The inaugural College of Charleston School of the Arts Festival: Arts under the Oaks will offer an entertaining day of arts experiences for Lowcountry audiences. Featuring performances by the College’s Department of Music alongside the Department of Theatre and Dance, the event will take place on April 10 and 11 from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. at the College of Charleston Stono Preserve, 5297 Dixie Plantation Rd., Meggett, S.C. A livestream option will be available, as well.
Arts under the Oaks will feature mainstage performances and sideshow pop-up events throughout the day. Mainstage shows will be safely interactive with the audience, including:
Unbeatable: A Musical Theatre Showcase – The pandemic isn’t keeping these “unbeatable” musicians from creating and performing! Directed by theatre faculty member Laura Turner, the show will carry the “unbeatable” theme with three main groups of songs that play on beats or rhythms: “Can’t Stop the Beat,” “We Got the Beat” and “I Got Rhythm.” This performance of classic and contemporary musical theatre songs mixes in audience participation, a little dance, and some stories to lift spirits and remind guests of a time before masks.
Finding Place: A Dance Concert – Comprised of original dances choreographed by students, this concert investigates self, particularly in times of isolation and constant change. How do we stay grounded and what has become “our place”? When is it safe for our close circle to expand? Where do we go next? Directed by dance professor Kristin Alexander, Finding Place exemplifies resilience of self and others through contemporary dance work.
Le Nozze di Figaro: College of Charleston Opera – This famed opera by Mozart is a wondrous, intricate comedy of disguises, lost tokens of love and mistaken identity. Under the leadership of the College’s Director of Opera Saundra DeAthos-Meers, Orchestra Director Yuriy Bekker, and Associate Professor of Theatre Evan Parry, Le Nozze di Figaro is deftly performed social distance-style by outstanding voice students, with stunning choreography by Gretchen McLaine and Pamela O’Briant, alongside professional and student orchestral musicians. The show has over-the-top dramatic story elements often found in modern-day comedies on the screen: a marriage contract between a man and someone who turns out to be his mother, a master trying to enjoy physical passion with his wife’s maidservant (a lusty boy who dresses as a woman to stay close to the woman he loves), and a pin which clasps a “love letter” that ends up in the wrong hands. Supertitles will help guests follow along the hilarious storyline.
Interspersed on the majestic grounds throughout the day will be sideshow events including skilled fight choreography, sonnet recitations, Three Little Pigs: Children’s Opera based on the music of Mozart, and costumed students entertaining guests. Visitors can also tour the historic grounds of the idyllic Stono Preserve, while learning about the 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway, and explore its history and changing landscape. The property is historically and archaeologically meaningful, and holds tremendous potential for better understanding a diverse range of topics in South Carolina Lowcountry history.
10am – Gates Open
11am to 12:30pm – Unbeatable: A Musical Theatre Showcase
1pm to 2pm – Finding Place: A Dance Concert
3pm to 6pm – Le Nozze di Figaro: College of Charleston Opera
*Sideshows interspersed throughout the day: Sonnet Recitations, Fight Choreography Demos, Three Little Pigs Children’s Opera, and Tours of Stono Preserve
Tickets will be offered for in-person attendance with full and half-day options A livestream video option will be available for the full day.
In-Person general admission: $50 for all-day and $25 for half-day (morning or afternoon options)
In-Person College of Charleston faculty/staff/students: $20 for all-day and $10 for half-day
Tickets will go on sale on March 15. Tickets will not be sold at the gate.
Questions: Contact the George Street Box Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 953-4726.
Mainstage events will be livestreamed and may show glimpses of the sideshow events:
Livestream general admission: $20 for all-day
Livestream CofC faculty/staff/students: $10 all-day
NOTES for IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE:
Capacity at Stono Preserve is limited, and face coverings along with a distance of six feet must be maintained at all times between participants.
To make the day outdoors more comfortable, bring items such as sunscreen, hand wipes, bug spray, chairs or blankets, and clothing for variable spring temperatures. Guests may bring food and water supplies (no alcohol permitted) as there will be no food or beverage concessions available.
Portable restrooms will be on site. Attendees should be aware of the rugged, natural landscape at Stono Preserve as they will be fully immersed in the rustic outdoors (long pants and comfortable, closed-toe shoes are suggested, note the presence of natural wildlife). Navigation for most wheelchairs may be difficult due to the terrain.
During the scenic drive on site, be aware of rough, uneven roads. Admission/parking process at the gate may take a few minutes as guests are safely admitted. At that time, half-day guests will receive wristbands to delineate morning or afternoon attendance. Stono Preserve is located at 5297 Dixie Plantation Road, Meggett, SC, 29449-5896.
In acknowledgment of the history of labor and traditional tribal residency of the land at Stono Preserve, the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital History Initiative has coordinated an online exhibition titled “The Stono Preserve’s Changing Landscape.”