Giving new (or is it old?) meaning to the phrase “dinner theatre,” the New American Shakespeare Tavern is America’s only “original practice” playhouse offering a British pub menu available before each performance. (Definition of “original practice”: “Whether the company presents an original piece, an American classic, or a timeless masterpiece by William Shakespeare, each production is a process that begins with the way the 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.”)
The tavern is billed as “a place out of time; a place of live music, hand-crafted period costumes, and outrageous sword fights, with the entire experience centered on the passion and poetry of the spoken word.” Its resident company, the ASC, has produced more than 73 plays over the course of its history: Shakespearean works ranging from The Taming of the Shrew to Coriolanus to Romeo and Juliet, as well as classics by Aristophanes, Chaucer, Mrs. Aphra Behn, Molière, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Bertolt Brecht, G.B Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, and other greats. In 1995, ASC was the first American company to perform on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, England.