CofC Theatre Stages Award Winning ‘Bread & Circuses’ by Recent Alumnus

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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New Director Ran Dank to Open Piano Series

The Department of Music in the College of Charleston School of the Arts is pleased to welcome Ran Dank as its new Director of Piano Studies. Described by The New York Times as “thriving in his career” and giving “ tour-de-force accounts of stunning piano pieces,” Mr. Dank will open the 2014-15 season of the College’s International Piano Series (IPS), on Sept. 30. The Juilliard graduate will perform an exhilarating program of Chopin and Liszt that will mark his Charleston debut after almost a decade of living, performing and teaching in New York City. [Learn more about Ran Dank.]

IPS is Charleston’s longest-running program with a pure focus on piano, and for the remainder of the season Mr. Dank has assembled a stellar collection of pianists that includes Beth Levin, Stephen Beus and Anne-Marie McDermott. [Learn more.]

CONCERT DETAILS:  Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. | $20 general admission (free for all students) and $70 season subscriptions for four concerts – Purchase advance tickets and subscriptions online or by calling (843) 953-6575. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.


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A Modern Take on a Classic Greek Tragedy

The BacchaeThe Dept. of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will stage a modern interpretation of Euripides’ “The Bacchae.” This new translation written by Irish poet Derek Mahon follows Dionysus on his quest to reveal himself as a God to his hometown of Thebes, which has banned the worship of the diety.

Director David Lee Nelson helms this exciting production. “I was really attracted to this play, because I love the challenge of taking classics and finding what about them is still relevant. This play was written in 500 B.C. That’s before Christianity. That’s before Islam. Yet this is a play about gender, power, and punishing people who spread rumors about their mom. That’s something people can relate to forever.”

DETAILS: Thursday, Sept. 25 -Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 • 7:30 p.m., with shows on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7:30p.m. • Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. • $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Season subscriptions are available. Purchase tickets online at or by calling (843) 953-6306.

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Orlando Jones Comedy Show to Benefit College of Charleston Theatre & Dance

Orlando Jones

Jones currently stars in FOX’s hit television series “Sleepy Hollow” with a second season premiering on Sept. 22.


The Department of Theatre and Dance will postpone the Orlando Jones Comedy Show. At the last minute, the “Sleepy Hollow” television show has required Mr. Jones to film on the same day as the comedy show, originally scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 4. The box office will issue refunds for those who have purchased tickets. 

The department is working on rescheduling the comedy show for a later date (mostly likely in the spring) and will announce it as soon as details are confirmed. 

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is pleased to bring back former student thespian Orlando Jones to the Emmett Robinson stage – the very stage where he discovered his acting talent and the joy of engaging audiences.

In his Hollywood career, audiences have seen Orlando Jones move from drama to comedy, from behind the camera to lead roles, with startling dexterity. From his portrayal of Clifford Franklin in the classic football film “The Replacements” to the hugely successful “Drumline” and singing and dancing in the Broadway revival of “The Wiz,” Jones continues to thrill and entertain audiences.

In the spring of 2012, Jones kicked off his comedy tour, which touches on various topics, from family life to pop culture and current events. He looks forward to returning to campus, having studied at the College from 1985 to 1990 and having performed in a handful of theatre productions. Learn more.

Department Chair Janine McCabe expresses, “It is refreshing to have a former student who has garnered great success, to not only share his talent on our stage, but also to support the Department of Theatre and Dance by donating part of the event’s proceeds.”

The show also will feature Alex Scott, whose comedy has been described as “the most relatable comedy in America,” as he deftly talks about growing up, careers, relationships and his six years in the military. Opening for the show is 21-year-old Reid Clark, a new comedian from Wilmington, N.C., who was discovered by Jones.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $30 general admission and $25 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students and employees with I.D. Part of the proceeds will benefit the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (843) 953-5604. For mature audiences.

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Baritone David Templeton Opens 2nd Monday Series

2nd Monday Series

The 2nd Monday Series at the College of Charleston, formerly known as the Monday Night Concert Series, opens its 2014-15 season of music with baritone David Templeton and pianist Robin Zemp.

Robin ZempDavid Templeton On Sept. 8, 2014, this talented faculty duo will present a powerful performance of Robert Schumann’s best-known song cycle, Dichterliebe, Maurice Ravel’s triptych Don Quichotte et Dulcinee, and Giuseppi Verdi’s emotional Eri tu? (from Un ballo in maschera). The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is $15 general / $10 students. Reserve tickets by calling (843) 953-6575 or purchase tickets at the door. More information is available online at

CofC Concerts

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Introducing…CofC Concerts

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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Learn From Experts on How to Navigate the Music Industry

“In the Mix: Music Industry Exchanges” returns to The College of Charleston with four new sessions this fall. The monthly music series connects musicians and College of Charleston students to industry leaders through discussions on different music industry topics. This fall, Arts Management adjunct instructor Mark Bryan will moderate the discussions taking place on August 25th, September 22nd, October 20th and November 17th.

