Had a lot of fun at Theater 99 last night for “Laugh for a Lincoln” night. The first sketch was called “Big Dictionary” and featured two standup artists picking words to improvise off of at random from a big dictionary. The sketch was witty and exciting. The next set, called “Moral Fixation” was to me less entertaining and seemingly more targeted at an older crowd. I was fairly bored by the end of their routine but still had a good night. The crowd in attendance was of all ages 18+. It was impressive to see a show near sold out on a Wednesday night.
Tickets were only 5$ and could be bought in advance online or at the door. The show sells out frequently so I would recommend purchasing in advance if you’re set on making a show, especially on the weekends. The stage was vibrant and overall the show was worth the entirety of my 5$. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys laughing.
On Saturday, November 16th, I attended the bi-annual JAIL BREAK Arts Festival in the Old Charleston City Jail. After being told I should attend the event, I was excited to be a part of such a unique experience. The festival, featuring music, art works, comedy, and theatre, was incredible. However, I found that what time you go to the event makes a big difference. For example, my friends and I went pretty close to it’s opening at 4 o’clock, where we were surrounded by a lot of families and pre-teens. This audience shifted throughout the night, yielding a more mature, cooler audience by 7/8pm. For anyone planning to attend this annual event in the future, I would suggest considering what time you go pretty thoroughly beforehand. Also, take into account it’s close proximity to a not-so-great part of town when arranging transportation.
As far as the venue itself, the old jail made for an awesome setting. Seeing exhibitions and comedy/theatre performances in preserved rooms of the prison made for an engaging and historical experience. I was, however, unimpressed with the scale of the jail, thinking it would be a lot larger…maybe I just watch too much TV. Either way, the event was killer and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. This year’s turnout was one of the best that they’ve ever had, so I’m sure that they will knock the next event out of the park as well.
On October 23, I attended Poetry Night put on by the Cougar Activities Board at Kudu. Basically, at this event College of Charleston students sign up to read some of their poetry, then a panel of judges (but not that formal) choose the five or six “best” poets. These poeple then have to write a poem about a silly or strange topic submitted by audience members (each poet has a different topic) in about 10 minutes. They then read their poems to the audience and a winner is selected. I went to a Poetry Night last year and it was great, so I was excited to go to this one. Unfortunately, plenty of poetry-lovers showed up, but not that many poets. Only five students signed up to read, so about twenty minutes in there was no one left to read. This was obviously not expected, and we took an awkward break, waiting for more people to sign up to read. Luckily, a few extra people let their friends talk them into reading their poetry off of their phones, some of the poets who already read then read additional poems, and one girl even sang a couple of her songs (a nice comeback). Since so few people read, the judges said all of them had to option to read again. I particularly enjoyed the special-topic-poem written by (and VERY well performed by) Derek Berry. Yes, it was so good that I remember his name. His topic was masturbation, and his entire poem was about “him writing poetry” but was actually a giant innuendo for masturbation. It was brilliant. (As was the food and coffee!)
From a management perspective, everything ran rather smoothly, however, I think the event could have been better advertised, particularly in regard to what exactly the event was. I could tell CAB used the same flyers from last year, they just changed the date. That seemed a little lazy to me, like they expected everyone to know exactly what their Poetry Night is like. I remember going for the first time last year and being completely surprised by how they ran the night. I feel like CAB should put a mini description on their flyers similar to what they have on the Facebook page; not everyone knows to check, or feels like checking online for this information. If CAB had done this, maybe more people would have shown up to share their poetry, and not just for the free food and drinks. If anyone is interested in going, it’s a really fun experience and I definitely recommend going! And read some poetry! There should be another Poetry Night next semester.
This weekend I had the privilege to attend the SCTA (South Carolina Theatre Association) Convention, which was hosted at the School of the Arts in North Charleston. In addition to the numerous classes and performances offered, this year SCTA brought in famous Playwright/Screenwriter/Director, John Patrick Shanley, as their Keynote Guest Artist. College of Charleston’s School of the Arts sponsored his appearance and in return CofC students received free passes to the weekend convention on a first come-first serve basis.
John Patrick Shanley’s Q&A discussion was one of the most intriguing conversations I’ve been apart of. He was very encouraging towards emerging artists and talked about how he went from writing short plays to writing and directing Doubt, which was nominated for more than 40 awards. Not sure why anyone would pass up a free opportunity like this one. With many members and sponsors, multiple workshops and performances were available to attendees. This was one of the most welcoming and successful conventions I have attended.
I went to Bassnectar‘s show at the North Charleston Coliseum on October 24th. Generally Bassnectar is a lot more fun to see at an outdoor venue, but after the massive storm that hit during the middle of his last Charleston performance moving the show to an indoor venue seemed to be a wise choice. Tickets were reasonably priced so that college students and other young people could afford to see the show. There was advertising all over the place for this event, but none of these adds mentioned a key element: if you weren’t one of the first 2000 people in the door you had to stay in the stands while the majority of the crowd raged in front of the stage. The performance was great as usual. The light show was brilliantly timed with the music and the mixes were solid.