American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse – Staunton, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse

The only recreation of William Shakespeare's indoor playhouse. 


In the middle of Staunton, Virginia stands a sight in which William Shakespeare himself would feel comfortable. In fact, he would feel more than comfortable; he might not realize that he wasn’t in 16th-century England.

This is because the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton is a pitch-perfect recreation of the London’s Blackfriars Monastery, a theater that Shakespeare himself helped build. Called “One of the most historically important theaters in the world,” even the lighting is historically accurate, with both audience and actors sharing the same natural light source.

While the sets, stage, and lighting are all meticulously researched and historically accurate, thankfully the bubonic plague, constant lice, and public beheadings that were a part of Shakespeare’s time have stayed firmly in the past.

Know Before You Go

Exit 222 off of I-81 in VA

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October 10, 2009

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