No Shame Theatre

Staunton, Virginia

(est. 2004)

MBC News:

The Order from November 1

No Shame Theatre
1st and 3rd Mondays
11:00 p.m.
Fletcher-Collins Theatre
No Shame MBC will be open to all members of the public, both student and non-student. The normal No Shame rules apply: Pieces must be original, short (less than 5 minutes), and not break anything (people, the space, or laws). We encourage any and all forms of writing, including poetry, prose, and lyrical. Tickets $5.

No Shame Calendar

No Shame Archives
Press Clippings
Art Gallery
Old Masonic Hall
(12 West Beverley St.)
Todd Ristau's

This Fall, Staunton has No Shame!

Ever wonder what there is to do late nights in Staunton? Ever ask where students, townies, goths, preps, and every other subculture in town could meet on common ground? Ever write something but wondered where you could go to get people to hear it? Ever want to perform on stage but didn't know how or where to get the experience? Ever want to meet new and interesting people but didn't know where in town you could go to do it? Ever wonder where you could see interesting, innovative, provocative performances without going to New York or DC?

Starting in September, No Shame Mary Baldwin is your answer to all of the above.

What is No Shame?

No Shame Theatre is a kind of "open mic" for live performances with only three basic rules:

  1. Pieces performed at No Shame have to be be original, and not violate anyone else's copyright
  2. No Shame pieces need to be no more than 5 minutes long
  3. You can't break anything at No Shame...not the theatre, not the audience, not the performers, not the actors, not yourself, and not any laws.
At any given No Shame you might see a poem, a dance piece, a puppet show, a monologue, mime routine, stand-up comedy, song, improvisation, jugglers and magic--all followed by a delightful ditty on a hand saw. Anything goes. You never have any idea what the show will be like, because we take the first 15 pieces that show up. Nobody pre-screens or pre-selects the scripts in advance. There are no restrictions on style or content. Part of the reason for being late night is to have a little more freedom of speech. No Shame often has adult language and content, so swim at your own risk. If you don't like something, just remember it'll be over in 5 minutes!

When and where is it happening?

Every 1st and 3rd Monday night in the new Masonic Annex above the Baja Bean at #12 Beverly Street. We start taking pieces at at 9:30, let the audience in at 10:00, and the show starts at 10:30 sharp. Tickets are $5 at the door, and everyone pays to get in, including audience.

why do writers and performers have to pay?

No Shame is pretty low budget, but we do need to meet costs in order to keep this very special venue operating. There isn't anywhere else in town where this kind of performance opportunity exists, and we all have to share the cost of keeping No Shame happening. Some people might not like the idea of paying $5 to perform, but we ask that you please don't think of it like that.

Instead of thinking of it as paying $5 to do your piece, think of it as paying $5 to see 14 other people do their pieces. By having everyone pay the same "dues" we're all in this together, audience, writers, and performers. Nobody's individual contribution is valued above anyone else's.

Who the heck do we expect to do this, anyway?

Well, everybody! Everyone has a story to tell, or a talent to share. No Shame Mary Baldwin will have regular participation from students in the M.Litt playwriting class, undergraduate acting classes, as well as other disciplines such as music and poetry. We're also hoping to see members of the Shenandoah Shakespeare company, local writer's groups, ShennanArts, and other No Shamers from chapters in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke. We want to see you there too! At No Shame absolute beginners have a chance to work side by side with grizzled veterans of the theatre and anyone can walk in the door and participate in any way they choose.

In order to get your piece in the line up, just get there around 9:30 with enough scripts for your actors and one extra for the light booth. Scripts should be typed and include title, cast list, light cues, and your contact information. Everything else is up to you. You can read script in hand, or you can memorize and rehearse until it's perfect.

Who started all this, anyway?

No Shame was established in the back of a pickup truck in 1986 by Iowa City playwrights Todd Ristau, Stan Ruth, and Jeff Goode.

No Shame has since become a grass roots theatre revolution, with chapters in cities across the USA, including New York, LA, Chicago, Austin, Miami...and in Virginia there have been No Shames in Charlottesville, Verona, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke!

Writers and performers who cut their teeth on our stage have gone on to become working professionals in theatre, TV and film. Some have even won awards and stuff.

No kidding! It's true!

For full details about other No Shames, visit the main hub site at WWW.NOSHAME.ORG and click on a city near you!

For more information about No Shame at Mary Baldwin College and the Writer As Performer class,
contact: Todd Ristau at or
Mary Baldwin Box Office: 540-887-7189