A local Staunton, Va., community leader and a key member of the Shakespeare Globe's success in England will be honored at the American Shakespeare Center's 2012 Annual Benefit on Sept. 29 at the Blackfriars Playhouse.
Patrick Spottiswoode will be the fifth recipient of the ASC's Burbage Award, an award given annually to someone whose leadership has assured the success of the world's great Shakespeare companies. In 1984, American entrepreneur Sam Wanamaker brought in Spottiswoode to help him in his quixotic dream of building a Globe in London. Spottiswoode not only founded the educational and academic programs that legitimized the idea of recreating the Globe and that serve today as the underpinnings for its enormous international success, he also became Wanamaker's most eloquent voice for the project. In the fall of 1999, he lent that internationally known voice to what was then called the Shenandoah Shakespeare Company when he visited Staunton to help raise support for the Blackfriars Playhouse.
Receiving ASC's Robin Goodfellow Award is Dan Layman, whose arrival in Staunton was an immediate boost to several of the enterprises that make up the soul of the historic town. His immersion in more than one of the city's nonprofit ventures was itself a reminder that the whole community must pull together for all-encompassing success. However, no one benefitted more from Layman's work than the American Shakespeare Center, where his constant help and later his leadership as the company's board chairman saw the organization through the economic turbulence of 2008 that sank so many theaters across the country. For his great service to the ASC and to the Staunton community, he will be the 20th recipient of the ASC's Robin Goodfellow Award.
The Annual Benefit gala begins at 6 p.m. at the Blackfriars Plahouse and will include scenes and songs performed by the current resident company of actors and a live auction. The celebration will move next door to the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel at 7:30 pm for a reception and silent auction.
Tickets are $50 for the Blackfriars Playhouse performance only and $150 for the performance and reception. For more information, contact Kimberly Maurice at 540-885-5588, ext 10, or e-mail at Kim@AmericanShakespeareCenter.com.
September 20, 2012