ASHEBORO, NC – The American Shakespeare Center will make a stop in Asheboro on Friday, January 16th and Saturday, January 17th as part of its 2014/2015 Method in Madness national tour. The talented group of actors will perform two Shakespearean favorites, “Hamlet,” and, “Much Ado about Nothing.” In addition to these two shows the group, in partnership with the City of Asheboro and the Randolph Arts Guild will be offering several interactive workshops during the weekend geared toward actors high school ages through adult. There is a $5 registration fee. Pre-registration is required before the deadline of January 9th. Individuals may sign up online by visiting   

The workshops will be offered on a series of topics related to the performance of Shakespearean works, including Basic Stage Combat, Early Modern Special Effects, Rhetoric, and Advanced Staging. All workshops will be held at the Sunset Theatre and space is limited.  


Friday, January 16th “A Palpable Hit” – Basic Stage Combat 

n this workshop, participants will examine the text and context surrounding the fights in Shakespeare’s and his contemporaries’ plays for clues regarding movement and style. Then, participants will observe our trained actor combatants perform choreographed fights and hear, from fight captains, or choreographers, the motivation behind each choice and its connection to the text of the play and the style of fighting called for in the period. Participants then practice stage combat techniques, and apply the skills in a safe environment. All participants should be of high-school age or older.

• Workshop starts at 2:00pm

• Lasts for 1 hour

• Limited to 20 participants 

Friday, January 16th “Fiery Shapes and Burning Cressets” – Early Modern Special Effects 

In this workshop participants will examine the unique architecture of early modern Playhouses in order to discover its potential in staging unusual scenes that epitomize the theatre of the imagination, such as: storms and tempests, shipwrecks, ghostly appearances, statues coming to life, etc. While “working on your feet,” participants have the exciting opportunity to creatively explore our multi-dimensional stage in an effort to establish these otherworldly environments.

• Workshop starts at 3:30pm

• Lasts for 1 hour

• Limited to 20 participants 

Saturday, January 17th “Sweet Smoke of Rhetoric” – Rhetoric Workshop 

Much of Shakespeare’s powerful command of language stems from his ability to use rhetorical devices: certain ways of structuring his characters’ speech to achieve a desired result. Certain devices may underscore intelligence, expose buffoonery, express a conflicted state of mind, or demonstrate wily manipulation. This workshop demonstrates how students can use five main types of rhetorical devices — Repetition, Omission, Addition, Direction, and Substitution — as clues for character in Shakespeare’s plays, both for acting cues and for analytical purposes. Excellent for both English and Drama classes.

• Workshop starts at 10:00am

• Lasts for 1 hour

• Limited to 20 participants 

Saturday, January 17th “O Excellent Motion” – Advanced Staging 

Working with ASC actors, participants will explore and learn how to find clues for performance in Shakespeare’s plays including embedded stage directions, pronoun choices, character

address, and audience contact. Participants will make artistic choices based on their new knowledge and direct the ASC actors in a scene from our repertory. Excellent for both English

and Drama classes.

• Workshop starts at 11:30am

• Lasts for 1 hour

• Limited to 20 participants 

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has produced English Renaissance plays in a bold, fresh style, bringing Shakespeare and other early modern works to communities across the country and around the world. Direct from the stage of the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA, the American Shakespeare Center on Tour employs Shakespeare’s own staging conditions to break down the barriers that traditionally separate performer and audience.

"We scour the country for the right 10-12 actors to perform all these roles in all of these plays," said ASC Artistic Director Jim Warren. "Not only are we looking for the right talent to do these shows in true rotating repertory (a great lost joy in today's theatre world), but we're also looking for personalities we think will gel into a dynamic, well-balanced ensemble on and off the stage. On top of all of that, we're also looking for singers and musicians because we perform all of our music live and unplugged; join us for our pre-show a half-hour before show time for some musical treats." 

The American Shakespeare Center will kick off the Sunset Cultural Series, an ongoing event that highlights some of the best cultural performances and activities taking place in the Randolph County by featuring them in downtown Asheboro’s historic Sunset Theatre. The Sunset Cultural Series is a collaborative effort between the Randolph Arts Guild, the City of Asheboro, the North Carolina Zoo, Randolph Community College, Randolph Community Concerts Association, the Randolph County Public Library, the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library and RSVP Community Theatre. 

For more information about Sunset Cultural Series, please log on to To sign up the for the workshops visit before the January 9th deadline.