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The Ideal Partnership: ASC and MBC


  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: The Merchant of Venice
    Download (MP3)
  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: The Winter’s Tale
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  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
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  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: Measure for Measure
    Download (MP3)
  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: As You Like It
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  • Blackfriars Backstage Pass: Macbeth
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  • See full blog

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Mary Baldwin College, celebrated for its innovative degree programs, its accomplished faculty, and its strong undergraduate theatre program, offers a tradition of academic excellence. American Shakespeare Center brings to the partnership its reputation for Shakespearean stagecraft, text-based performance, and educational outreach.


  • Main campus on 54-acre campus in Staunton, Virginia, in the central Shenandoah Valley
  • Additional regional centers in Charlottesville, Greensville-Emporia, Rapphannock, Richmond, Roanoke, South Boston, and Weyers Cave, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Undergraduate residential programs for women – the traditional program, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG), and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) – offering the BA and/or the BS in more than 40 majors and minors.
  • Non-residential, co-educational Adult Degree Program offering the BA and/or BS.
  • Innovative Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Education (MEd) programs.
  • Founded in 1842. Hosts chapters of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa and the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.


American Shakespeare Center specializes in performing Shakespeare and Renaissance drama in original staging conditions. Its fast-paced performances use natural light, double-casting, and simple staging, reflecting their commitment to authenticity while keeping the plays fresh, accessible, and fun for modern audiences. An integral part of its mission, American Shakespeare Center’s educational outreach has included workshops and seminars for teenagers, teachers, and scholars.

American Shakespeare Center at a Glance

  • Home company of the Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, Virginia
  • A professional road troupe with three-play repertories annually
  • America’s most traveled Shakespeare company: 47 states and 5 countries to date
  • Founded 1988; training teachers of Shakespeare since 1992
  • American Shakespeare  Center Theatre Camp every summer
  • Center for Renaissance and Shakespearean Staging (NEH, 1995)
  • Winner: VFH Award for the Advancement of Literature in Virginia

American Shakespeare Center’s 300-Seat Blackfriars Playhouse

  • World’s only authentic reconstruction of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre
  • Located in downtown Staunton, just blocks from the Mary Baldwin campus
  • Serves as classroom and laboratory
  • World-renowned actors, directors, scholars, and other specialists present at American Shakespeare Center and teach master classes for the MLitt/MFA program.