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 is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all patrons and ASC employees. Details on what to expect when you visit the ASC, including vaccination and mask requirements, can be found here. 

Blackfriars playhouse

Blackfriars Playhouse

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

Learn More About the Blackfriar’s Playhouse

Explore Staunton

Staunton makes the perfect weekend destination!

Looking for a spot to grab a meal or drink before or after the show? Explore our Drink and Dining GUIDE. 

ASC Gift Shop



From T-Shirts to Cookie Cutters—the gift shop has something from everyone.

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

Shop now

In the kingdom of Illyria, twins Viola and Sebastian are shipwrecked and believe the other to have drowned. Viola disguises herself as a young man, called Cesario, and works for the Duke Orsino.

  • Orsino, Duke of Illyria, expresses his love for Lady Olivia, who is in mourning for her brother and refuses to admit the Duke’s men sent to woo on his behalf.
  • Viola washes ashore in Illyria after a shipwreck which seems to have killed her twin brother. She decides to disguise herself as a man and serve Duke Orsino as his page.
  • Olivia’s gentlewoman, Maria, chides Olivia’s kinsman, Sir Toby Belch, for staying out too late, drinking too much, and bringing Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a foolish knight, to woo Olivia.
  • The Duke sends his new servant, Cesario (Viola in disguise), to woo Olivia for him.  Cesario/Viola confesses “whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.”
  • Olivia, Maria, and Olivia’s steward Malvolio all reprimand Feste, Olivia’s clown, for being absent from her household. Feste quickly regains Olivia’s favor while earning the scorn of Malvolio.
  • Cesario/Viola arrives to woo Olivia for Duke Orsino. Olivia says she cannot love the Duke, but, when Cesario/Viola leaves, Olivia confesses affection for them.
  • Olivia pretends that Cesario gave her a ring from the Duke and sends Malvolio to run after Cesario and “return” it.
  • Malvolio catches up with Cesario/Viola to “return the ring”. Through their conversation, Viola realizes that Olivia is in love with her (Cesario).
  • Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, survived the shipwreck and tells Antonio, the man who saved him, that his sister drowned and that he must go to Orsino’s court.
  • After Sebastian departs, Antonio confesses he has enemies in Orsino’s court, but he will follow Sebastian anyway.
  • Toby, Sir Andrew, and Feste stay up late singing and drinking. Maria advises them to be quieter; Malvolio then breaks up the party and threatens to report them all to Olivia.
  • Maria devises a plan to put Malvolio in his place.
  • Cesario/Viola falls more in love with Orsino.
  • Olivia falls more in love with Cesario/Viola.
  • Sebastian arrives in Illyria.
  • Yellow stockings, dark rooms, challenges, and marriage proposals ensue.


THRIVE is partly about who we credit, who we erase, who we’re connected to, and whose names we pass down. So we want to give souldeep thankyous to:

  • Glynis Ridley for writing The Discovery of Jeanne Baret, which inspired THRIVE.
  •  Larry & Wendy White for providing a quiet space to write the first draft in.
  • New Georges, InterAct Theatre Core Playwrights, Page 73 Productions, The Playwrights Realm, Kitchen Dog Theater, Almanac Dance Circus Theater, and The Wilma HotHouse Company for supporting its development.
  • The American Shakespeare Center for committing to producing it!!
  • Megan Sandberg-Zakian for helping shape the play’s architecture midway through.
  • Anne G. Morgan for shepherding the play into visibility.
  • The many brilliant dramaturgs for all their guidance along the way. Especially Rebecca Adelsheim, Walter Bilderback, Carrie Chapter, Brenna Geffers, Drayton Hiers, Liana Irvine, Anne G. Morgan, Michael Walkup, and Erin Washburn.
  • The NEARLY FIFTY ACTORS(!!) who breathed their inimitable spirits into this playworld and brought it into being. Especially: C Bain, Lily Balsen, Ben Beckley, Danielle Davenport, Jax Jackson, Rachel Lin, Christina Pumariega, Rhys Roffey, and Lindsay Torrey – all of whom helped to form the characters and the playworld before there was even a script.
  •  Beth Blickers, the National New Play Network, and the Dramatists Guild for their tireless advocacy of new plays and living playwrights in this world.
  • The Lambda Literary Awards, Kilroys List, and ALL ORGANIZATIONS & INDIVIDUALS who are actively passing the mic to historically marginalized voices.

