre), Imminent and Disastrous (Denver Center for the Performing Arts New Play Summit), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Emerald City Theatre), Cricket on the Mantle (The Den Theatre). Writing credits include National Moonshine Day (Chicago Scratch), After Dark (Factory Theatre), and Woman’s Place (New American Folk Theatre).


Acting Fellow

THIS SEASON: Angus, Lord, Murder, and understudy in Macbeth; Jamy, Grandpre, Attendant, and understudy in Henry V, understudy and Dance Choreography in All’s Well that Ends Well. 

OTHER THEATRE: Gertrude in Hamlet; Regan in King Lear; Thaisa/Dionyza/Lysimachus in Pericles; Titania/Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Clarinda in The Sea Voyage (Mary Baldwin University MFA)

EDUCATION: B.S. in Psychology; minor in Theatre, Freed-Hardeman University. MLitt and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance, Mary Baldwin University.


THIS SEASON: Lennox in Macbeth; Nym, Alice, Orleans in Henry V, Dumaine Brother 1, Widow in All’s Well that Ends Well. Spanish Translation in Henry V. 

OTHER THEATRE: Young Clifford, Ensemble in Bring Down the House I & II, La Vecina in La Comedia of Errors (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Romeo in Romeo y Julieta, Young York and Ensemble in Richard III, Ensemble in Measure for Measure (Seattle Shakespeare Company); The Fool in King Lear, Ophelia in Hamlet (Wooden O/Seattle Shakespeare Company); 11 in The Wolves (A Contemporary Theatre); Bob Zelnick in Frost/Nixon, Julia in The Birds (Strawberry Theatre Workshop); Harriet Smith in Emma (Book-It Repertory Theatre); Rosalie Wells in The Children’s Hour, Morgan/Mascot in John Baxter is a Switch Hitter (Intiman Theatre Festival); Viola in Twelfth Night (The Merc Playhouse); Macduff in Macbeth, Millamant in The Way of the World, Countess Diana in El Perro Del Hortelano, Queen Margaret in Henry VI (LAMDA); Rosaline in Love’s Labor’s Won, Toinette in The Imaginary Invalid, Halie in Buried Child (Seattle University).

AWARDS: Fulbright Scholar, Sullivan Scholar

EDUCATION: MA in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, BA in Theatre and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Seattle University.


john harrell american shakespeare center


THIS SEASON: Ross in Macbeth; Canterbury, Fluellen in Henry V; Lafew, Interpreter (Soldier 1) in All’s Well That Ends Well.

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 27 seasons and over 200 roles including Falstaff in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2; Brutus in Julius Caesar; Iago in Othello; Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Shylock in The Merchant of Venice; Orsino (2016) and Malvolio (2010) in Twelfth Night; Gloucester in King Lear; Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors; Touchstone in As You Like It; Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing; Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest; Oberon (2015) and Bottom (2009) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and the title roles in Cyrano de Bergerac, King JohnHamletJulius CaesarRichard II, and Richard III

OTHER THEATRE: Le Beau, Amiens in As You Like It; Wabash in Shakespeare in Love (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Sergius in Arms and the Man (Theatre Gael, Atlanta, GA); Co-founder of Foolery in Charlottesville, VA

AWARDS: Most Innovative Production—BBC Radio, for Foolery’s 1997 Cyrano de Bergerac at Edinburgh

EDUCATION: BA in English, James Madison University


Chris Johnston


THIS SEASON: Macbeth in Macbeth; Pistol, Ely in Henry V, Parolles in All’s Well that Ends Well

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 23 seasons and over 160 roles including Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra; Feste in Twelfth Night; Black Will in Arden of Faversham; Flamenio in White Devil; George Knightley in Emma; Buckingham, Ghost in Richard III; Demetre in The Willard Suitcases; Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; King Henry in Henry VI, Parts 2 & 3; Don Armando in Love’s Labour’s Lost

OTHER THEATRE: Feste in Twelfth Night (Salt Lake Shakespeare, Salt Lake City, UT); Ferdinand in The Duchess of Malfi, Antiphilous of Syracuse in The Comedy Of Errors, Gerry in Dancing at Lughnasa (Babcock Theatre, Salt Lake City, UT)

EDUCATION: BFA in Actor Training, University of Utah



THIS SEASON: Understudy in Macbeth; Westmoreland, Court Bourbon, Understudy in Henry V; Soldier, Lord, Ensemble, Understudy in All’s Well That Ends Well. 

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: Understudy in Twelfth Night; Second Senator, Second Gentleman, Understudy in Othello

OTHER THEATRE: Second Murderer, Henry VI in Richard III (Mary Baldwin University S&P), Lida Dutton in All for the Union (2019 DC Capital Fringe Festival); Ruth Condomine in Blithe Spirit (directed by Padraic Lillis); big shout out to the Main Street family!

EDUCATION: Acting BFA from Shenandoah Conservatory, MLITT and MFA from Mary Baldwin University.


Acting fellow
THIS SEASON: Understudy in Macbeth; Bardolph, Rambures, and Warwick in Henry V, Soldier and Lord in All’s Well that Ends Well
OTHER THEATER: Hamlet in Hamlet; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Romeo and Father Capulet in Romeo and Juliet; Edgar in King Lear; Tibalt in The Sea Voyage 
EDUCATION: BFA in Theater at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and MLitt and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University

THIS SEASON: Malcolm, 2nd Murderer in Macbeth; Montjoy, Scroop in Henry V; Diana, The Duke in All’s Well that Ends Well

OTHER THEATRE: Margaret in The Great God Brown (Target Margin Theatre); Water Brat in Fire. Water. Night. (La MaMa); Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (Occupy Verona); Ivy in Flashes & Floaters (Orlando Shakes); Sam in A Skeptic and a Bruja (Urbanite Theatre)

EDUCATION: MFA in Acting, University of Florida; BA in Experimental Theatre, Vassar College; Eugene O’ Neill Center’s Moscow Art Theatre Intensive

PRONOUNS: she/her/we



THIS SEASON: First Witch in Macbeth, and Mariana in All’s Well that Ends Well as other various roles. Intimacy Choreography in All’s Well That Ends Well. Natasia is thrilled this is her debut season with the ASC.

OTHER THEATER: Natasia has been seen previously as Mistress Quickly with Richmond Shakespeare Festival and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s 2017-2018 season.

EDUCATION: Natasia recently graduated with her MFA from Mary Baldwin University with an MFA where she had the joy of performing the roles of Mercutio, Oberon, and King Lear.



Lady Macduff, Donalbain, 1st Murderer, Caithness in Macbeth; Katherine, Dauphin, Court, Cambridge in Henry V; Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well. 


Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing; Lady Northumberland, Peto, Silence, Prince Humphrey in Henry IV, Part 2; 2nd Swordsman, 2nd Gentleman in A King and No King; Peto, Vernon in Henry IV, Part 1; Performer in Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!); Meg Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor; Peto, Vernon in Henry IV, Part 1; Anne Page in Anne Page Hates Fun; Dennis, Audrey, Lord in As You Like It; Jane Fairfax in Emma; Dorset/Grey, Mayor, Blunt in Richard III; and Lady Townley in The Man of Mode


Viola in Shakespeare in Love; Mabelu in The Old Man and The Old Moon; Clarice in West Side Story (Hope Summer Repertory); Lady Macbeth, Lady Macduff, Witch 3 in Macbeth; Queen Elizabeth in Richard III; Olivia in Twelfth Night; Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing (Houston Shakespeare Festival, Houston, TX); Tatyana in Enemies (Main Street Theater, Houston, TX); Lysander, Flute, Mustardseed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rec Room, Houston, TX).


MFA in Acting, University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program


THIS SEASON: Bloody Captain, Seyton, 3rd Murderer in Macbeth; Constable, MacMorris, Bedford, ensemble in Henry V; Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well. 

