1000 x 90

American Shakespeare Center to Bring ‘Julius Caesar’ to ASU Jan. 29, ‘Henry V’ Jan. 30

Appalachian State University’s performance series, “The Schaefer Center Presents,” will host America’s most respected touring theatre troupe, American Shakespeare Center, performing William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. and “The Life of King Henry the Fifth” on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. in Valborg Theatre. Live pre-performance music begins at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for Appalachian faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff and $10 for students and children. For more information, call the Schaefer Center Box Office at 800-841-ARTS (2787) or 828-262-4046, or visit theschaefercenter.org.

American Shakespeare Center (ASC) brings a unique performance style to Appalachian, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility.  The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting, and music.  In Shakespeare’s time, the company couldn’t turn the lights off over the audience; actors and audience shared the same light. Leaving the lights on allows for a type of audience contact rarely seen in modern day theatre.  Audience members play the roles written for them: Roman plebians and senators in “Julius Caesar” and Henry’s army in “The Life of King Henry the Fifth.”

About “Julius Caesar”

In this profoundly moving, thrilling, and deeply human play, Shakespeare shows us a world on fire; a world spinning out of control; a world where some of history’s most famous men commit crimes in the name of patriotism and honor.  “Julius Caesar” is a masterpiece of betrayal, violence and perhaps most surprisingly — love.

"Julius Caesar." American Shakespeare Center, July 2015. Photo by Michael Bailey.
“Julius Caesar.” American Shakespeare Center, July 2015. Photo by Michael Bailey.

ASC Guest Director Ben Curns believes Shakespeare crafted a dynamic and evergreen play, because its themes continue to resonate with audiences. “Shakespeare creates a play that is both radical and conservative. Passionate and reasoned. Noble and seedy. Political and personal. It is a play that is many things, but make no mistake: it is about us. The play reflects not only our love of country and democracy, but the love between husbands and wives, the love of brothers-in-arms, the love of fathers and sons, and perhaps most importantly, our purported love of fairness and equality.”

“Julius Caesar” features ASC on Tour newcomer Chris Bellinger as Caesar.  Chris performed as Colonel Mackenzie in “Horn in the West” in 2014. Veteran actors Josh Innerst as Brutus and Tim Sailer as Cassius join other returning actors Andrew Coldwasser, Susie Parr, and Patrick Poole.  Rounding out the cast are other newcomers to the troupe, Cordell Cole, Jessica Lefkow, Ross Neal, Aleca Piper , and Zoe Speas.

About “The Life of King Henry the Fifth”

The story of England’s hero-king and the greatest upset in European military history is Shakespeare’s finale to his great history plays.  More than that, “The Life of King Henry the Fifth” – at once touching, heroic, savage, and comic – explores the nature of greatness and its connection to theatre; and, perhaps more than any other of Shakespeare’s works, it makes the audience part of the story.

ASC Artistic Director and “The Life of King Henry the Fifth” director Jim Warrens says of this production, “We’re going to work our butts off to give you all of the flavors, colors, and seemingly contradictory facets that Shakespeare provides. Like all of Shakespeare’s major characters, Henry is not just one thing.  He’s calculating and heroic; he’s patriotic and ruthless; and he gets the girl with one of Shakespeare’s most charming rom-com endings.”

"Henry V." American Shakespeare Center, July 2015. Photo by Michael Bailey.
“Henry V.” American Shakespeare Center, July 2015. Photo by Michael Bailey.

“The Life of Henry the Fifth” features ASC on Tour newcomer Ross Neal, in the title role.  Returning are Andrew Goldwasser, Josh Innerst, Susie Parr, Patrick Poole, and Tim Sailer. Rounding out the cast are other newcomers to the troupe, Chris Bellinger, Cordell Cole, Jessica Lefkow, Aleca Piper, and Zoe Speas.

About the Residency

The American Shakespeare Center education artists will assist students both in appreciating Shakespeare’s plays and in performing them.  With master classes for university students in the Department of Theatre and Dance, taught by ASC actors and staff, students will gain the vocal and physical skills needed to develop dramatic moments on-stage. The ASC will also perform “Julius Caesar” as a part of the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series for area school children on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 28. For more information on the APPlause! Series, visit http://theschaefercenter.org/applause.

About American Shakespeare Center

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions.  Based out of Staunton, VA, the company mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education.  The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for production of classic plays, which have been hailed by “The Washington Post” as “shamelessly entertaining” and by “The Boston Globe” as “phenomenal…bursting with energy.”  In addition to giving performances at the Blackfriars, the ASC on Tour travels the U.S. and abroad with the same unique brand of Shakespeare that thrills, delights, and educates its audiences. The ASC’s Education Center brings Shakespeare’s plays to life for teachers, students, and learners of all ages. Our offering of workshops, performances, actor training, and summer programs are specially tailored for you to experience Shakespeare as you never have before.


“We could not have been more pleased …What a FANTASTIC night of theatre!”  —Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

“I know of no national or international touring company that is better than the ASC at re-creating the dynamically interactive original staging practices that Shakespeare’s own audiences experienced.”

—Dr. William R. Jones, Assistant Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky

 “The audience loved it. One patron said ‘if everyone saw Shakespeare this way, everyone would LOVE Shakespeare!’” —Franklin Park Performing & Visual Arts Center, Purcellville, Virginia


The Schaefer Center Presents: Spring 2016

For videos, images, and detailed information about each performance, visit www.theschaefercenter.org

Dr. John and the Nite Trippers

Unique and authentic New Orleans, boogie-woogie jazz, praised for its funky, bluesy influence on rock

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016

CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater

Choreography that fuses Salsa, Afro-Cuban, and contemporary urban and abstract dance theater, to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance work

Friday, April 22, 2016



Tickets are on sale at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office and online at http://theschaefercenter.org.  The Office of Arts & Cultural Programs is committed to affordable ticket prices, with prices for all events ranging from $10-$40.  A faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff discount is available when tickets are purchased over the phone or at the box office. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 828-262-4046 or go online at http://theschaefercenter.org.


About “The Schaefer Center Presents”

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering students, faculty, staff and the community a diverse array of music, theatre and dance designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.


Corporate Sponsors

McDonald’s of Boone and Boone Area Visitors Bureau.

Media Sponsors:

Charter Media, Our State Magazine, High Country Radio, High Country 365, WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WETS 89.5FM and WASU 90.5FM.