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Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center is asking for help

Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in downtown Staunton is determined to keep the lights on. Their streamed ‘Live at the Blackfriar’s’ concert is this Sunday and it’s the final push to raise the money needed to stay afloat.

ASC is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once more, they’re asking their audience for help.

“Performing in front of live audiences is everything,” ASC Director of Communications Kelly Burdick said. “The Blackfriar’s Playhouse is built for that.”

That’s not happening right now. The only thing you can do inside the Playhouse is take a tour. But the actors are still working. The new season starts in May with Macbeth outdoors. Then in June, they are bringing people inside for Henry V.

The playhouse is down from about 300 seats to just 100. “Even a full house doesn’t give us the kind of revenue we’ve seen in the past,” Burdick said.

“ASC needs help. Just like last year when the audience stepped up during the Keep the Lights On Campaign. This is the Once More Unto the Breach Campaign. Like once more, here we go,” she stated. “And we’re hoping this is our... financially this is our last stand against COVID. That we won’t come to our audience again in quite this same way.”

Burdick says they are about halfway to their $200,000 goal. “We’re so grateful to everyone for the support they’ve given, the support they continue to give.”

The concert will be streamed on Vimeo on Sunday, April 25, 7:30 P.M. You can support the American Shakespeare Center online at https://americanshakespearecenter.com/donate/

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