College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Magic and Power Dominate in Theatre Season Openers

AND JUSTICE FOR ALL… The College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance’s 2018-2019 season of social justice is expressed this year through musical theatre, drama, comedy and dance. The theme continues to support the College of Charleston’s sustainability literacy initiative aimed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to solve challenges of social justice, economic disparity, and looming environmental concerns. The Department is committed to exploring these critical challenges this season and every season. [season subscriptions available]

This month, the season will open with correlating productions of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Rough Magic by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

THE TEMPEST: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on…” After 12 years of being unjustly exiled to a remote island, Prospero sets in motion a plan to seek redemption for himself and his daughter. This masterful tale of ambition, desire, revenge and forgiveness is a tragically comic look at the manipulation of power and how those enslaved confront their enemies. Shakespeare’s tragicomedy brings spirits, monsters and magic to life in what is thought to be the last play he ever wrote. Directed by adjunct faculty member Paul Rolfes.

ROUGH MAGIC: Transplanting characters from The Tempest to present-day New York, Rough Magic is a Shakespearean action-adventure-fantasy in the tradition of Harry Potter and The X-Men that conjures a mythical, magical meta-universe in which the evil sorcerer Prospero is willing to do anything to recover his stolen book of magic — even if it means Manhattan’s destruction. Lucky for us, New York’s defenders include a quartet of unlikely heroes: Melanie Porter, a plucky, raven-haired dramaturg with the ability to free characters from plays; Caliban, Prospero’s hunky (though not-too-bright) son; Tisiphone, a revenge-seeking Fury from Ancient Greece; and a seventeen-year-old lifeguard from Coney Island named Chet Baxter. Directed by faculty member Evan Parry and features professional guest artist Scott Pattison as Prospero.


Due to the other tempest, Hurricane Florence, the College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance will delay the schedule for The Tempest to Sept. 28, Oct. 4, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and September 29 and Oct. 7 at 2:00 p.m. 

The updated schedule for Rough Magic is Sept. 29, Oct. 3, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. 

Talkbacks will occur after the opening night performances. 

Admission is $20 for general public; $15 for senior citizens, College of Charleston employees and non-College of Charleston students; and $12 for College of Charleston students. Season subscriptions and individual tickets can be purchased at or by calling (843) 953-6306.