Presented by the Arts Management Program in the College of Charleston School of the Arts the series will take place at 6:30 p.m. on each of the listed nights in the Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. All sessions will be free and open to students, staff and the public on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The topic for the first session on Monday, August 25 is “Building Your Team” and includes guest speakers Richard “Gus” Gusler (Manager for Hootie & the Blowfish and Darius Rucker) and Doc McGhee (Attorney for Hootie & the Blowfish and Darius Rucker). Speakers for the remaining three sessions will be announced closer to each event date.

Since spring of 2014, “In the Mix: Music Industry Exchanges” has already connected over 500 students, musicians and music professionals and alumni to music industry professionals and even a few moguls. Last semester the “In the Mix” series highlights included Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish and Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope, Frank Rogers, Producer of Darius Rucker and founder of Sea Gayle Music, Dan Hannon, Producer of Manchester Orchestra, Duda Lucena of Borboleta Audio Mastering, Jerrod Wilkins, Manager of Duncan Sheik and NY Dolls at Gold Mountain Entertainment, Dolph Ramseur, Manager of Avett Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops at Ramseur Records, Luke Lewis, Former CEO of Universal Music Group and Founder of Lost Highway Records, Mike Doernberg, CEO and co-founder of ReverbNation and John Simson Former Executive Director of SoundExchange.

Successful musician and Music Industry Advancement Leader at the College of Charleston, Mark Bryan, expresses his excitement for the fall series: “Charleston is right on the edge of becoming a music center with all its talent and infrastructure. This series is a great way to provide our students and local musicians with unprecedented insight into various aspects of the music industry.”

Starting this fall, the College’s arts management majors who are aspiring musicians or interested in music management, can pursue a music industry concentration. Courses include Introduction to the Music Industry, Legal Aspects of the Entertainment Industry, Music in the Marketplace, and more. For information visit or call (843) 953-6301.

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2014-15 Theatre and Dance Season

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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Piccolo Spoleto Stelle di Domani Theatre Series

A variety of entertaining performances that feature the Stars of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. Follow #stelledidomani
THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA – Arethusa has been turned into a river, or so everyone thinks. Rather, she has joined a society of women with some very troubling secrets. College of Charleston alumna Jessica Colie McClellan spent three months in conversation with women from all walks of life who have had experience, either first or second hand, with relationship violence. In this fraught, but hopeful one-woman show, she weaves Arethusa’s tale from Greek mythology into that of the contemporary every-woman. [more info and tickets]

MAD GRAVITY – The College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance proudly re-stages this sell-out, improbably loopy, award-winning farce (2013 T.M. National Playwriting runner-up, 2013 Reva Shiner Comedy Award Winner and Finalist at The Eugene O’Neill). The play unites a host couple, a performance artist who insists on bringing his work home with him and his supportive wife, with their guests, a dentist and his unhappily sarcastic spouse, to hash out their children’s romance over dinner. The apocalypse suddenly looms! Bedlam ensues! Funny and outrageous, the play even reveals the meaning of life! [more info and tickets]

UNDER THE LIGHTS – This Production (in its eighth incarnation and a Stelle favorite) showcases a series of original student written 10-minute plays. Included are the winners of the 2014 Franklin B. Ashley Playwriting and the 2014 Todd McNerney Student Playwriting Awards. Join us for an evening focused on the voices and ideas of the next generation of writers [more info and tickets]

MIDDLE GROUND – This dance concert celebrates the collaboration between the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance and Annex Dance Company, a local, professional modern dance company. Selected works are drawn from both repertoires and include blended casts, collaborative choreography, and dances that explore the intersections of physicality, beauty, and convergence. [more info and tickets]

MR. AND MRS. JOHN MARSH: THE WORLD KNEW HER AS MARGARET MITCHELL – by Melita Easters. This lively and humorous one-woman show about the reclusive author of Gone With the Wind is especially timely as the film premiered 75 years ago. The play stars Saluda Camp, a Charleston native and graduate of the College of Charleston, who currently practices her craft in New York. Directed by Cailín Heffernan. [more info and tickets]

Melita Easter, the author and producer, will present a free lecture about her inspiration for writing Mrs. John Marsh, including discussion about Gone With the Wind [more info]

THE ELEPHANT IN MY CLOSET – Me. Coming out to my father. As a Democrat. The hit solo show from David Lee Nelson, created with Adam Knight, returns for one final run where it all began. “4 Stars”- Time Out, NY . “Hits precisely the right notes at exactly the right place and time.” –Washington Post. May 3oth show is CofC alumni special in which part of the proceeds will be given to the College of Charleston. [more info and tickets]

THE ALUMNI DANCE CONCERT – The performance showcases the creative spirit of graduates from the College of Charleston’s Dept. of Theatre and Dance. This concert commemorates the connection between the alumni and the department, and promotes a partnership between professional and emerging dance artists. Enjoy the choreography and performances of our talented alumni. [more info and tickets]

ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD – Written by George Brant, is a play based on the true story of one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the circus. An accident in a small town brings out the animal in everyone involved. Directed by Edward Precht, it is brought back after a sold-out run in CofC’s Center Stage season. [more info and tickets]

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Piccolo Spoleto Festival: College of Charleston Young Artists Series

The Young Artists Series features some of the College of Charleston School of the Arts’ most accomplished music students and alumni. Tickets are $11 and available at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Box Office 1-(866)-811-4111 or online. All concerts take place at 12:00 noon in the College’s Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip Street, except for May 24 at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St. 

