There was an amazing performance given at the monday night concert series. Soprano Anna Steenerson performed classics from Mozart, Brahams, Romberg, Loesser, and many more. The event had a great turn out. If you didn’t attend you definitely missed out, whether you’re a fan of classical music or not.
On Monday night, I went to see the CofC Department of Theater & Dance’s production of “As it is in Heaven, a play about The Shakers“. The production was shown in the Robinson Theatre, located in the Simon’s Center on St. Phillip St. I thought overall the production was very well executed. The stage was beautifully crafted and the costumes were simple yet elegant. Personally, I am not a fan of the theater & could not relate to the story, despite my efforts. I have to admit I eventually got extremely bored after about 45 minutes, but that’s because theater is just not my thing. Despite my boredom, I could definitely appreciate the quality of the acting/singing and the amount of time that went into the production.
It was interesting to witness firsthand the separate ticket pricing for students & the general public, something they definitely did to draw a bigger crowd. I was unfortunate enough to forget my student ID and was charged an extra 50%, which caused me to immediately take mental note of their tactical marketing strategy. If you enjoy theater I would recommend going to see the near flawless performance but if you don’t I would steer clear.
(Just to clarify I mean no disrespect to anyone involved in the production, I thought it was very well done)
On September 24 I had the pleasure of attending an exhibition featuring artist Maribel “Mag” Acosta. The exhibit was held at The 827 in West Ashley, which is a killer gallery/studio/events hall space. If not to see the art, I highly recommend going to the space and getting a tour of the gallery, because it’s quite unique. Apart from the space, the exhibition itself is very cool. The paintings track the artists’s journey, as she moved around a lot in her life. I liked it because I enjoy art that clearly represents some kind of life event or connection. A key element of the show was a performance piece about the artist’s travels, and the way that new places have nurtured her. This piece was very cool and a video of the show can be found here!
This event reminded me of our class discussion about planning. After speaking with one of the managers, I learned that the large, six foot canoe used for the performance was bought one day earlier. Through my research, I found that a material like this can be very pricey if bought new. Had the gallery planned for this need ahead of time, they could have minimized costs and maximized authenticity of the prop. There also lacked a plan as the show began. Managers were still hanging up painting descriptions and setting out food even 30 minutes after the event was scheduled to begin. Although this is a new business, this gallery needs to act more official in their presentation. Regardless, the work here is awesome and I would highly recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy art with some heritage!
College of Charleston’s student organization Center Stage kicked off their season with one of Arthur Miller’s plays, “A View from the Bridge.” Located in the Simons Center on the second floor is Center Stage’s black box theatre. Not too many know that productions go beyond the Emmett Robinson – and great ones too!
I am friends with almost the entire cast of that production and I was honestly impressed with how well some of actors handled the script. Billy Nugent and Elizabeth Watson strongly grasped their characters, even with such a huge age difference. Though the acting was great, the set did not live up to my expectations. It felt unfinished and disconnected to the story.
I personally know the costume designer and I was informed about the challenge her and the lightning designer faced. Their ideas were clashing which made it difficult for their designs to compliment one another. She mentioned that they both had to adjust their color scheme and meet in the middle in order for them to both fulfill their ideas.
Without a doubt, I would recommend this event to others. Mainly because I am a huge advocate of student designers, directors, actors and producers. To see students joining together to collaborate on a production and to sacrifice ideas for the show as a whole is what being apart of the artistic community is all about.
This past Monday night I bought tickets to see the production of Arlene Hutton’s As it is in Heaven, presented by the College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance. Located only a short distance from my house at the Emmet Robinson Theatre on campus, it was easy to convince myself to go. I’ve been to some great school productions here before, such as Spring Awakening and Love of the Nightingale, and was looking forward to seeing what the department had planned. I was not let down. Initially I had a difficult time relating to the struggles and lifestyle choices of the Shakers; they were completely foreign to me and their conservative customs were starkly incompatible with my own. This mindset quickly vanished as the acting, staging, and directorial choices quickly made what was once cloudy and confusing into a human, relatable experience. The old jargon of the 1800’s could not mask the unmistakable emotion and crisis of faith these women were going through.
The valuable sources of information for this production were of particular interest: more specifically the feedback from the audience. The demographic of the theatre the night I attended was a high contrast between those probably older than sixty years of age, and the rest being students. It made me wonder what percentage of the students were there for their own enjoyment, or to fulfill a requirement for one of their classes. Would this mandatory attendance affect their willingness to appreciate and respond to the play and its messages? In doing so would the company have a hard time gauging the needs of its audience if part of the audience did not come of their own volition? Despite this one questionable resource of information, surely the department must have a great grasp of their successes and failures from other sources due to their long-standing presence in the arts world of Charleston. Anyone would be guaranteed a great evening if they chose to see this show; I would highly recommend it. Whether or not you can understand the lifestyle choices of the Shakers themselves, you can easy relate to the day-to-day emotional struggles the characters go through.
