Preparing the next generation of problem-solving, risk-taking, outside-the-box-thinking, consistently collaborative and fully engaged human beings.
Also, the occasional actor.*
For teenagers, the ASC Theatre Camp (ASCTC) is more than just a summer camp or a theatre program: it’s a bona-fide game-changer.
Twice every summer, ASCTC plunges 39 high-school students into three weeks of intensive, immersive, incomparable programming in the Shakespearean Shangri-La of Staunton, Virginia – home of the American Shakespeare Center and the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre: the Blackfriars Playhouse. We transport students out of their normal lives and beyond their comfort zones, and they emerge not only with greater control over their craft and more preparation for college, but also with more confidence, more capability, and more capacity for growth and change.
My self-confidence improved monumentally during the time I was at camp. I went into camp shy and quiet, constantly fearing that I was going to be judged negatively. By the time camp was over, I truly believed that it didn’t matter if people judged me because I am enough just how I am.
ASCTC is a three week bliss, a place where I felt entirely at home. Surrounded by intellectual peers and superiors, every moment, in and out of class, was an education. I met 37 of the world’s finest human beings there, and my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend more time with each…
ASCTC participants preview the college experience by living and working on the residential campus at Mary Baldwin University’s. They spend their days rehearsing with professional directors, training with ASC actors, and learning from MBU professors, ASC scholars, and each other. They spend their evenings at the Blackfriars Playhouse, spellbound by Shakespeare’s stagecraft.
Participants can enroll in the college credit companion course and earn three college credits from Mary Baldwin University, transferable to other institutions. They can elect to stay for an extended week of internship experience, getting hands-on practice working with a professional theatre company. But all work and no play makes camp a dull sport – even when working feels like playing. Mornings off bring sleeping in and brunching at the local Farmer’s market. Days off bring trips to the lake, water balloon fights, dance parties, and well-earned opportunities to luxuriate in languorous laziness.
Three weeks of this chimeric, collaborative creativity culminates in the Final Performance Festival, where campers mount their final productions (for a packed house) on the Blackfriars Playhouse stage.
The ASC Theatre Camp boasts a unique combination of performance training, academic discovery, preparation for college life and learning, and the magic of meeting others with the same passion and persistence. The experience teaches you more about Shakespeare, more about life, and more about yourself than you could ever learn in the classroom alone. Won’t you join us?
The ASC Theatre Camp allows students to leap into college life and learning with a secure safety net. ASCTC’s unique blend of scholarship and performance training uses Shakespeare’s text and technology to hone campers’ critical and creative skills. We’re not just training the next generation of Shakespearean actors and scholars – we’re training the next generation of fully engaged human beings.
The pages in this section contain general information about the ASC Theatre Camp, including additional opportunities like the Extended Experience Week and college credit course and specific information about the types of tuition assistance we have available for qualifying families.
*Rumors abound regarding a continued love for and tendency to lean towards the performance of plays written by Shakespeare and his contemporaries among adults who attended the ASC Theatre Camp in their youth, but we can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of any such claims.