Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s Mission

Context: For the people of Shakespeare's Globe, poetry was a living thing brought into existence through the active relationship of actor, audience, and playwright. This is in clear contrast to contemporary dramatic forms where the actor is most often found behind the "fourth wall" (in which the actor pretends that the audience is not present) of 20th Century Theater, or is trapped behind the lens in a film, a medium where true audience interaction is simply not possible. Taking the Elizabethan Theater as a point of beginning, each ASC production is a process calculated to ACTIVATE the relationship between actor, audience, and playwright.

Mission: The Atlanta Shakespeare Company is a quest for a living theater, a theater whose "raison d'être" is the communion of actor and audience through poetry. To foster that communion, we have built the only Original Practice Playhouse®, The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, at 499 Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA. Using this space as a laboratory for the exploration of Elizabethan stagecraft and theatrical techniques, all of our work is guided by a single clarion principle that ASC reveres above all others: the voice of the playwright. This is true whether the company is presenting an original piece, an American classic, or a timeless masterpiece by William Shakespeare. In all cases, each production is a process that begins with the way each play was originally staged in its own time and ends with a modern audience experiencing the play in a manner consistent with its creator's original intent. Thus, when presenting plays by Shakespeare, ASC productions feature hand-made period costumes, all live music and sound effects, thrilling sword fights, and abundant "direct address" to the audience, all of which is orchestrated to assure that the passion and poetry of Shakespeare's genius remains at the heart of the theatrical experience. This is unlike "modern" approaches that routinely update, alter, deconstruct, or otherwise adapt the plays in the service of a 20th Century sensibility. This Core Aesthetic, known as Original Practice, informs and inspires all of our work.”

Our Mission as it applies to Education: We further believe that to build a better world, our art must actively educate, engage, and reach out to each new generation of young people. Thus, we have committed ourselves to this task with the same enthusiasm, intellectual vigor and passion that drives all of our professional work. This extraordinary alignment of ASC's Core Aesthetic, company values, and teaching methodology gives our work the power to change lives. Doing just that time and time again for our adult audience on the main-stage and for tens of thousands of young people all over Georgia is our mission, our plan, and the embodiment of our artistic vision.