And most of all, we want to honor Jeanne Baret and the SO MANY female, queer, trans, and GNC ancestors whose lives & words were snuffed out by the powers that were (and are).
Thank you, Queer Ancestors, for finding a way to thrive, when even existing took courage. We owe so much of our work, words, life, and selfhoods to you.

Learn more about the real-life voyage and people on our Audience Materials Page.

If you’re looking for some resources and queer/trans/nonbinary/gnc community, here are some places to start:

The Shenandoah LGBTQ Center

Qchat Space

Equality Virginia

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, there are multiple national and local avenues for support.  Options are below: 

The Virginia Statewide Hotline:


The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Stuff That Happens

  • Jeanne, while working as a traditional herbalist, meets Commerson, while working as a taxonomist and botanist. The two debate the importance of names and naming systems.
  • Jeanne and Commerson fall in love and leave the country for Paris. Jeanne has a child that dies.
  • Commerson receives the opportunity to travel abroad doing botany drawings and cataloging for a circumnavigation trip. Jeanne comes with him, styled as Jean (a man).
  • Troubles aboard the ship include questions about Jean’s qualifications, closeness with Commerson, and gender.
  • Commerson is injured. Jean takes his place on botany voyages when they land.
  • After landing at a Pacific island, Jean/ne’s gender is inadvertently revealed.
  • Jean/ne is assaulted by the crew of the ship and confined to the room they and Commerson share.
  • As a result of the violent attack, Jean/ne finds themself to be pregnant. Commerson wants to keep and raise the child; Jean/ne refuses and plans to give the child up after birth.
  • Jean/ne and Commerson disembark the ship at Mauritius. Jean/ne gives birth there and entrusts the child to a local doctor to raise.
  • Growth, change, heartache and learning to live with trauma abound.

Jenny (she/her) is a fourth-generation theatre woman. At the ASC, she’s directed Richard III; The Fall of King Henry (Henry VI, Part 3); Much Ado about Nothing; King Lear; and The Winter’s Tale. Jenny lives in NYC, where her directing includes The Three Musketeers and Henry V off-Broadway with The Classical Theatre of Harlem, where she is an Artistic Associate. Previously directing The Comedy of Errors this spring, she is back for Twelfth Night this summer, then to HSRT in Holland, MI for Much Ado. In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Jenny founded a theatre company and collaborated with international artists for seven years. Taiwan directing includes Macbeth, Dangerous Liaisons/Weixian Guanxi, Romeo & Juliet, Into the Woods, and As You Like It! (a musical she co-wrote). Jenny is on the faculty of AMDA New York. MFA, U of Delaware; BA, UVA. A former SDC/ Kurt Weill Foundation Fellow, Jenny is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC), a national theatrical labor union. Twitter: @bennyjennett


L M Feldman is a queer, feminist playwright who writes theatrically adventurous, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays that are both epic and intimate – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection.

So far, her plays include THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL [AN EPIC] (Lambda Literary Award Finalist, American Shakespeare Center, Kitchen Dog New Works Festival, New Georges Audrey Residency, Page 73 Residency, InterAct Core Playwrights); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (Colorado New Play Festival, FEWW Prize Honorable Mention, Magic Theatre Play Festival, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, PlayPenn Conference, Playwrights Realm Fellowship); SCRIBE, OR THE SISTERS MILTON, OR ELEGY FOR THE UNWRITTEN (The Playwrights’ Center, Emerson Stage, Georgetown University, Northwoods Ramah Theatre commission); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College co-commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Brown Paper Box Co., Art House Productions, Nice People Theatre, ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nomination, Barrymore Nomination); A PEOPLE [A MOSAIC PLAY] (Terrence McNally Award Finalist, Orbiter 3, YiddishFest, Jewish Plays Project); and a TYA adaptation of TROPICAL SECRETS, OR ALL THE FLUTES IN THE SEA (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; Kindness Project commission).

