School of the Arts » Headlines Announcements • Awards • Events • Press Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:58:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Beth Levin to Perform All-Beethoven Piano Concert Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:06:06 +0000

CofC Concerts at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present an “All-Beethoven Concert” performed by Beth Levin for the International Piano Series.

Levin made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a child prodigy, at age 12. She was subsequently taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Shure, Dorothy Taubman and Paul Badura-Skoda.

With performances described as having “warmth as well as blinding light” (The Boston Globe), Levin has been a featured soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. For her Charleston debut, she will perform an all-Beethoven program dedicated to the late sonatas opp. 109, 110, and 111.

The performance will take place on Tuesday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m., at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street.

General admission tickets are $20 per person (free for all students with school I.D.). Purchase tickets and subscriptions here or by calling (843) 953-6575.

Watch a video of Levin’s impeccable technique

Levin also will offer a masterclass, free and open to the public, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m., at the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St.

The International Piano Series will resume its season on Feb. 3, 2015 with Stephen Beus, and conclude on April 7, 2015 with Anne-Marie McDermott. Click here for more information on the  2014-15 season of the International Piano Series.

CofC Concerts

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‘Assassins’ – Dark Comical Revue-Style Musical to Be Staged Wed, 29 Oct 2014 01:36:04 +0000 AssassinsThe Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present five-time Tony Award winner, “Assassins.”

Stephen Sondheim (music/lyrics) and John Weidman (book) examine the motivations of the men and women who have killed – or attempted to kill – U.S. Presidents throughout history. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley and others meet and interact in this darkly humorous revue-style musical. The notorious characters share with the audience their stories, motives and psychological problems through music and various scenes. 

The setting of the play is “a limbo world of their making” according to director Brent Laing, and the play travels through different decades between the 1860s to the 1980s, with the characters observing each other as they attempt to carry out their crimes. 

DETAILS: The production is for mature audiences and will take place Nov. 20-24, 2014 at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m., with two shows on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. A talkback will take place on opening night. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students and employees. Tickets are available online at or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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‘Out of Control’ Dance Concert Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:40:13 +0000 OutOfControlThe Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will showcase “Out of Control,” directed by Gretchen McLaine and choreographed by the College’s dance faculty and guest artist Ashlee Ratigan for the Charleston County School of the Arts. The College’s dance students comprise the cast.

What makes this production “Out of Control”? Just one example includes the interaction of audience members to vote on what music, from opera to rap, will be chosen for one of the pieces. Having no idea of the song choices given to the audience, the dancers will have to quickly adapt their performance to represent the music selected.

The Dance program collaborated with the Department of Computer Science for part of the performance. [Learn about the collaboration and the growing Computing in the Arts program.]

DETAILS:  The event will run from Oct. 23-26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., except on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. only, in the Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students & employees and $15 for public admission. Season subscriptions are still available. Purchase tickets online at, by emailing or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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CofC Theatre Stages Award Winning ‘Bread & Circuses’ by Recent Alumnus Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:54:39 +0000 The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present “Bread and Circuses” by young alumnus Edward Precht ’14. The play is not a slice of realism, but rather is a broad comedy that speaks of young love and one man’s hysterical journey to find it. Along the way, he discovers some things about not only the art of theatre, but also about himself.

The production won the David L. Shelton Playwriting Award at the 2014 Region IV Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) and went on to win the NAPAT National KC/ACTF award for playwriting. As the winner of the Shelton award, this production of “Bread and Circuses” has already received an invitation to be presented at the 2015 KC/ACTF Regional Festival in February.

Director and theatre faculty member Todd McNerney states, “Working on the development of a new play is an exciting opportunity for our department and for our students – in this case doubly so since it was written by a student. In my roughly 20 years here, only one other time was a student’s original piece presented as part of our department’s mainstage season.”

He adds, “There are some unique elements within the production, and the structure of the play requires an imaginative approach to the realization of the world – a world that highlights how life is full of possibilities that most of us have yet to discover.”

Edward Precht is a recent graduate of the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He is a multiple award-winning playwright and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. This is his first full-length play.

DETAILS: The production will run from Wednesday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 with a second run from Tuesday, Oct. 14 to Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. It will be staged in the Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., with the Sunday shows at 3 p.m. only. 

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscriptions are still available. Purchase tickets online or by calling (843) 953-5604.

