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American Shakespeare Center announces lineup for 2014-2015

Published Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 10:55 am
Filed under Arts FeaturesLocal/State News

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The American Shakespeare Center kicks off the new year and the start of the tenth annual Actors’ Renaissance Season with a special event announcing the titles for its 2014/15 Artistic Year and an Opening Night Celebration.

shakespeare-newOn Saturday, Jan. 4, immediately prior to the evening Pay What You Will Opening performance of As You Like It, Artistic Director Jim Warren will take the stage with the ASC Actors’ Renaissance Season Troupe and reveal the shows that will come alive at the Blackfriars Playhouse and On Tour from June 2014 through June 2015.

The glorious and wise comedy, As You Like It, is the first show in the tenth year of the widely-acclaimed Actors’ Renaissance Season, the time of year when the ASC puts up shows Shakespeare’s way. Gone are the outside directors, designers and the months of group rehearsals that Shakespeare’s company never knew. Veteran ASC actors mount these shows in just a matter of days, gathering costumes and props from our stock and often using cue scripts that contain only their own lines and their cues. The focus is on luminous language delivered by charismatic actors who turn the Blackfriars Playhouse into an intimate community participating in and becoming part of the world of the play together.

Artistic Director Jim Warren says, “The Actors’ Renaissance Season aims to create an even stronger bond between actor and audience and an even greater level of fun and excitement by unleashing the raw energy of Renaissance drama.”

After the show, audience members are invited to join the ASC Staff and Actors for the 2014 Actors’ Renaissance Season Opening Night Party (Guests must attend the performance in order to celebrate at the Opening Night Party).

In addition to As You Like Itthe 2014 Actors’ Renaissance Season offers four Blackfriars Playhouse premieres: the joyous, 18th-century lark The Servant of Two Masters; Shakespeare’s exploration of friendship, generosity, and gratitude, Timon of Athens; the bawdy and riotous Epicene, or The Silent Woman; and the bloody court thriller The Maid’s Tragedy.

The ASC invites veteran Blackfriars Playhouse actors to participate in the Actors’ Renaissance Season each year. All of the actors in this rotating repertory troupe play multiple roles, but some of the casting highlights include Tracie Thomason and Gregory Jon Phelps as Rosalind and Orlando in As You Like It; René Thornton, Jr. as Timon of Athens; John Harrell as the appropriately named Morose inEpicene; and Sarah Fallon as the scheming and lustful Evadne in The Maid’s Tragedy.

Tickets to the Blackfriars Playhouse start at $25 and can be purchased by calling 1.877.Much.Ado (1.877.682.4236).  The ASC also offers TalkBacks with the actors and pre-show lectures and workshops on each the shows – check the full ASC calendar for details.  Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta Country residents can take advantage of a limited “mid-week local rush” ticket for only $18.  Student and Senior discounts are also available.  For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit AmericanShakespeareCenter.com.

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education.  The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as “shamelessly entertaining” and by The Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy.” Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at www.americanshakespearecenter.com.