She’s been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, the New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, and twice for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. And she’s ongoingly grateful to have been a MacDowell fellow, a Playwrights Realm fellow, a Dramatists Guild fellow, an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, and a member of Orbiter 3.

An alum of both the Yale School of Drama and the New England Center for Circus Arts, L is also a contemporary circus artist. She has performed duo trapeze and other circus-theater at festivals around the world, and she’s a dramaturg for circus artists around the country. She loves theater that moves, and circus that delves.

L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philadelphia, where she teaches, writes, devises, and handstands. She is a proud and grateful Core Writer (2021-2024) with the Playwrights’ Center. Currently, she’s working on an EST/Sloan commission – a three-part behemoth of a new play called THE MERCURY 13 GUIDE TO GETTING OFF THE GROUND.

THIS SEASON: Director – Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Larissa Lury is a freelance director, associate professor at New Mexico State University, deviser, and former acrobat. She’s drawn to artwork and experiences that open her to new ways of looking at the world around her, and strives to create those experiences for others. She’s directed and workshopped plays for companies including: The Assembly, Cherry Lane (Mentor Project), The Playwrights’ Center, Urbanite, Dorset Theatre Festival, Nashville Rep, Portland Center Stage, Southern Rep, San Diego Rep, InterAct, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Ma-Yi, New Jersey Rep, Keen Company’s Keen Teens, McCarter Theatre’s Youth Ink!, Curious Theatre Company, American Southwest Theatre Company, Lake Dillon, Passage Theatre, Abingdon/Small Pond, Leviathan Lab, and Prospect Theatre.

Through EST/Sloan and with support from a Drama League Next Stage Residency, she is developing The Mercury 13 [working title] inspired by women pilots in the early years of the space program with playwright L M Feldman.  She first began developing Thrive; or What You Will with Feldman through an Audrey Residency with New Georges in 2016, and so she’s especially excited to direct its first production here at ASC.

Larissa was a member of the inaugural group of National Directing Fellows, an LMCC Process SpaceResident, a Resident Director at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and a chashama AREA Award recipient. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and a New Georges Affiliate Artist.  She received a BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from UC San Diego.


Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Music Director Every Brilliant Thing, Twelfth Night, and Thrive, Or What You Will; Musical composition for Twelfth Night; Musician Every Brilliant Thing

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: Music Director; Tybalt, Apothecary, Paris’s Page in Romeo and Juliet and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of ErrorsFundraiser, Dick Wilkins, Belle’s Fiancé, Peter, Man in A Christmas Carol. Bloody Captain, Seyton, 3rd Murderer in Macbeth; Constable, MacMorris, Bedford, ensemble in Henry V; Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well, 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 Tempest, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The 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: Sebastian, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Jean 4, La Giraudais in Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Annie Fang is thrilled to be making her ASC debut as both the snob she was always born to be, and also a charming heartthrob (less in her wheelhouse)! Most recently, Annie appeared Off-Broadway in SHHHH (Atlantic Theater Company). Regional credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Delaware Shakespeare); This Is The Week That Is (1812 Productions); SHIP (Azuka Theatre); and Man of God (InterAct Theatre). ig: @thefatpecan

THIS SEASON: Orsino, Toby in Twelfth Night  and Jean 3, Prince in Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Eli Lynn (they/them) is a trans nonbinary actor and artist based in Philadelphia. Regional credits include: Aramis (The Three Musketeers, Cleveland Playhouse), Raymond (The Sea Voyage, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective), Flute/Thisby (Midsummer Night’s Dream, PA Shakespeare Festival), Dorcus/Dion (The Winter’s Tale, Folger Theatre), Danny/Diana (Sensitive Guys, World Premiere, InterAct Theatre), Flask (Moby Dick, Hedgerow Theatre), Aufidius (Coriolanus, Shakespeare in Clark Park).