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Introducing…CofC Concerts Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:03:24 +0000 CofC Concerts

The Department of Music is pleased to begin its 2014-15 concert season with exciting improvements, including a new start time of 7:30 p.m. for most performances. In addition, the Department has established a new entity, CofC Concerts, which coordinates its professional series and student ensembles from a central office and website. Now, at one place, patrons can obtain information and purchase season subscriptions and tickets for most of the following:


International Piano Series (Charleston’s longest running program with a pure focus on piano)


Magnetic South (New classical music concerts in collaboration with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra)


Charleston Music Fest (Intimate chamber music concerts featuring College of Charleston faculty and local and international artists)


CofC Ensembles (Student ensembles including the CofC Concert Choir, CofC Opera and CofC Orchestra)


Also included in CofC Concerts is the 2nd Monday Series, formerly the Monday Night Concert Series, which will feature faculty and guest artists on the second Monday of each month.


Learn more online or by calling 843.953.6575.
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2014-15 Theatre and Dance Season Wed, 13 Aug 2014 16:26:26 +0000 The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts announces its 2014-15 season! The eight-production season includes a wide variety of experiences from theatre for young audiences to musicals to a student-written award winning play and even Shakespeare in a new place in our calendar. 

See the listing of performances, which begins with Euripedes’ The Bacchae opening on Sept. 25.

Patrons can purchase individual tickets or season subscriptions, with both options offering discounted pricing for senior citizens [60+] and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscribers benefit from priority seating, flex ticketing and exchange privileges.

Purchase a season subscription and learn how you can contribute to the theatre and dance program.

2014-15 Theatre & Dance Season

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2013-14 School of the Arts Awards Wed, 07 May 2014 01:58:42 +0000 The School of the Arts will honor the achievements of a select group of students who have demonstrated excellence in their respective disciplines. The Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 9 will recognize those who have set a standard for their peers as well as those who will follow in their footsteps. [event details]

The School will also recognize alumni who have made significant professional and personal contributions to their communities since graduating from the College of Charleston. These alumni are leaders in the arts, business, philanthropy and other areas who honed their skills through the study of the arts at the College and now share their talents and their resources with others.

Alumni Award of Achievement
Brian Rutenberg ’87

Young Alumni Award
Marco Sartor ’03

School of the Arts Scholars
Corey Ames Heyward
Caitlin Elizabeth Murphy
Amelia Roché Roland

Outstanding Student Award
Corey Ames Heyward
Katherine R. Keener

Sotheby’s Institute of Art, College of Charleston Summer Study Award
Giovanna Quattrone

School of the Arts Scholars
Kaitlin Hetrick
Amelia Roché Roland

Outstanding Student Award
Maggie Bailey
Margaret Balltrip
Serena Finnerty
Elizabeth Grindrod
Kaitlin Hetrick
Madelyn Stoneburner

Julie Jett Arts Management Citizenship Award
Tyler Boone

Sotheby’s Institute of Art, College of Charleston Summer Study Award
Emily Farris

School of the Arts Scholar
Alaina Watkins

Outstanding Student Award
Autumn Joy Baker
Dannielle N. Hobbs
EmmaLee Jean Kunze


School of the Art Scholars
Brett Belanger
Lauren Abigail Geddings
Chelsea Loew
Courtney Richmond
Alan Schmitt
Diego Suarez
Christian Wood

Outstanding Student Award
Brett Belanger
Lauren Abigail Geddings
Chelsea Loew
Kevin Patton
Courtney Richmond
Savannah Shelby
Diego Suarez
Zoe Whitaker
Jonathan Williams

Mary Stewart Allan Award for Violin
Yuhong Tu

Marguerite Elfe Erckman Vocal Award
Lauren Abigail Geddings
Courtney Richmond
Savannah Shelby

The Melvin H. & Virginia Peacock Goodwin Award for Instrumental Performance
Brett Belanger

Reba Kinne Huge Award in Music
Zachery Litchfield

Julian Hayes and Clifford Milton Award for Excellence in Strings
Robbie Chan
Unusdian Errandonea

Edwin Davis Peacock Award for Excellence in Piano
Emily Tran

Sue Simons Wallace Award for Excellence in Music
Brett Belanger
Diego Suarez

Artist Certificate Recipients
Matthew Griswold
Nathan Matticks
Chee-Hang See
Amy Tan
Ting Yao

School of the Arts Scholar
Katherine Butler
Aidan Cooke
Piper Hagan
Lori Leist
Hannah Shepard

