STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- If "All the World's A Stage" as Shakespeare wrote more than 400 years ago then this week, the spotlight is on Staunton.
"It's just gorgeous," said Dr. David Landon, a professor at Sewanee, The University of the South.
Landon is one of 300 Shakespeare scholars and graduate students from across the globe flocking to Staunton's Blackfriars Playhouse this week for the American Shakespeare Center's (ASC) Blackfriars Conference.
"I went out to dinner, took a walk; you can see the restoration and the blending of old and new, and it's obviously an exciting place," said Landon.
The ASC is encouraging its conference-goers to support downtown Staunton by giving them bingo cards of businesses.
"I don't know if we'd have the same kinds of audience like we've had without the great Stonewall Jackson and all the shops and restaurants, like Shenandoah and Aioli. I think that feeds us as much as we're able to give back to the community," said Sarah Enloe with the American Shakespeare Center.
And at shops downtown, the feeling is mutual.
"We love the Shakespeare scholars conference," said Kathleen Stinehart, who owns Cranberry's Grocery and Eatery.
She said she looks forward to conferences like this one because of the people they bring through her door.
With about 300 people coming in, "that's huge. That's big for downtown Staunton," said Stinehart.
As part of the conference's bingo game to support Downtown Staunton if a conference-goer buys a house in Staunton he or she automatically wins.