They are also an IDC-certified Intimacy Director and Barrymore-nominated fight choreographer, whose fight/intimacy work has been seen at theatres including PA Shakespeare Festival, The Wilma, The Arden, People’s Light, Playwrights Horizons (NYC), Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Arden Theatre, Quintessence Theatre Group, and Theatre Exile. Eli is also a recently-minted Artistic Associate at Philadelphia Artists’ Collective. Love always to Vanessa. Soli Deo Gloria.

Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Maria, Antonio, Valentine in Twelfth Night and Jean/ne 5, Aotourou, Jean/ne-as-Commerson in Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Jasmine Eileen Coles is a storyteller. She shares stories that shifts paradigms, ignites change, and cultivates dialogue around themes that unravel the human experience. Joyful Memories include: Mr Joy (Lake Dillon Theatre) Marie Laveau: Daughters of the Bayou (Weeksville Heritage Center) Shug Avery: The Color Purple. (White Plains Regional Premiere ) Monette , A One Woman Show ( Off Broadway) The Top of Bravery (Shadowbox Theatre) Charlayne Woodard: Aint Misbehavin(Faison Firehouse Theatre),  Beneatha: A Raisin in the Sun (Virginia Rep Theatre)  Uncle Tom: Deconstructed ( The Conciliation Project) and directing and devising Her: The New Kween (Anacostia Arts Center).  Her original children’s show The Tale of Chef Kale has been presented at several festivals and schools in New York City. All gratitude to God, Family, and Friends.

Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Viola in Twelfth Night and Jeanne 1 in Thrive, Or What You Will

Regional Theatre: Estrella, Sueño (Trinity Rep); Lucia (u/s), Fade (Trinity Rep); Soothsayer, Julius Caesar (Hanover Theatre); Imogen, Cymbeline (Theatre at Monmouth); Kit, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Burbage Theatre Co.) 

Brown/Trinity Rep: Eleanor and others, The Late Wedding; Miranda and othersThe Tempest; Nellie Ewell/Rosa Gonzalez, Summer and Smoke; Golf Girl, Golf Girl (Writing is Live);  

TV/Film: Salvation 

Other Theaters: Helen, Helen (Willamette University); Chorus, The Trojan Women (Willamette University)

Education: Brown/Trinity MFA Acting Program; Willamette University BA Theatre & French and Francophone Studies

Other: Jihan is ecstatic to be making her ASC debut with a team of extraordinary humans. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she is thankful for all the paths that have led her to this opportunity. 

Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Olivia, Aguecheek, Curio in Twelfth Night and Commerson, Commerson-as-Jean/ne in Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: (they / them) is a non-binary theatrical artist located in Providence, a graduate from the  MFA Brown/Trinity Rep and BFS SUNY Purchase programs. As well as a resident artist at The Wilbury Theatre Group, where their previous credits include Antigonx, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Heart, The Red Bike, and Miss You Like Hell. Other plays include;  Tiny Beautiful Things and Like Sheep to Water, or Fuente Ovejuna at Trinity Rep. As well as Sotto Vocce at ASOLO Rep. Marcel has been involved with R.I.L.A’s Teatro En Verano, a collaboration between Rhode Island Latino Arts and Trinity Rep, providing free theatre most summers to Providence locals.

Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).


Feste, Fabian in Twelfth Night and Jeanne 2, Bougainville in Thrive, Or What You Will 


Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, 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; Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol


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: Understudy in Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will 

BIO:  Amy (she/her) is a Manorville, New York native who received her BA in Dance and Theater from Manhattanville College before heading to Staunton for Mary Baldwin’s Shakespeare and Performance Program. She recently graduated with her Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts Degree from Mary Baldwin University where she was an Acting Concentration. With her MFA Company she had the joy of playing Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Volumnia and Cominius in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and Estela in Ana Caro’s The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs. Some of her past credits include Isabella in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure with Northeast Stage, Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalionand Lady Anne in Shakespeare’s Richard III with East End Mobile Theater where she recently received a Broadway World Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2021. While learning her lines Amy enjoys crocheting and a cup of peppermint tea.

Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Understudy in Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Molly Martinez-Collins is excited to be part of this Summer season at the American Shakespeare Center. Her most recent roles include Flora in The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs with Polaris Shakespeare, Thaisa in Pericles, and Michael in Arden of Faversham. Molly will start her second year in the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program at Mary Baldwin University this upcoming Fall.

THIS SEASON: Understudy in Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will 

BIO: (they/them) is a trans nonbinary actor and educator originally from Parkersburg, West Virginia. They received their BA in English from Washington and Lee University and just completed their first year in Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program. Their recent roles include Cerimon in Pericles and Sebastian in MBU’s student production of Twelfth Night. Noah is incredibly grateful and excited to be a part of this Summer season at the ASC!

THIS SEASON:  Understudy in Twelfth Night, Thrive, and Pass Over

OTHER THEATRE: Iachimo/Belarius in Cymbeline, Piero/Officer in The Revengers Tragedy (Polaris Shakespeare Company); Frederick in The Rover, Grisolan/Executioner in The Duchess of Malfi (Hidden Room Theatre); Parolles in All’s Well that Ends Well (Past is Prologue Productions); Malcolm in Macbeth (Rosedale Shakespeare); Pericles in Pericles (MBU S&P) Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Antony in Antony & Cleopatra, Oliver in As You Like It (Shakespeare at Winedale)

EDUCATION: MLitt/MFA Candidate in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University; BFA in Acting with Honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts



THIS SEASON: Understudy in Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will 

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Music Director; u/s for Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and u/s for Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, Dance Captain (A Christmas Carol). Fundraiser, Mrs Fezziwig, Martha, Charwoman in A Christmas Carol 

OTHER THEATRE: Angus, Lord, Murder, and understudy in Macbeth; Jamy, Grandpre, Attendant, and understudy in Henry V, understudy in All’s Well that Ends Well, 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.


Thomas J CoppolaInterim Production Manager/Stage Manager & Sound designer Every Brilliant Thing

Member of of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

Acting as the Tour Manager from 2015-Covid, Thomas has been the resident SM for the last two years. Previously at the ASC: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Winter’s Tale, Comedy of Errors, Macbeth (x2), Taming of the ShrewRomeo & Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V (x2), Julius CaesarOthelloTwelfth Night, All’s Well That End’s Well. Additional ASC credits:The Grapes of Wrath, Our Town, The Importance of Being Earnest, Antigone, Equivocation, Goodnight Desdemona, Arms and The Man, the World Premier of Emma Whipday’s Sense and Sensibility and seven productions of A Christmas Carol! Thomas is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Love to M&D, & KRM. #BLM Proud Member of Actor’s Equity.

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)



THIS SEASON: Costume Designer Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Pamela Prior has been the Costume Shop Coordinator at Vassar for 5 years. Previous Costume Shop Management positions include: Theatre at Monmouth, Virginia Stage Company (CSM & Resident Costume Designer) and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Favorite Costume Design credits include: The Mountaintop (Virginia Stage Company), Nanjing Race (Abingdon Theatre- NYC), Timon of Athens (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey) & Anna Christie (Monomoy Theatre). She holds an MFA in Costume Design from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BFA in Design/ Technical Theatre from the University of Connecticut. She currently resides in Poughkeepsie, NY with her dog Murphy , her trusty companion in exploring the the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Technical Director and Resident Scenic & Props Designer; Scenic Design Twelfth Night and Thrive or What You Will

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.