Outstanding Student Award
Chelsea Haines
Anna Hopkins
Emily Kelly
Mariah Smith
Emily Stein
Kelly Wills

The Artists and Craftsman Award
Kyle Ford
Hannah Garrard

The Laura M. Bragg Memorial Award
Mary Koch

Charleston Fine Art Dealer Award
Nicholas Albia

The Corrie McCallum Award for Printmaking
Brittany Hill

The Seltzer Prize in Studio Art
Lori Leist

The Seltzer Prize for Young Contemporaries
Keller James
Branch Tanksley

The Tyzack Prize
Nicole Scioscia

School of the Arts Scholars
Diana Biffl
Nicolette Goetz
Corinne Williams

Outstanding Student Award
Maggie Bailey
John King
Claire Sparks
Kathryn Teska

Franklin B. Ashley Playwriting Award
Katelyn Ribant

Center Stage Award
Ashley Gennarelli

Maria Alicia Elfe Award for Theatre
Samantha Dahabi

Faculty Award of Merit – Theatre Faculty Award
Trevor Catalano
Samantha Dahabi
John King
Shelby North
Claire Sparks
Peter Spearman

Future Professionals Award – Performance
Celeste Riddle

Future Professionals Award – Production
John King

Future Teacher Award
Heather Roberts

Mary Jollensten Scholar
Peter Spearman

Arthur McDonald Award for Theatre
Edward Precht

Todd McNerney Playwriting Award
Anderson Haney

Valerie Morris Award for an Outstanding Performance
by an Actor or an Actress in a Play
Caroline Connell

The John Olbrych Prize for Excellence in Design
John King

Outstanding Dance Ambassador
Maggie Bailey

Emmett Robinson Scholar
Shelby North

The Seltzer Prize in Theatre
Brennen Reeves

The Stelle Award
Caroline Connell



ExCEL Awards (Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership Awards) – This award recognizes a student for his or her achievements at the College. The recipient represents the positive attributes of a student leader, and the award recognizes the recipient for his or her continued contributions to the campus and the broader community.
Student of the Year, School of the Arts • Corinne Williams, Theatre


Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Nine-State District Young Artist Competition in Voice  (first place) and MTNA National Young Artist Performance in Voice (third place)
Ashley Fabian

South Carolina National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Auditions (first place, Senior Women’s Division) and NATS Mid-Atlantic Region (including North Carolina; South Carolina; Virginia; Maryland and Washington, D.C.) Auditions (second place, Senior Women’s Division)
Savannah Shelby

NATS Auditions (second place, Senior Women’s Division) and NATS Mid-Atlantic Region (including North Carolina; South Carolina; Virginia; Maryland and Washington, D.C.) Auditions (fifth place, Senior Women’s Division)
Lauren Abigail Geddings

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region IV – David L. Shelton Student Playwriting Award (Full Length Play Competition)
Edward Precht for his play Bread and Circuses

National KCACTF – The National Partners of the American Theatre Playwriting Award
Edward Precht for his play Bread and Circuses

KCACTF Region IV – Ten Minute Play Regional Winner
Anderson Haney for his play Medium Skewered

KCACTF Region IV – Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in Lighting Design
John King

National KCACTF – Barbizon Award for Theatrical Design Excellence in Lighting Design
John King

KCACTF Region IV – Irene Ryan Acting Competition Semi-finalist
Allyson Musmeci

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ExCEL Awards for Outstanding SOTA Individuals Thu, 27 Mar 2014 17:55:31 +0000 The School of the Arts (SOTA) congratulates the following SOTA individuals for receiving 2014 Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards:

Outstanding SOTA Student of the Year:  Corinne Williams (Theatre major)

Female Student Athlete of the Year:  Alyssa Frye (Arts Management major)

Outstanding SOTA Faculty of the Year:  Evan Parry (Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance)

Diversity Service of the Year Award:  Karen Chandler (Associate Professor, Arts Management Program)

The 2014 ExCEL Awards honored more than 30 students, staff, faculty and community members for their commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence. The winners were chosen from more than 125 nominations.

[more info]

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2013 SOTA Highlights Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:13:38 +0000 Please take a few minutes to read about, and join us in celebrating, the numerous accomplishments of College of Charleston School of the Arts’ students, alumni, faculty and more. 

