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American Shakespeare Center invites public to free day of celebrating Bard’s 460th birthday

File photo. Courtesy American Shakespeare Center.

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) invites the public to commemorate the 460th birthday of the Bard at its annual birthday bash on Saturday, April 20, 2024 outside on Market Street in front of the Blackfriars Playhouse.

The day will kick off with a special performance of Julius Caesar by the ASC Drama Club on the renowned Blackfriars stage at 10 a.m., setting the stage for a celebration unlike any other. Following the performance, families can enjoy a collection of family-friendly activities including DIY costume stations featuring ruff-making, crown decoration and other disguises to the opportunity to build-your-own paper bag bear and a bouncy castle equipped for “battle.”

Admission is free and all are welcome.

As a special treat in honor of Shakespeare’s big day, ASC is offering a “Kid’s Day” ticket, where kids ages 7 to 18 can attend a Shakespeare performance for $10 each. Witness the magic of Shakespeare live on stage with performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 2 p.m. and “Julius Caesar” at 7:30 p.m.

“The American Shakespeare Center boasts an amazing family of thespians, and your family can see them all in one day,” ASC Drama Club Director Lia Wallace said. “On Kids’ Day, you can enjoy a performance of Julius Caesar by the young members of the ASC Drama Club, join in the block party festivities for Shakespeare’s Birthday, and cap it all off with ASC’s Spring Season performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by ASC’s professional troupe.”

Festivities will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the iconic Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market St., Staunton.

More information and tickets are available online, or by calling the Box Office at 540-885-5588.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.