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American Shakespeare Center announces new creative director

Brandon Carter
Brandon Carter is the new creative director of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton.

The American Shakespeare Center was founded in 1988 – the same year Brandon Carter was born. In high school, he discovered Shakespeare and was drawn to the unusual rhythms and poetry of his writing.

“I’m a millennial, but I was raised by my grandparents, so I’m used to sitting at the table, drawing out a conversation and really sussing things out. There’s power in language," Carter explains.

He also discovered performing, but didn’t consider a career in theater until college.

“I’m from the Northern Neck of Virginia, from a fishing family, so I never thought I was going to be an artist, but I went to Longwood University, and then I went to Penn State for my masters, moved to New York after that, and ended up back home.”

He spent four years at the center as an actor on the Blackfriars’ Theater stage, playing more than 50 roles.

“I’ve been a butler, I’ve been a fighter, I’ve been a king," he recalls. "I think that you have to be able to appreciate those roles in order to have the full, three-dimensional role of a king or a Hamlet.”

And now, he’s become the creative director, but he will oversee a company governed by a team committed to diversity and equity. The new season begins next month. The schedule includes Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, the Tempest and other popular plays by Shakespeare along with contemporary works.