::: The Department of Theatre and Dance has been working on an exciting partnership with England’s historic Bristol Old Vic Theatre. On February 19, 2014, you can see firsthand this international relationship at work on stage at a special preview of the 1992 Tony Award-winning play Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. Save the date – more details to come! [more]

::: The College of Charleston Summer Study Fellowship with Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City gave Megan Schaeffer ’13 the opportunity to visit more than 50 art galleries, meet people from around the world, and become a more well-rounded arts manager. [more]

::: Former Studio Art Department Chair John Hull, who is currently on sabbatical, presented an exhibition, The Sporting Life, that was on view at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery in Ucross, Wyoming, June 14 – Sept. 14. (Hull also was an artist in residence at the Whitney Museum of Western Art this summer, during which time he spent two weeks making drawings on site at the Cody Stampede Rodeo.) The exhibition of approximately 25 paintings included images of baseball, horse racing, football and rodeo. Support for the exhibition came from the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the Wyoming Arts Council and the Welch School Galleries at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where the exhibition was on view Oct. 3 – Nov. 15. Hull also conducted a two-day drawing workshop in conjunction with the exhibition when it was in Atlanta. The Whitney Western Art Museum purchased one of the works from the exhibition when it was in Wyoming.

::: The Taylor Festival Choir, in residence at the College and directed by Professor Robert Taylor, spent 11 days touring Ireland last summer with its sister ensemble Na Fidleiri. They presented “From the Lowcountry to the Old Country” in Dublin, Belfast and three other cities. [video]

::: Music Professor and Soprano Deanna McBroom performed in a recital of American songs/duets with, mezzo-soprano Helen Tintes-Schuermann, an American living in Vienna and teaching at the Wien Konservatorium. The recital was on June 20 at the Gesellschaft fuer Musiktheater, and it included songs by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives and John Alden Carpenter. McBroom performed the European premiere of a song cycle entitled “Erotic Spirits” by Stephen Paulus and joined her colleague in the world premiere of “Garden Songs,” a duet that Edward Hart, Chair of the Music Department, composed as a commission for the Vienna concert.

::: The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art garnered four major awards for publications that were produced in conjunction with two 2012 exhibitions. Both works (catalogues) were designed by Gil Shuler Graphic Design. [more]

::: Earlier this month the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) Region IV awarded Theatre student Edward Precht the David Shelton Full Length Playwrighting Award and invited him to present a staged reading of his play, Bread and Circuses, at the 2014 festival in Virginia. The award is unique to the KC/ACTF Region IV, which includes colleges and universities within the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Southern Virginia. (In 2008 alumnus Michael Smallwood won the award for his play The Mind’s I.) In addition (Robert) Anderson Haney’s short play Medium Skewered has been selected to participate in the ten-minute play festival at the Region IV KCACTF, too. This ten-minute play festival offers the chance for him to work with a production team of director, stage manager, and dramaturg to cast, rehearse, and present a stage reading at the festival.

::: This fall the College of Charleston School of the Arts hosted the National Collegiate Choral Organization’s 2013 conference in which the College’s Concert Choir delivered an outstanding performance. [more]

::: In July Varna International Opera Company presented Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Assistant Professor David Templeton, who directs the Music Department’s opera program, performed the role of Count Almaviva, while Metropolitan Opera soprano Susan Neves performed the role of Countess Almaviva.

::: In November The New York Times reviewed the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s production of Our Town, for which Assistant Professor Charlie Calvert was the set designer. The review referred to the “beautiful production” and dedicated a full paragraph to Calvert’s design. Theatre student Samantha Dahabi worked on the project with Calvert as an assistant set designer. [more]

::: Kitchen Sink Studios created a short film about a project, “Rise and Fall,” by Studio Art Assistant Professor Steve Johnson. Johnson drew a series of birds in flight, nesting, nurturing, and dying; he attempts to capture the commonalities between them and society. [video]

::: In November Assistant Professor Rebekah Compton presented a paper entitled “Clothing Venus: The Art of Adornment in Botticelli’s Mythologies” for the annual conference of the Southeastern College Art Conference. She presented her research during a session entitled What People Wore[?]: Social Art History Through Fashion. For the same conference Professor Tessa Garton co-chaired a session entitled All Things Stone: New Research into Masons and Sculptors during the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries and presented “Romanesque Sculptors, Stonemasons, and Contractors in Northern Palencia” as part of that session.

::: Arts Management Associate Professor Karen Chandler was a co-coordinator of the MOJA Festival’s 4th Graders Read Out program. Through this program fourth grade students from Charleston County schools participate in a special reading program and receive a copy of the book that they read. Chandler also is a member of the fall 2013 class of the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative, which is a project of the Riley Institute at Furman University.