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: Ensemble in A Christmas Carol, Musician/Swing in Twelfth Night; Musician/Swing in Othello; Understudy in Much Ado about Nothing; Musician, Understudy in Henry IV, Part 2; Musician, Understudy in A King and No King; Musician, Understudy in Henry IV, Part 1

OTHER THEATRE: Billy, Eamon, Svec, and Emcee in Once (John W. Engeman Theatre; and 2019 US National Tour); Nate in Oil (Olney Theatre Center); Philip in The Lion in Winter, Narrator/Pianist in Billy Bishop Goes to War (Cape May Stage); White Rabbit in Wonderland: Alice’s Rock n’ Roll Adventure (Atlantic Theatre Company); Music Director/Composer for various productions of The TempestTwelfth NightAs You Like ItThe Yellow Boat, and The Lion in Winter (Recess Theatre; Cape May Stage; and James Madison University)

AWARDS: Nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, Production—Helen Hayes, for Olney Theatre’s Oil

EDUCATION: B.A. in Theatre and Dance with a Music minor from James Madison University


THIS SEASON: Duncan, Porter, Old Man, Lord, Siward in Macbeth; Grey, French King, Gower, York in Henry V; Clown (Lavatch), Soldier in All’s Well That Ends Well. 

PREVIOUSLY  WITH ASC: Cover/Swing in Twelfth Night; First Gentleman/Cover/Swing in Othello

OTHER THEATRE: Toby in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the ‘Burg); Falstaff in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 (Gallatin); Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare-to-Go); Matt, Burns in Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (Gallatin)

EDUCATION: BA in Individualized Study, Gallatin at New York University



THIS SEASON: Lady Macbeth in Macbeth; Chorus, Hostess, Williams, Salisbury, Isabel in Henry V; Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well.

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 10 seasons and over 20 roles including Belle, Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol; Viola/Sebastian in Twelfth Night; Roderigo in Othello; Doll Tearsheet, Westmoreland in Henry IV, Part 2; Don John in Much Ado About Nothing; Panthea in A King and No King; Portia, Messala in Julius Caesar; Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra; Lucius Septimius in Caesar and Cleopatra; Irma, Mary Agnes in The Willard Suitcases; Le Beau, Phebe in As You Like It; Emma Woodhouse in Emma; Murderer, Prince Edward, Lovell in Richard III; Lady Woodvil in The Man of Mode; Mrs. Webb in Our Town; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Sylvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Juliet in Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)

OTHER THEATRE: Queen Catherine/Musician in Nell Gwynn (Folger Theatre); Sandra Dee/Musician in Mack the Knife (Florida Studio Theatre); Core Member in Dylathon: A Celebration of Dylan Thomas (Wales Theater Company, Swansea); Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Dudard in Rhinoceros (Onomatopoeia Theater Company, NYC)

EDUCATION: BA English and BA Theater, The College of William and Mary


THIS SEASONFight Director (Macbeth, Henry V, All’s Well That Ends Well), Macduff and Witch #3 in Macbeth; Exeter and Erpingham in Henry V, King of France in All’s Well that Ends Well

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 10 seasons and over 35 roles including Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing; Malvolio in Twelfth Night; Pietro Jacomo in The Malcontent; Grimaldi in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore; Escalus in Measure for Measure; Young King Henry in Look About You; Duke of York in Henry VI, pt 3;

OTHER THEATRE: Dr. Watson in Baskerville; Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham, Miss Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, Roy in The Odd Couple (Heritage theatre Festival); Pericles in Pericles (Vanguard Theatre company, UK); David Darling in Cat’s-Paw (Virginia Stage Company); Cornwall in King Lear, Duke Suffolk in King Henry VIII (Virginia Shakespeare Festival);

FILM/TV: Stanley Kelly Land in Broken Appliance, Frank in The Revival (Shutt-erspeed Productions, UK); Dr. Lawrence Bragg in Feeling Fire From Afar (Panton Chair Productions, UK)

EDUCATION: MFA in Staging Shakespeare, Exeter University, UK; Certified with Society of American Fight Directors & the British Academy of Dramatic Combat


Instagram: @silverlinetheatre
Production Stage Manager

Thomas is humbled to be a part of this Actor’s Renaissance Season, having been the Tour Manager for the ASC since 2015. With ASConTOUR: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Winter’s Tale, Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo & Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V, and Julius Caesar. Also, Othello, Twelfth Night, The Grapes of Wrath, Our Town, The Importance of Being Earnest, Antigone and the World Premier of Emma Whipday’s Sense and Sensibility. Additional ASC credits: Equivocation, Goodnight Desdemona, Arms and The Man, and six productions of A Christmas Carol! Thomas is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Love to M&D, & KRM. www.thomasjcoppola.com #BLM

