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Internationally renowned director presents Macbeth

shakespeare-newASC Guest Director and former Royal Shakespeare Company actor, Rob Clare, arrives in Staunton in July and brings with him a special treat for ASC patrons. On Mondays, July 15 and 22, at7:30pm, Clare presents Pay What You Will performances of his 75-minute version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

This cut and streamlined version of Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy emphasizes the dark and painful love story that is at the center of the play by focusing primarily on Macbeth (Clare) and Lady Macbeth [actor Reiko Aylesworth (24, Lost)], who are the only two main characters to appear onstage. The result is an intensely claustrophobic and emotionally driven rendition of the classic tragedy, particularly suited to the special intimacy of the Blackfriars Playhouse’s universal lighting and opportunity for direct audience contact. The performance lasts 75 minutes, with no intermission.  Hang onto your seats!

Of the production, Clare says “”We’re really excited to be bringing our streamlined Macbeth to the Blackfriars for two reasons.  First, we think it’s the perfect space for such an intimate reading of the play, which we believe centers on a dark and painful love story;  and second, because we just got married – !  Playing the Macbeths may seem to some to be a weird way to celebrate, but we can’t wait!”

Rob Clare was previously an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since worked as a specialist verse and text coach for the renowned company.  He has taught and directed Shakespeare all over the world.  Here in the US, his credits include productions at the Juilliard School, NYU Tisch, the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC, Kentucky Shakespeare, Marin Shakespeare Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Twelfth Night (2008) here in Staunton for the American Shakespeare Center. This year he is directing The Merry Wives of Windsor for the ASC which will be seen on tour and as part of the 2014 Spring Season at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Reiko Aylesworth’s many acting credits include the TV series 24 in which she had a leading role, Lost, ER, The Good Wife, Law and Order, CSI, Damages, The West Wing, Person of Interest, Elementary, Lights Out and Hawaii-5-0, and the films Random Hearts, Mister Brooks and Alien vs Predator: Requiem.  She is also a proud member of the NYC Actors Center workshop company

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.




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