College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance (CofC Stages) to present bittersweet comedy honoring playwright, alumnus David Lee Nelson

A Sudden Spontaneous Event is a hilarious and heartbreaking look at what happens when the life you thought you had is over in an instant. Carole White’s life is just the way she likes it. Until, that is, she wakes confused and in a strange place after suffering a stroke. This bittersweet comedy explores loss, forgiveness and reconciliation as Carole and her son’s fraught relationship drives the action of the play.

Presented by the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance, the production is directed by alumnus, adjunct lecturer and noted actor Paul Rolfes.

The play is staged in honor of its playwright, David Lee Nelson, a beloved theatre alumnus (2000), who passed away from colon cancer in September 2020. An accomplished actor, playwright, comedian and winner of the 2013 College of Charleston School of the Arts Young Alumnus Award, Nelson is remembered for his tremendous impact on the theatre community in addition to his writing, teaching, humor and overall inspirational nature. His written works include solo shows The Elephant in my Closet, Status Update, Silence of Lucky, and Stages in addition to plays Folly Beach, Mary & Joseph at The Hampton Inn, Free to a Good Home, and A Sudden Spontaneous Event.

Department Chair Janine McCabe reminisces, “Not only was David an alumnus and colleague but also a close friend to so many of us at the College. He touched countless lives through his many theatrical talents, and his memory lives on through his written works, which explore highly emotional topics while masterfully interspersing humor and human connection.”

McCabe adds, “Having been part of the world premiere of A Sudden Spontaneous Event produced by PURE Theatre (2015-16 season), I’m proud to bring this piece to the College’s stage and share it once again with the Charleston community. We want to honor David with this production and also by creating an award in his name to recognize students who embody his inspirational spirit.”

Playing the role of Carole is emerita theatre faculty member and originator of the role, Joy Vandervort-Cobb. Theatre students comprise the rest of the cast. Designers include students Mattie Davis (costume design) and Julia Mimó (scenic design), along with department staff member Miles Boinest (sound design) and alumna Claire Ahlin (lighting design).

DETAILS: Performances of A Sudden Spontaneous Event will take place at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) on November 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and November 21 at 2:00 p.m. Admission is $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military/veterans, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased through the George Street Box Office online, by emailing gsbo@cofc.edu, calling (843) 953-4726 or in person. (Patrons can find information and tickets at go.cofc.edu/cofcstages.) 


The College’s 2021-2022 theatre and dance season brings important conversations to the forefront and challenges audiences to think about their choices, relationships, and what it means to be part of a community while navigating how to live your best life. The diverse production season offers plays, dance, musical theatre, and opera — featuring guest artists, new faculty and invited collaborators. Production details and ticket info are listed at go.cofc.edu/cofcstages.

CofC Stages to Present ‘Once More,’ a Dance Concert of Restaged Historical and Personal Works

Once More: A Dance Concert CofC Stages will present Once More, a fresh look at a collection of dances choreographed and restaged by faculty, students and guest artists. Choreographers were invited to revisit personal and historical works — an opportunity to rediscover joy and meaning within these pieces — and share them with new audiences. Both meaningful and poignant, this eclectic concert offers a captivating evening of dance for everyone. Once More is directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Kristin Alexander.

Gretchen McLaine, director of the College’s dance program, is doing a Labanotation reconstruction of Linda Crist’s threebythree. Set to sections of “Etudes Tableaus” by Rachmaninoff, the ballet showcases dynamic footwork and rhythmic sensitivity. The reconstruction was facilitated by the Dance Notation Bureau and is performed with the permission of Crist’s estate.

Alexander is revisiting her piece Opposite Infinities from the department’s fall 2020 concert. Inspired by the poem “Moment” by Eugene Platt, she had originally created the piece as a dance film. Revisiting the work has allowed further investigation of the movement vocabulary and the addition of physical connection, which was prohibited last year.