REGIONAL CREDITS: Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz (American Family Theatre, National Tour) The Fall of The House of Usher, The Most Dangerous Game (Chamber Theatre Productions, National Tour) Spamalot, Les Miserables, They’re Playing Our Song, Falsettos, and Next Thing You Know (Sharon Playhouse); CATS, Hairspray, Crazy For You, HAIR, Once on This Island, Sunset Boulevard (Cohoes Music Hall); Into The Woods, All Shook Up, Seussical, Laramie Project: Epilogue (Barrington Stage Company)




Rhi is extremely grateful to be here at the ASC as Technical Director. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts and a minor in Industrial Design from Virginia Tech, where she executed a significant amount of the charge work for the main stage and graduate projects. Her set design credits include an all-female cast Glengarry Glen Ross, directed by Bob McGrath. She spent the Summer 2017 season as a scenic intern for Studio Theatre in Washington, DC and the 2018/19 season as the Huntington Theatre Co.’s Scenic Art Apprentice in Boston, MA. When not tinkering behind the scenes she can be found on the nearest mountaintop or experimenting in her kitchen.




Mary Evelyn joined the ASC as First Hand Stitcher in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. Her interest in theater began with the time she spent in Plymouth, England working at The Theater Royale (TR2).  There she helped with multiple shows, including the 2008 touring production of Mary Poppins.  She then attended Savannah College of Art and Design graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design with a concentration in Fiber Arts.  Having fallen in love with Savannah, she took a job at a local alteration studio that specializes in bridal and menswear, helping it grow to its peak in 2018, when Stitch was awarded Best of Savannah.  In addition to managing and running Stitch, she worked one on one with clients to create custom garments, namely bridal gowns.

Sarah Wardlow is thrilled to be joining the ASC for her second season. After completing her Fellowship program, she stayed on to become the Assistant Stage Manager. She has previously worked on shows at Randolph College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. When she is not backstage, Sarah enjoys painting, finding beautiful flowers, and eating good food with friends.


Thomas is a theatre artist and Shakespeare enthusiast with a Master of Letters Degree in Shakespeare & Performance from Mary Baldwin University. He loves iambic pentameter and is just happy to be here.


Jay joined the ASC in 1999 after working for nine years as a project leader for Corning Incorporated. Prior to that, he was an actor in New York. He was instrumental in the opening of the Blackfriars Playhouse and conceived and developed the Actors’ Renaissance Season. He has worked as a casting director, actor, or producer on all of Shakespeare’s plays (most multiple times), three dozen other early modern plays, and over 80 musicals and modern plays. He is a longtime member of Actors’ Equity Association.




Ben first joined the American Shakespeare Center as a volunteer filmmaker in March of 2020 to hastily film seven productions in five days which would later come to be known as BlkFrs TV. Throughout the rest of 2020 Ben helped to expand ASC’s digital offerings before stepping into the role of Digital Projects Coordinator in the spring of 2021. He is currently a theatre major at James Madison University where he studies theatre design/technology and specializes in video design for theatre. During his time at JMU, Ben has been chosen to design for many MainStage productions and has been hired by the theatre department to create digital marketing content. Prior to college, Ben spent three years working for The Hurrah Players in Norfolk, Virginia where he found and developed his passion for theatre. When not busy with classes and rehearsals, Ben enjoys golfing and spending time with his family.

Fight Director

THIS SEASON: Fight Director (Macbeth, Henry V, All’s Well That Ends Well), Macduff and Witch #3 in Macbeth; Exeter and Erpingham in Henry V, King of France in All’s Well that Ends Well

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: 10 seasons and over 35 roles including Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing; Malvolio in Twelfth Night; Pietro Jacomo in The Malcontent; Grimaldi in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore; Escalus in Measure for Measure; Young King Henry in Look About You; Duke of York in Henry VI, pt 3;

OTHER THEATRE: Dr. Watson in Baskerville; Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham, Miss Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, Roy in The Odd Couple (Heritage theatre Festival); Pericles in Pericles (Vanguard Theatre company, UK); David Darling in Cat’s-Paw (Virginia Stage Company); Cornwall in King Lear, Duke Suffolk in King Henry VIII (Virginia Shakespeare Festival);

FILM/TV: Stanley Kelly Land in Broken Appliance, Frank in The Revival (Shutt-erspeed Productions, UK); Dr. Lawrence Bragg in Feeling Fire From Afar (Panton Chair Productions, UK)

EDUCATION: MFA in Staging Shakespeare, Exeter University, UK; Certified with Society of American Fight Directors & the British Academy of Dramatic Combat

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  • DISCOVER the inner workings of our 21st-century professional company.
  • EXPLORE the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.