Costume Shop Manager

Anna Lien has been costuming and creating theater for the past twenty years, starting in 2002 with a summer camp of Much Ado About Nothing, which cemented her love of Shakespeare. She graduated in 2008 from the College of William & Mary With a B.A. in Theater/History. She has been an ASC camp counselor, a stitcher for William & Mary’s Summer Shakespeare Festival, an interim artistic director for The Old Michie Theater for Children & Youth, and from 2011-2019 she founded and served as Artistic Director for Gorilla Theater Productions in Charlottesville, VA, where she directed, designed, acted, and taught for what that began as a youth theater group and grew into an LGBTQIA+ focused non-profit for youth & adults. Anna is delighted to be serving as ASC’s costume shop manager and works daily to contain her enthusiasm for all aspects of production.

american shakespeare center benjamin reed

Benjamin has been a resident company member with the American Shakespeare Center since 2014. He has served as Fight Director for 3 seasons and has performed over 56 roles in 10 seasons; including Laertes in Hamlet; Antonio in Antonio’s Revenge; Arbaces in A King and No King; Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher; and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. Other theatre credits include Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, The Alley, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and others. He is a proud member of the American Society of Fight Directors and Actors Equity Association. Benjamin studied under SAFD Fight Master Bryan Byrnes at the University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program where he earned his MFA in acting.

Doreen joined the ASC as an actor and choreographer in 2002 with the first Resident Troupe and then served as Director of Youth Programs, where she ran summer camps and educational programming for several years. She famously descended from the “heavens” in a circus hoop as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and previous ASC roles include Calphurnia in Julius Caesar, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Queen Margaret in Richard III, Christmas Present/Martha/Movement in A Christmas Carol 2002, Goneril in King Lear, Boy / Circus Choreographer in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Margaret / Dance Choreographer in Much Ado About Nothing, and Marianne in Tartuffe.

Doreen is faculty at Mary Baldwin University in the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program where she manages the MFA company and oversees training. As a director and movement practitioner, she enjoys both working in classical theatre and devising original work. Most recently, she directed Marie Antoinette for MBU’s undergraduate theatre department; co-directed original performance, Be-yonder, for the MFA program; collaborated on a new play, Robin Hood is Dead, with colleagues at MBU and ASC; and directed Chapatti at Heritage Theatre Festival in Charlottesville. Doreen is also a founding member of the Performers Exchange Project, a company dedicated to developing and performing original works.


Intimacy Choreographer

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: First Witch in Macbeth, and Mariana in All’s Well that Ends Well as other various roles; Intimacy Choreographer (A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors). Beggar Boy, Fan, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. 

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.




THIS SEASON: Understudy in Twelfth Night and Thrive, Or What You Will 

PREVIOUSLY WITH ASC: Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Music Director; u/s for Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and u/s for Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, Dance Captain (A Christmas Carol). Fundraiser, Mrs Fezziwig, Martha, Charwoman in A Christmas Carol 

OTHER THEATRE: Angus, Lord, Murder, and understudy in Macbeth; Jamy, Grandpre, Attendant, and understudy in Henry V, understudy in All’s Well that Ends Well, 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.



Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Stage Manager – Twelfth Night, Thrive, or What You Will)

BIO: Brendan M. Cullen* is happy to be making his debut at ASC. Over the years Brendan has worked as a Stage Manager in Colorado, New York, Tennessee, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and now Virginia. Past and favorite credits include In The Middle (LARK Play Development Center), Rock of Ages (Lake Dillon Theatre Company) and {my lingerie play} at Joe’s Pub. When not on the road, Brendan resides in Astoria, Queens, NYC and has a BFA from Syracuse University.

THIS SEASON: Dramaturg Thrive, Or What You Will

BIO: Anne G. Morgan (she/her/hers) is a dramaturg, arts administrator, and new play advocate. She is the Programs Director for the National New Play Network, an alliance of professional theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays.

Anne currently serves as Board Co-Chair for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and works regularly with Playwrights Realm, the Kennedy Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University, and more.