Guest Artist Clarence Brooks, director of dance at Florida Atlantic University, set Mason Jar Dreams, created from words of inspiration that sixty friends “placed” in a virtual mason jar. Words like acceptance, clarity, equity, and devotion were translated into movement, then dance phrases and finally into an ensemble dance. The College’s dance majors will premiere this piece in Once More. Brooks is now transforming the movement from the piece into a dance film project.
The production is supported by the College’s Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), whose 2021-2022 theme “sustainable cities and communities” intersects with the theme of Once More, which centers the sustainability of work through preservation and reconstruction efforts. The CSD aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to solve future challenges of social justice, economic disparity and looming environmental concerns. CofC Stages is committed to exploring these critical sustainability challenges – “triple bottom line” (social, environmental, economic systems) – this season and every season.

DETAILS:

In-person performances at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) are on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10 at 2:00 p.m. A digital video-on-demand offering will also be available for purchase. Individual tickets are $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty, and staff. Purchase tickets ONLINE or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing gsbo@cofc.edu or calling (843) 953-4726. 

College of Charleston COVID safety guidelines currently require face masks indoors for campus facilities, including the Sottile Theatre. Guidelines and performances are subject to change.


The College’s 2021-2022 theatre and dance season brings important conversations to the forefront and challenges audiences to think about their choices, relationships, and what it means to be part of a community while navigating how to live your best life. The diverse production season offers plays, dance, musical theatre, and opera — featuring guest artists, new faculty and invited collaborators. Production details and season-pass/ticket info are listed at go.cofc.edu/cofcstages.

College of Charleston Theatre and Dance (CofC Stages) to Open Season with ‘Pipeline’

“Pipeline is an emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises questions about class, race, parental duty, and the state of American education.” –Variety

Exploring the struggles of educational equity and institutionalized segregation, “Pipeline” by 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow Dominique Morisseau (“The Detroit Project,” “Skeleton Crew,” co-producer on Showtime’s “Shameless”) will open the 2021-2022 performance season for the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

With profound compassion and lyricism, “Pipeline” brings an urgent conversation powerfully to the fore; a deeply moving story of a mother’s fight to give her son a future — without turning her back on the community that made him who he is.

The plot centers on an inner-city public high school teacher who is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have.

When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get Omari expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent.

The play is directed by alumnus and noted actor, writer and director, Michael Smallwood and is recommended for ages 14+.

Smallwood shares, “As an actor, director, educator and Black man in America, I find “Pipeline” to be one of the most poignant and engaging plays written in the last five years. The questions it raises about parenting, education, institutional racism, and self-actualization are incredibly important to both the students working on the show and the audiences who will get a chance to see it. It’s my great honor to return to the College of Charleston, where I was educated, to guide these exceptionally talented students through Dominique Morisseau’s masterpiece.”

The production is supported by the College’s Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), whose 2021-2022 theme “sustainable cities and communities” correlates to the story and takeaways of “Pipeline.” The CSD aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to solve future challenges of social justice, economic disparity and looming environmental concerns. CofC Stages is committed to exploring these critical sustainability challenges – “triple bottom line” (social, environmental, economic systems) – this season and every season.

Theatre students comprise the cast and crew, and the show’s designers include students Savannah Fatigante (Costume Design) and Ellie Ford (Scenic Concept), and guest designer Caleb Garner (Sound Design).

DETAILS: In-person performances at the Chapel Theatre (172 Calhoun St.) are on Sept. 24-27 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2:00pm only. Discounted season ticket packages are available for all seven CofC Stages productions. Individual tickets are $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty, and staff. Purchase season packages or individual tickets online at go.cofc.edu/gsbo or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing gsbo@cofc.edu or calling (843) 953-4726.

College of Charleston COVID safety guidelines currently require face masks, social distancing, and limited capacity of 75 guests in Chapel Theatre. Guidelines and performances are subject to change.


