I first encountered the American Shakespeare Center in 1992 when it was known as the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express. I was a senior in high school in Hanover, New Hampshire, taking a Shakespeare class, when the tour came to my school for performances of The Merchant Of Venice and The Comedy of Errors, and I was completely blown away. I loved everything about it. I remember being genuinely surprised and amazed at how funny and rich and FUN the performances were, and began secretly harboring a desire to move to Virginia and join the troupe!
After school that afternoon, some friends and I ran into the actors at a local restaurant and I was able to interact with a few of them, talking with them about the performance and their life on tour. One of them even wrote me a note and I still have both it and the program from the performance to this day, 22 years later.
The performances I saw that day, as well as that Shakespeare class I took my senior year of high school, inspired a life-long love of Shakespeare and literature that moved me to major in Literature in college. More recently, I’ve gone back to school to obtain a teaching certificate so I can become a high school English teacher.
Though I’ve never been to the American Shakespeare Center, it’s history and heritage has been deeply impactful and inspirational in my life, and I am truly grateful for it’s legacy!