Anne was awarded the 2019 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for her work on Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, the American Shakespeare Center’s new play initiative. While leading that project, Anne dramaturged original work by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Anchuli Felicia King, Emma Whipday, and Amy E. Witting.

From 2012 – 2017, Anne was the Literary Manager & Dramaturg at the Eugene O’Neill Theatrer Center where she worked on new plays by David Auburn, Bekah Brunstetter, A. Rey Pamatmat, and more. Anne has worked internationally at the Baltic Playwrights Conference, the Latvian Academy of Culture, and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and has taught at the University of Connecticut and the National Theater Institute.

BIO: Liana Irvine (she/they) is joyous, loyal, and mindful as a dramaturg.  With intimacy and empathetic interrogation, Liana explores how our social ecosystems affect theatrical worlds, and in turn, how theatricalities affect realities.  Recent credits include various Writers Intensives (The Workshop Theatre), Hold These Truths (People’s Light and Theatre Company), The Chinese Lady (InterAct Theatre Company), while serving as Outreach Coordinator and Associate Producer for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists.

Member of of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

THIS SEASON: Assistant Stage Manager

Madison Lindy grew up on a small farm in Maryland where she spent her time feeding baby goats and getting lost in good books. She found her niche in Staunton, Virginia at the American Shakespeare Center. She has worked with the ASC in multiple capacities over the last several years and is thrilled to rejoin the company as the Assistant Stage Manager.




Full Bio Coming Soon

Stage Management Fellow

Full Bio Coming Soon

Stage Management Fellow


Props Artisan

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.

First Hand / Wardrobe Assistant
Wardrobe Swing
Cutter/Draper & Wardrobe Assistant
Shop Assistant / Wardrobe Swing



Make the Most of your visit to ASC

From our Enrichment Series to Special Events—there is something for everyone!

Playhouse Tours
  • LEARN about Shakespeare’s company and Playhouses.
  • 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 and 2:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Advanced ticketing is required.

Learn More>>


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!

Shop now

Be in the know! 

Be the first to know upcoming shows, special announcements, news, and promotions from the ASC. Sign up for our mailing list!

Sign Up now

ASC Memberships are still available! Members receive:

  • 25% off all ticket purchases for you and your guests.
  • Early access to ticket sales—get the best seats!
  • Free Prep for the Play access for each show title.
  • Explore more with 10% (or more) off select additional ASC programming.
  • Quarterly Membership email with exclusive content and opportunities from our actors, designers, staff, and education department.
  • Quarterly members-only discount code at the Gift Shop.




A two night crash course in ASC’s approach to the text with interactive workshops that will help you approach the play like an actor, deepening your understanding of the play and enriching your experience when you visit us to see the show. Meeting on Zoom, there is a Prep for the Play for each of our 2022 titles, and each night covers a different topic. Join for one night or both!



A weekly series of lectures, panels, and workshops featuring a line up of scholars, industry experts, ASC familiar faces, and powerful partnerships. On the Blackfriars stage every Friday of our show weeks at 5:00 PM.



Spend a weekend at the Blackfriars Playhouse where you will rediscover the joy and accessibility of teaching Shakespeare. Beginning Friday afternoon and ending Sunday, this weekend is curated with workshops, lectures, performances, and more with our team of Shakespeare performance and scholarship experts.


Spend Your Summer Performing Shakespeare in the world’s only re-creation of his indoor theatre- The Blackfriars Playhouse. Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, this residential camp combines scholarship and performance for the Shakespearean summer of your dreams.

Learn More>>

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)

John Attig

Christopher & Elizabeth Little

Seth & Sharon Stark

Myron “Buddy” Steves Jr. & Rowena Young

GALLANTS ($5,000 – $9,999)

Anonymous (2)

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

Richard McPherson

Thomas & Lyn Olson

The Krongard Foundation

Donald Warmke

Kimberly West

G. Rodney Young

Find a full list of our supporters here.

Institutional Sponsors

Proteus Foundation

Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation

Special Thanks

MORE 96.1

2021 Lodging Partners