Follow #piccoloyoungartists2014
Saturday, May 24 – College of Charleston Concert Choir in Concert, Robert Taylor-conductor [buy tickets]
This outstanding, award-winning choir has been featured in juried performance at several national conferences and has toured the Southeast. They regularly perform with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and are known for their rich, warm choral tone and dynamic programming of standard repertoire and new, contemporary choral works. This concert takes place at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St.

Monday, May 26 – Celebrating Our International Connections – Music for guitar, voice, and piano [buy tickets]
Featuring guitarists Grace McNally and Robbie Chan, tenor Josh Avant, and pianists Justin Watkins and Irwin Jiang, this Memorial Day concert will feature works by Dyens (Tunisian-French), Ponce (Mexican), Dvorak (Czech), Faure (French), Uematsu (Japanese), Domeniconi (Italian), and Chopin (Polish).

Tuesday, May 27 – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms [buy tickets]
Includes Bach Suite No. 3 for cello, Bach arias, Bach Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Beethoven Sonata Op. 81a, and Brahms Ballade, Rhapsody in G minor, and Piano Trio No. 1. Featured performers are: Robbie Chan, Patricia Cooney, Unusdian Errandonea, Diego Suarez, Joseph Tan and Justin Watkins.

Wednesday, May 28 – Violin Marathon  [buy tickets]
Outstanding students of Professor Yuriy Bekker to perform: Yuhong Tu, Ting Yao, Zoe Whittaker, Shannon Fitzhenry, Chelsea Murphy, plus Gregory Guay — perform a dynamic and varied program of music for violin, with guitar and piano accompaniment.

Thursday, May 29 – A Romantic Affair– Chamber Music of the 19th & 20th Centuries  [buy tickets]
Jonathan Williams, cello, and Gregory Guay, guitar in works of Saint-Saens and Piazzolla, soprano Ashley Fabian in songs by Strauss, cellist Unusdian Errandonea in Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango, and Ae-lin Youn, Jonathan Milord, Caitlin Delaney, and Irwin Jiang in the amazingly beautiful Schumann Piano Quartet.

Friday, May 30 – College of Charleston Opera  [buy tickets]
A fast-paced program of favorite arias and scenes from opera, including the Act I finale of CofC Opera’s recent hit performance of Edwin Penhorwood’s hilarious opera Too Many Sopranos.

Saturday, May 31 – Piano Plus Cello!  [buy tickets]
Featuring solo cellist Shelby Bowden playing Bach’s Suite No. 4, solo pianist Emily Tran playing Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 31, No. 2—The Tempest and York Bowen’s Three Preludes, plus a cello/piano duet by Boccherini with Zachary Litchfield, cellist and Tran at the piano.

Monday, June 2 – Prize-Winning Seniors – Abbie Geddings and Savannah Shelby, mezzo-sopranos  [buy tickets]
A program of varied songs sung by talented and dynamic singers, who are recent graduates headed to graduate school and singing careers. Both are recent winners in the NATS Student Auditions competition.

Tuesday, June 3 – Art Song Extravaganza  [buy tickets]
Marrying voice and piano, text and music, the Art Song takes its place as one of the most expressive genres of music for the voice. The program will include familiar songs by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Faure, Duparc, Chausson and Quilter performed by the talented and well-trained singers of the College’s Voice Program.

Wednesday, June 4 – Masterpieces and Miniatures – Music for Piano and Cello  [buy tickets]
Pianist Diego Suarez will tantalize with miniatures– Chopin-Étude “Winter Wind,” Liszt-Étude “Mazeppa,” Debussy L’sle joyeuse, and a movement from Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus, followed by two masterpieces–a movement from Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in g minor with Caitlin Delany, cellist and Irwin Jiang, pianist. Then Jiang will conclude with the stunning Prokofiev Sonata No. 6.

Thursday, June 5 – National Prize-Winning Singers – Ashley Fabian, soprano/Nathan Matticks, baritone  [buy tickets]
Ashley Fabian–winner in 2014 national MTNA Young Artist competition in Chicago and SC NATS Artist Award competition and Nathan Matticks—awards in Metro West Opera Competition and Marilyn Horne’s 80th birthday gala at Carnegie Hall–present songs by Schumann, Bachelet, Chausson, Beach and Pasatieri plus an operatic duet.

Friday, June 6 – College of Charleston Jazz  [buy tickets]
The College’s “premiere” jazz combo performs familiar tunes and new arrangements of jazz standards.

Saturday, June 7 – Tchaikovsky and Liszt Piano Concertos – Irwin Jiang and Diego Suarez, pianists  [buy tickets]
Two of the most beloved piano concertos performed in a duo piano format.

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