In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, a theater is doing things the way Shakespeare did — and it’s not how most people have ever seen Shakespeare.
No lighting effects, no opulent sets requiring time to change, no opening-night stuffiness.
The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Va., returns to the way the Bard’s plays were performed in the 17th century: for pure entertainment.
The experience begins with the theater building itself. Built in 2001, it’s a historically accurate re-creation of the Blackfriars Theater in London, the indoor theater where Shakespeare produced plays for a wealthier clientele and in a more intimate space than in the larger outdoor Globe. Historians believe that The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline and The Tempest were written for that space, according to Shakespeare’s London Theatreland by Julian Bowsher.
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