How it Works
The number one question we get at the Tavern is "How does it work?"
We generally recommend you buy tickets in advance. You can buy tickets here online or by calling the Box Office at 404.874.5299 x 0.
If you decide to buy tickets at the door, be aware that if we are sold out, you will be put on a waiting list. If we have seats when the show starts, we'll let the waiting list in (you may not get to choose where you sit and if you come with other people, you may not get to sit together....this is "worst-case scenario"). But if you buy your tickets in advance, then you can enjoy your evening: you can get into the theatre once we've opened, you can eat beforehand and there's no wondering whether you'll get to see the show (or sit with the people you came with!).
On the night of the show, we open the front doors to get into the building (and to pick up tickets at the Box Office) at 5:45pm (4:45pm Sundays). People do show up as early as 5:45pm. Even though you bought tickets in a specific seating area, seating in each section is first-come, first-served*. So if you would like to be able to choose the exact seat you like, then by all means, arrive around 5:45pm/4:45pm Sundays. The lobby bar will be open so you can enjoy a beverage while you wait for the theatre to begin seating. Generally we recommend arriving between 6:15pm and 6:45pm (5:15-5:45 Sundays), this gives you plenty of time to leisurely enjoy yourself and your company before the show. If you're a large group that wants to sit together, we recommend arriving around 6pm/5pm Sundays.
Seating begins at 6:15pm (5:15pm Sundays). We have wonderful house managers and amazing volunteers ready to help you get a seat and show you how the room works. Once you are seated, you are welcome to go to the back of the room to get delicious food and drinks at our food and drink bars! You pay for your food/drinks there and bring it back to wherever you are seated. A volunteer will be close behind to help get your food tray. Once you're settled in, enjoy your libations before the show starts. You can buy food and drinks until 7:20pm (6:20pm Sundays). You're welcome to continue to enjoy your food and drinks while the show is going on, we just don't sell anything during the show. The show starts at 7:30pm (6:30pm Sundays). Sit back and revel in the magic! At intermission enjoy the desserts available at the food and drink bars!
And that is how a typical evening at The Shakespeare Tavern® works!
*Since seating is first-come, first-served within each section, it is not guaranteed, particularly if your party arrives close to curtain, that we will be able to seat you all together, particularly on sold out nights. We will make every effort to do so, but it is not guaranteed.
Never seen a Shakespeare play? Or maybe it’s been a while and you’re afraid you won’t understand what’s going on?
On the page, Shakespeare’s language can seem overwhelming. But that’s because it was meant to be seen and heard—never just read. To be truly understood, it needs the inflection and delivery of an actor whose job it is to communicate the playwright’s message to you the listener in as clear and engaging a way as possible.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the New American Shakespeare Tavern®.
We promise you’ll get it!
Here at the Shakespeare Tavern®, you’ll find theater unlike any kind you’ve ever experienced. Dynamic actors with a real connection to Shakespeare’s text will wow you with the energy and immediacy of their performances and their clarity of communication. You will feel their excitement, experience their stories with them, and in true Elizabethan fashion, you will always be included in the joke.
That’s because every bit of work we do here at the Shakespeare Tavern® is “Original Practice”, meaning that each show we do – from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams – is performed with the voice of the playwright in mind. Our job is to make the words of the playwright come alive and to explore that message with you rather than merely reciting it “at” you. In Shakespeare’s case, we like to call this the “communion of actor, audience, and playwright through poetry.”
And that’s why you’ll have no trouble understanding it! Because even though you as the audience don’t have “lines”, we here at the Shakespeare Tavern® view Shakespeare’s text as a conversation rather than a lecture. YOU are PART of the conversation, and in our experience that goes a long way towards making Shakespeare’s language accessible and clear.
Our particular method of respecting the playwright drives us to set our productions (both Shakespeare and otherwise) in the time period and style for which the play was first written. This is not to say that “conceptual adaptation” (the taking of a piece of theater out of its original setting and superimposing it onto another time or set of circumstances) of a classical text is without merit. But in addition to choosing this way to show our respect for the playwright, we also believe that if the tradition of Classical Theater is to survive, then someone somewhere must produce them in a manner consistent with their original intent. Our Romeo and Juliet will always take place in 16th century Verona because we believe that Shakespeare speaks most powerfully from his own time and place in history. That is the essence of “Original Practice”, and that is why we can make you the promise that we do: you’ll understand.
So what are you waiting for? We’ve got a great pub menu, a fun and friendly atmosphere, and some of the best theater in the country… in other words, we’re a place to eat, drink, and nourish the soul. So quit that worrying and get your ticket to see one of Shakespeare’s greats.
We promise you’ll get the jokes.
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