On Thursday, October 3, I saw As It Is In Heaven at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center. The play, written by Arlene Hutton and directed by Beth Lincks, depicts the life of the Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The production featured a small cast performing on a very basic set that acted as both an indoor and outdoor environment. Initially, the play didn’t seem to have any clear plot. Things just happened and nothing really made sense. As it progressed, however, points came together and I understood the underlying meanings.
As far as management goes, one issue I noticed was the long line to get tickets. Both people who payed online and those who were just buying their tickets were crammed together into one line, causing the play to start a few minutes late. Perhaps there could have been separate lines for each. Other than that, everything else went smoothly. I would recommend this play to anyone with an interest in theater. It integrates history, music, and humor into one production and is easily entertaining to a wide array of audiences.
On September 28, 2013 I attended Redux Contemporary Art Center for the first time for their Redux Revival event. The event included Gwyneth Scally’s Wilderness Management Exhibit , the Outta My Huevos food truck, a live band, and an art yard sale. The 3D exhibit, Wilderness Management, was an attention-grabber as soon as you walked into the gallery as it allowed viewers to walk through the exhibit making the art more interactive than a typical painting on the wall. I did not do much research about the event or the featured artist prior to attending and I wish I would have as the information online about the artist’s exhibit allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation for Gwyneth Scally’s work, inspiration, and experiences as an artist. I feel that if this information had been featured somewhere within the event patrons would of had a stronger connection with the work instead of just wondering why jellyfish and pine tree branches were suspended from the ceiling.
The event had a wide age range in attendance from young adults to elderly couples viewing the exhibit and looking through the pieces of art on sale. There was an opportunity for the staff and artists of Redux to educate and fulfill their mission of having dialogue between their artists and their audiences and this opportunity was lost. There was no information on the artist on display and there was a loud band playing that stopped much of the talking within the arts center which could have allowed patrons to connect and relate to one another through the art work on display. I would recommend this event to others as I enjoyed the event but learning about what Redux has to offer. I think there are definitely more ways for Redux to reach a wider audience by communicating clearly and creating an atmosphere that allows them to truly educate the low country area about art and our talented local artists.
In hopes of expanding my knowledge of guitar beyond the modern associations with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Strokes, I went to the Classical Guitar Festival presented by the College of Charleston’s Department of Music. On the whole, I thought the performers were really excellent and talented, as far as my untrained ears could tell anyway. However, it was just not as exciting as what I am used to in the way of musical performances. The spectacle, though, was not the point I suppose. The performance was focused more on the skill and mastery of this one instrument that I never knew could be manipulated in so many ways. I found myself appreciating the event much more afterward than I did while sitting in the recital hall; it opened my eyes to a new art form that was a considerable distance outside of my comfort zone.
In order to attract more of the student body to the performances, the Classical Guitar Festival was completely free for students. In my opinion, this is a great operational plan-specifically a marketing plan- not only to attract more audience members but a specific audience demographic that could directly impact the Department of Music here at the college. The more free concerts they advertise, the more broke college students are likely to attend and increase their awareness of the great programs and musicians that the department produces; in the long run, this awareness could turn into potential supporters and patrons of the Department of Music.
And if by the end of this you are as curious as I was, you can watch my personal favorite performer of the evening, Ulyana Machneva, here!
On October 7, I attended the play As it is in Heaven by Arlene Hutton at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simmons Center on campus. This was the first play I’ve seen since I’ve been in Charleston, and it left quite an impression on me. To be honest, I had only minor interest in seeing a play about an 1838 Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, but about ten minutes in, I was fascinated by the plot and enchanted by the songs. Though the play is not defined as a musical (the program says right on it: A play about The Shakers), there was a lot of singing (and it was absolutely beautiful). I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of acting and singing by the actresses in the production; they blew away my expectations for a College of Charleston production.
From a management perspective, the event had some organizational issues. First, the house was opened about 5 minutes late. Then, the ushers were clearly not properly prepared for their job. People were being seated in the wrong seats and having to be moved when their seat’s true ticket holder arrived. This resulted in the play starting fifteen minutes late. For those of us that show up to these sort of events when the doors open, we had to wait in our seats for forty-five minutes for the play to start. That’s heading towards the ridiculous. Whoever was managing the ushers should have been better prepared. However, regardless of the seating issues, this play was phenomenal, and I would recommend it to anyone, particularly my fellow music lovers!
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