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Group Sales FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Group and Education Sales

  
If you're ready for begin booking your visit, fill out our Reservation Request Form and Group Sales will contact you to lock in your reservation.  A 25% nonrefundable deposit is required to confirm your reservation, but a final headcount isn't due until 21 days before your visit!

INITIAL QUESTIONS

What is a group sale?
Group Sales at American Shakespeare Center can be a few different things:
1. Student Matinees
2. School groups of 15 or more
3. Non-academic groups of 15 or more
4. Families or small groups who want to attend a few shows over a short span of time, totaling 15 or more tickets.
Generally speaking, a group is any combination of 15 or more tickets.  So if you’re a school, a club, a community organization, or a family looking for a fun weekend in Staunton, Group Sales is more than happy to help you out.

How is group pricing determined?
Student Matinees are $19.00 a ticket for students and chaperones.  For every 15 paid tickets, groups receive one complimentary ticket.  

For non-student matinees, all groups of 15 or more can enjoy a discount of 20% off adult pricing.  For a more detailed breakdown of pricing, seating options, and availability of performances, please contact Group Sales and we will be more than happy to help you choose the best option for your group.

How soon should we book a performance for our group?
As soon as you know the date which you can attend.  After you have received an invoice from ASC, you have five business days to return the 20% non-refundable deposit.  This deposit holds your reservation.  You have until 21 days before the performance to pay the confirm the total number of attendee and pay the adjusted reaming balance in full.

We recognize that with groups it is sometimes hard to know exactly how many people are coming to a performance until right before – emergencies happen.  However, our Student Matinee seating charts are made based on this final number and it is important that it is as accurate.  For evening and weekend performances, your tickets will be printed based on the final number.

What are the dates for Student Matinees?
Typically, Student Matinees are Thursdays during the school year at 10:30 a.m.  To confirm which shows are performing on which date, you can refer to our Student Matinee page or contact Group Sales if you have a direct question.

Can school groups come to evening or weekend shows?
Absolutely!  We have group pricing options available for every performance – please contact us and we’ll work with you to figure out the best performance and seating for your group.

I have an ADA seating request.  Can ASC accommodate my group?
The ASC has many ways to accommodate accessibility requests.  Please let Group Sales know at the time of your reservation.


MAKING A RESERVATION

What are the group sales process and policies?
Initial contact with Group Sales will cover the following questions:
1. Performance you wish to attend  (Show and date) and if you wish to have a Playhouse Tour or workshop added to your visit
2. Number in your group
For every 15 paid tickets, Group Sales can provide one complimentary ticket.
3. Contact information – name, phone, email, mailing address
4. Please mention any special requests at this time.
After this information has confirmed, Group Sales will email an invoice to the contact.  After receipt of the invoice, you have 5 business days to pay the 20% non-refundable deposit.  This deposit will hold your reservation.  

21 days prior to your performance, contact Group Sales to confirm your total number of attendees and pay your final balance.  If your attendance number change, Group Sales will be more than happy to issue a new invoice for your records.  Upon receipt of your balance, your reservation is confirmed.

I would like for my student group to sit in the front, center section on the day of the Student Matinee, how do I reserve those seats?
The first step is to reserve early and pay your deposit as soon as possible.  Group Sales and the House Manager create a seating chart the week of the performance based on your finalized number of attendees that you have provided 21 days prior.  This takes into account many things: date the deposit is received, the confirmed attendance number of all of the groups, and ADA accessibility.

Just like your students like to be up front, our actors love to have you there!  Group Sales will do our best to accommodate the wishes of every school group, so please finalize your attendance number as soon as possible.  

I'm attending a Student Matinee and would like to have my students sit on the gallant stools on stage – how do I reserve those?
At ASC, we love the interaction between the actors and the audience.  There are not many theatres in the world that keeps the lights on so that you can see every single face in the audience or has seats on stage.  Group Sales does our best to give as many schools in attendance a chance to sit on stage during a performance.  There are a limited number of stools and many students – we will do our best to make sure you have an amazing experience.  

I want to book a tour for my group the day we see a performance – can I do that?
One of the best ways to experience the Blackfriars Playhouse is through our backstage tour.  Tour guides take you upstairs, downstairs, backstage, and onstage.  In addition, our tour guides are knowledgeable in all things Shakespeare and always have some fun history tidbits to share.  You’ll get a brief history of the American Shakespeare Center and an overview of Shakespeare’s England – it’s the perfect way to cap off your visit to the American Shakespeare Center.  
When booking your performance, talk to Group Sales about adding a tour or a workshop for your group.  We will be happy to help you pick the perfect experience to compliment your visit.


DAY OF PERFORMANCE LOGISTICS


When should we arrive?
Please arrive between one hour and one half hour before show time. The house will open for seating one half hour before the show starts and there will be pre-show entertainment at that time.  For Student Matinees, your arrival time will be detailed to you upon purchase.  As a general rule, we ask that schools arrive between 9:50 – 10:05 to facilitate seating.

How/when can we pick up our tickets?
For evening and weekend shows, tickets will be available for pick up one hour prior to show time. They will be in Will Call under your group or group leader's name.  
Student Matinees do not require printed tickets.  

Is there parking/bus parking? 
There is a garage attached to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel that is free after 5 PM. Any street spaces you see are also available after 5 PM. There is some bus parking in the Howard Johnson’s lot on Lewis Street a few blocks away. Please contact groupsales@americanshakespearecenter.com for bus parking directions.

How long is the play?
Shakespeare’s plays vary in length but we try to keep our titles to “two hours traffic.” Most performances will run around 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission. Expect some to be a bit longer and others to be a bit shorter.  In addition, there are often 15 minute talk backs with the actors after Student Matinees.  Please ask the Box Office or Group Sales Manager for specific show running times.

Can I eat and drink at the theatre?
The playhouse offers snacks and drinks for purchase before the performance and during the intermission. You are welcome to enjoy these items inside the playhouse. Unfortunately, because we are ABC certified, we cannot allow outside food or drink into the playhouse itself.

Will there be a synopsis of the play?
There is a synopsis of each play in our complimentary program.


ANYTHING ELSE?

I can’t come to ASC to see a show, can you come to us?
Yes.  We offer annual tours, and information can be found in our Tour section.  Our Education Department also will come to your school for Educational Residencies for middle and high school as well as colleges. 

How appropriate is this play for my child/group?
ASC welcomes children 7 and older to the Blackfriars Playhouse throughout the year.  Children 3 and older are welcome to A Christmas Carol during the Holiday Season.  Some of our plays contain material unsuitable for children - a
ll of Shakespeare’s plays deal with adult issues and the American Shakespeare Center relies on Shakespeare’s text to tell his stories. 

If you are a teacher who is interested in bringing students to see the show and have questions regarding the appropriateness for your students, please contact the Group and Education Sales Manager about obtaining a complimentary ticket for a chance to preview the performance.

Thank You
Please contact our Group and Education Sales Manager at 540.885.5588 ext. 24 or groupsales@americanshakespearecenter.com if you have any further questions.
   


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