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Morosco takes charge of American Shakespeare Center

Vanessa Morosco
American Shakespeare Center
Vanessa Morosco

Vanessa Morosco has a master’s degree in ethics from Yale, and she founded a company that helps multi-national corporations and business schools explore important social issues through drama. But she began her career as an actress, performing Shakespeare.

“In fact, my very first job when I finished grad school was as an actor on the stage of the Blackfriar’s Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia,” Morosco remembers.

That was in 2002.

“Which was the very year that the Blackfriars’ Playhouse opened, so I was actually there for the inaugural season,” Morosco explains.

The enterprise back then was known as Shenandoah Shakespeare, and it was a touring company. Since then, she notes, the American Shakespeare Center has changed, and so has Staunton. “I mean it’s really become this incredible cultural hub."

The company was founded in 1988 with a goal of bringing Shakespeare to communities across America through plays and workshops.

Now, she says, it’s a center that offers much more— educational programs, for example, leadership training and scholarship based on the work of the bard. The Blackfriars Theatre begins its new season January 25th with a production of Julius Caesar, followed by Pride and Prejudice in February and Midsummer Night’s Dream in March.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief