This afternoon Mike and I went with my daughter, Alissa, to enjoy Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part I at the Blackfriar's Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. Alissa had to attend a performance for her college English literature class and asked us to attend with her.
The stage was absolutely beautiful and the actors/actresses were a delight! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend Blackfriars to anyone within driving distance or visiting the area. I was especially intrigued with Shakespeare's portrayal of Joan of Arc. His distaste and scorn of the French heroine were quite evident in the play.
Here is a quote from Blackfriar's web page:
"The American Shakespeare Center is an internationally acclaimed theatre company that performs Shakespeare's works under their original staging conditions -- on a simple stage, without elaborate sets, and with the audience sharing the same light as the actors. Home to the ASC's resident troupe, the Blackfriars Playhouse has been established as one of America's premier Shakespeare destinations.
This stunning re-creation of the first indoor theater in the English-speaking world, which William Shakespeare and his colleagues built on part of London's Blackfriars Monastery...is, in itself, a reason to visit Staunton.-- Frommer's Virginia guide
Situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in historic Staunton, Virginia, the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse -- the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theatre -- opened its doors in September 2001 and has already delighted tens of thousands of enthusiastic audience members from around the world. The product of years of research, this unique, historically accurate performance space provides the perfect backdrop for the ASC's Elizabethan staging practices, and has already been called...
One of the most historically important theaters in the world.-- Andrew Gurr, Professor of English, University of Reading, England and former Director of Research, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London.
The Blackfriars Playhouse is open year-round for Shakespeare productions, hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy."
Photo courtesy of Blackfriar Web page.