Tours are available at 10:00 AM Tuesday – Saturday. Advanced ticketing is required.

Learn More>>


Dr. Ralph Presents

This Summer Dr. Ralph Presents two podcasts! 

Watch the website and our social media for information on these two series. 

  • The Actor-Management System
    • Conversations with scholars, current, and former Actors’ Renaissance actors about rehearsal and performance approaches as they relate to Shakespeare’s time. 
  • Shakespeare’s Women: Representation, Misogyny, Absence
    • Conversations with scholars and actors illuminating the role of female characters in the plays in our season.


Prep for the Play- All’s Well THat Ends WEll!

Are you prepared for All’s Well? Join team Education for a crash course in ASC’s approach to Shakespeare’s text with four interactive workshops that will hone your textual toolkit and help you approach the play like an actor. Dive deep into the text of Shakespeare’s famous history to learn how the play came together and make your own choices about performance — all without leaving your couch.

The event will meet synchronously on Zoom for 60-90 mins each night for the four nights (August 9-12), covering a different topic each night (schedule below). Join us for one workshop or all four!

  • Monday, August 9 @ 5:30pm ET- Editing Shakespeare
  • Tuesday, August 10 @ 5:30pm ET – Verse
  • Wednesday, August 11 @ 5:30pm ET – Rhetoric
  • Thursday, August 12 @ 5:30pm ET- Stage Directions
    Learn More>>


Next Live@Blackfriars Concert

September 19th with Wintergreen Music Festival

Learn More About Live@Blackfriars

ASC GIft Shop

From T-Shirts to Cookie Cutters—the gift shop has something from everyone. Check out the new Actors’ Renaissance Summer inventory!

Seeing a show at the Playhouse? Shop from your seat, select pick up at checkout, and your order will be ready for you when you leave!

Shop now

Blackfriars Conference

October 28-30, 2021

Distinct from other scholarly conferences, this gathering features short papers (13 minutes max), actors assisting presenters, and a bear keeping everything running smoothly. The focus on Shakespeare and questions of performance keeps everything active and engaging. Attendees will be able to join in person or virtually for the first time this year.

Learn More

2021 Donors and Partnerships

With the generous support of our donors the American Shakespeare Center continues to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity.


*all bolded names are patrons who gave consecutively over 5 years
Royals ($50,000+)

Amanda Bennett & Donald Graham

Ted Deming & Roz Ridgway

Candice & Aaron Hark

Chris & Betsy Little

Bruce & Sarah H. McWilliams

Nobles ($25,000-$49,999)

Kathy & Bernie Campbell

Jim & Shirley Gillespie

Kimberly West

Patrons ($15,000-$24,999)

John Attig

Paul G. Beers

Ralph & Judy Cohen

William A & Carole H Schmidt

Seth & Sharon Stark

Ambassadors ($10,000-$14,999)

Carol & Ken Adelman

Patrick & Allison Baroco

John Broadbent & Marjorie Deutsch

James & Esther Cavanaugh

Elizabeth Graham

Mr & Mrs. Stanley S. Hazen

David & Donna Ladd

Davidson A. Perry-Miller

Jennifer Risser

Joan Saxton, MD

Julia Griffin in memory of Lawrence Weiss

John Withers

Find a full list of our supporters here.


Institutional Sponsors and corporate matching gifts

2021 Corporate matching gifts
2021 Institutional Sponsors

The Ambrose Monell Foundation

City of Staunton

National Endowment for the Arts

The Patterson Foundation

Proteus Foundation

The Shubert Foundation, Inc.

Staunton Downtown Development Association

The Theodore H. Barth Foundation

The Tony Randall Foundation

Virginia Commission for the Arts

community partnerships

2021 Lodging Partners