::: In August, Blake Stevens, Assistant Professor of Music History, presented a research paper at the ninth conference of the International Association for Word and Music Studies at the University of London. This interdisciplinary conference on the theme “Silence, Absence and Ellipsis in Words and Music” included scholars in music history, art history, literary studies, and philosophy. Stevens’ paper, “Absence Effects and the Spectacular Imagination in the Tragédie en musique,” focused on the uses of theatrical space in French Baroque opera and addressed issues and methodologies from opera studies, comparative literature, and aesthetics. The College of Charleston School of the Arts provided some of the funding to support this important professional development activity, and Blake has stated that he “benefited from both the formal responses to my paper in the session and individual conversations with other scholars.”

::: Professors Barbara Duval and Cliff Peacock were among the 25 artists whose work was in the South Carolina Biennial 2013 at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia.  The jury selected them from among more than 120 artists for the exhibition of work by contemporary South Carolina Artists. The 701 Center for Contemporary Art presented the exhibition in two parts, with openings in September and November.

::: Following the release of The Impact of Social Media on Arts Attendance in Charleston, SC report, Arts Management Adjunct Professor Chris Burgess attended the Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts (STP&A) conference in Seattle, Washington, to present the findings in a panel format. STP&A is an interdisciplinary gathering of researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and students that explores key trends, practices and policy issues affecting the arts around the world. STP&A is the oldest and one of the most influential academic gatherings of researchers and practitioners in the field of arts management and cultural policy.

::: Music alumnus Marco Sartor won an award for his doctoral dissertation at Yale University. He will perform a classical guitar concert for the College’s Monday Night Concert Series on February 17.


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Theatre Students Get Real-World Experience Designing Sets Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:48:13 +0000 theatre featured

College of Charleston theatre students Kathryn Teska, Samantha Dahabi, Corinne Williams, and Shelby North are working as assistant set designers and stage managers for professional theatre companies this summer to gain excellent connections as well as insight into what the field of scenic design entails outside of the College of Charleston campus. All four students have declared a major in theatre with a concentration in design and technology.

Both Teska and Dahabi are working with Charlie Calvert, College of Charleston scenic design professor, to research period styles and influences, make models, and draft technical drawings for professional theatres. Teska, a rising senior at the College, is working with Calvert on the acclaimed musical, “Next to Normal” directed by Julian Wiles, for Charleston Stage at the Dock Street Theatre throughout the duration of the summer and the fall semester; “Next to Normal” runs from February 14, 2014 to March 2, 2014. Teska is exceedingly grateful to Calvert for giving her the opportunity to work with him.

“This experience is more than I could have ever dreamed of,” Teska says. “I could think of nothing better that a mentor could have done to help me with my future career. I’ve had to build one of the most complex models he’s ever made while learning the process of design and I’ve learned about so many other scene designers while also having my eyes opened to the realities of design, such as financial restrictions.”

Dahabi is working with Calvert on a production titled “Our Town,” directed by Joseph Discher, which will be presented later this year by the well-known Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Calvert has worked with this company several times in the past, and has received positive reviews from The New York Times as a result.

“There is an art form in and of itself for working with directors and designer so that the shared vision is able to come to life,” Dahabi says. “I’ve learned a lot of great little tricks and the importance of the model we build. It is what we use to house all of the scenery and helps the rest of the production team understand what the space will look and feel like.”

Real-world opportunities will hopefully continue to be accessible for College of Charleston theatre students. Calvert is already planning to work with students next summer on a production at the Olney Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Shelby North and Corinne Williams are spending their summer as stage management interns at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and the Heritage Theatre Festival, respectively. Both have completed coursework in this area with faculty member Joy Vandervort-Cobb and have stage managed productions for the Department of Theatre and Dance.

“A large scale professional theatre is so different compared to academic theatre,” North explains. “After this experience, I find myself equipped to handle what I will have to face after I graduate. Living in a strange place and working as often as I have this summer has made me realize how much I love theatre,” says North, who like Teska, can’t help but give some credit to Calvert.

“In theatre,” explains North, “it is so easy to become consumed with the productions that we put on at the College. Professor Calvert makes sure that his students see the big picture, encouraging us to take internships and learn from as many people and as many places as possible.”

For further information about internship opportunities for College of Charleston scenic design students, contact Charlie Calvert at

Source: College of Charleston News


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