ASC Kicks off Summer 201 Season with OTHELLO, SHREW, WILD OATS, 6/23

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ASC Kicks off Summer 201 Season with OTHELLO, SHREW, WILD OATS, 6/23

The American Shakespeare Center has announced its 2010-2011 seasons, a program of 16 productions presented over 52 weeks in 5 separate repertory seasons, offering the largest number of plays per year by Shakespeare and Early Modern playwrights of any theatre in the world.

The lineup features eight plays by Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew; Othello; Henry IV, Part 2; As You Like It; Macbeth; Measure for Measure; The Comedy of Errors; and Henry VI, Part 3. Also included are four plays by contemporaries of Shakespeare: The Fair Maid of the West by Thomas Heywood; The Malcontent by John Marston; Look About You by Anonymous; and A Trick to Catch the Old One by Thomas Middleton; and one post-Restoration comedy: Wild Oats by John O'Keeffe. Three modern holiday plays cap off the year: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, and The Twelve Dates of Christmas by ASC actor Ginna Hoben.

"Our patrons can see more Shakespeare and Early Modern plays right here in Virginia than anywhere else on the planet," said ASC Artistic Director Jim Warren. "In the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, we perform 52 weeks a year in true repertory using Shakespeare's staging conditions that bring out the fun, excitement, and humanity of some of the greatest plays in the English language."

All ASC productions will be presented in the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va., the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre and "one of the most historically important theatres in the world," according to British scholar Andrew Gurr.

Believing that Shakespeare's stagecraft is as important as his wordcraft, the American Shakespeare Center has developed its own modern performance style based on how Shakespeare's company performed plays at the original Globe and Blackfriars Playhouses in Renaissance London, an approach that the Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout calls "first rate theatre."

Dubbed "shamelessly entertaining" by the Washington Post, ASC style includes having the audience and performers share the same light, seating the audience all around the stage and even on the stage itself, and having actors interact with audience members during the performance.

The ASC is one of the few theatres in the world to mount productions like Shakespeare's company did: in true repertory, with about 15 or fewer actors sometimes covering over 40 different roles in a single play. "Real repertory with a small troupe of actors was part of the genius of Renaissance theatre that Shakespeare milked to write his great plays," said Warren.

The 2010-11 ASC calendar continues The Histories: The Rise and Fall of Kings, a 5-year series that will present all 10 of Shakespeare's history plays. The series began in 2008 and will continue this year with Henry IV, Part 2 and Henry VI, Part 3.

This year's schedule also adds the world-premiere of a new play, The Twelve Dates of Christmas. "To meet our patrons' demand for more edgy holiday shows for grown-ups, we've added to our wildly successful holiday lineup The Twelve Dates of Christmas, an original one-woman show written and performed by ASC veteran actor Ginna Hoben," said Warren.

Summer Season (June 23 through August 29, 2010):
The Taming of the Shrew
Othello
Wild Oats by John O'Keeffe

Fall Season (September 3 through November 29, 2010):
Henry IV, Part 2
The Fair Maid of the West by Thomas Heywood
The Taming of the Shrew
Othello
Wild Oats

Holiday Season (November 30, 2010 through January 2, 2011):
The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Ginna Hoben
The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
As You Like It
Macbeth
Measure for Measure

Actors' Renaissance Season (January 1 through April 4, 2011):
The Comedy of Errors
The Malcontent by John Marston
Look About You (The Comic Adventures of Robin Hood) by Anonymous
Henry VI, Part 3
A Trick to Catch the Old One by Thomas Middleton

Spring Season (April 6 through June 19, 2011):
As You Like It
Macbeth
Measure for Measure

Pre-sale of tickets through subscription packages runs from March 1 through March 31. Single tickets go on sale on April 1. Information and tickets are available from the Blackfriars Playhouse box office by phone at 1-877-MUCH-ADO (682-4236), online at www.ASCstaunton.com, or in person at 10 S. Market Street in downtown Staunton.

The ASC's 2010/11 brochure, available by mail and online at the ASC website, contains descriptions of our plays and a full calendar of performances from June 2010 through June 2011.

Also playing now, in our 09/10 seasons through June 2010: 2010 Actors' Renaissance Season (now through April 4, 2010): Twelfth Night, Doctor Faustus, The Alchemist, Henry VI, Part 2, The Roman Actor. 2010 Spring Season (April 7-June 20, 2010): All's Well That Ends Well, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Romeo and Juliet.

About the American Shakespeare Center

The American Shakespeare Center, located 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 is open year-round for Shakespeare productions, 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.ASCstaunton.com.

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