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American Shakespeare Center: Response to need ‘incredibly moving’

american shakespeare centerThe American Shakespeare Center, like many businesses in the current climate, is facing an uncertain future, to say the least.

Forced to cancel its current schedule, ASC, which traces its roots to the Shenandoah Shakespeare touring troupe founded in 1988, and which opened at its current Downtown Staunton home in 2001, was hit with a money crunch that threatened its existence.

The response to several media accounts of the situation being faced by American Shakespeare Center has been uplifting.

“I cannot imagine a world without the ASC and everything it gives people, so I’m going to do what I can,” said Colin O’Grady, one of the theatre’s donors in recent days.

Kind messages were also sent through the company’s Facebook page.

“Best small theater I’ve visited. I so hope you make it. Hang in there.” “Heartbreaking! We will miss you.” “I know how hard this choice was. Thank you for making it anyway.” “ASC is a gem that we can’t afford to lose.”

The leadership at ASC is hopeful that with help from their community it will be able to survive this crisis. The impact of comments from both the press and patrons has been encouraging to the staff in this time of need.

“The feedback we have been hearing from our community is incredibly moving,” said Artistic Director Ethan McSweeny, “Really, it is heartening to know how much the Blackfriars Playhouse and the work we do here means to people all over the world. This is a dark time for our company, but what we are hearing from fans has been truly special.”
American Shakespeare Center continues to invite friends of the theatre through that stage door of hope in the coming weeks. The company is accepting donations to help them re-open with a full staff in June.

Supporters are encouraged to donate if they are able, or to purchase tickets to the upcoming summer season, and to share ASC’s story on social media so others can follow their leadership.

All pre-purchased tickets for canceled performances will be initially moved into placeholders to be used for a future performance.

If patrons would like to convert their pre-purchased tickets into a donation, they are encouraged to visit for more information.