The College’s 2021-2022 theatre and dance season brings important conversations to the forefront and challenges audiences to think about their choices, relationships, and what it means to be part of a community while navigating how to live your best life. The diverse production season offers plays, dance, musical theatre, and opera — featuring guest artists, new faculty and invited collaborators. Production details and season-pass/ticket info are listed at go.cofc.edu/cofcstages.

 

 

‘College of Charleston School of the Arts Presents Festival, Arts Under the Oaks’

Set of hand drawn architect trees and stage curtains. Vector sketch, architectural illustration with "Arts under the Oaks" text art.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.

SCHEDULE*:
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.

Buy tickets for IN-

PERSON FESTIVAL AT STONO PRESERVE

Questions: Contact the George Street Box Office at gsbo@cofc.edu 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

Buy tickets for LIVESTREAM


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.”

 

Zombie Army of Denmark Battles Undead Team of Shakespeare’s Action-Heroines in College of Charleston Play

Stage combat, pop music, and witty banter make for a must-see livestream!

The College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance will stage Living Dead in Denmark by Vietnamese-American playwright, television writer, and screenwriter Qui Nguyen. Known for his innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia (as seen is the College’s 2014 production of Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters), the innovative playwright combines some of these elements into this action-adventure/horror sequel to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The undead have risen to power and are trying to take over the world, led by the zombie lord and true king of Denmark. Fortinbras, assembling a formidable opposition, has resurrected the corpses of some of the greatest women that Shakespeare had to offer: Lady Macbeth, Juliet, and the very angry Ophelia. A clash of the undead titans ensues!

The Living Dead in Denmark livestream will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2021. The production contains material recommended for mature audiences. Admission prices are $25 (groups of 3 or more), $15 (adults), $12 (seniors, military and 18 & under), $8 (College of Charleston faculty, staff and students). Tickets can be purchased online at showtix4u.com/events/cofcstages. Captioning will be available for both performances, and cast/crew talkbacks will follow each show, with an American Sign Language interpreter at the March 13 talkback. For more information, email cofcstages@cofc.edu or call (843) 953-6306.

Living Dead in Denmark premiered in 2006 at Vampire Cowboys Theatre (NYC), which was cofounded by Nguyen and is the first professional theatre organization officially sponsored by NY Comic Con. The New York Innovative Theatre Awards honored the play with Best Choreography/Movement and nominated it for Best Production of a Play, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound Design.

As Producing Artistic Director of Trustus Theatre, guest director Chad Henderson brings his extensive knowledge and experience to the College’s academic and artistic stage. He has assembled a talented design team of College of Charleston theatre students Mary Hope Ballou (set design) and Erin Cooper (costume design), faculty member Jason Lyons (lighting design) and professional sound designer Caleb Garner. Dance major Julia Kabernagel is choreographer and faculty member Evan Parry is fight choreographer. Theatre major Victoria Leatherman is stage manager.

A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Henderson began working at Trustus Theatre in 2007 as Marketing Director. He directed professionally for eight years before being named Trustus Theatre’s third Artistic Director in 2015 and appointed the Producing Artistic Director in 2020. Henderson was honored by the S.C. Theatre Association with the 2019 Founders Award in recognition for his contributions to the state’s theatre community. The Charleston community and visiting theatergoers may have seen Henderson’s direction of PURE Theatre’s Fun Home production that appeared in its 2018 season and during Piccolo Spoleto.

Check out the article  Living Dead in Denmark Pits Zombies Against Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Juliet in the Charleston City Paper

To view the Playbill, click here.

Charming, World War II Love Story ‘Last Train to Nibroc’ to be Presented as Radio Play by College of Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. — On February 12 and 13 at 7:30pm, the Department of Theatre and Dance  will present Last Train to Nibroc, penned in the late 1990s by American playwright Arlene Hutton. This audio-only radio play is produced in partnership between CofC Stages and Center Stage, a student-run theatre group at the College.

Co-directed by adjunct faculty member Paul Rolfes and theatre student Holden Crumpler, Last Train to Nibroc is the first story in the Nibroc Trilogy — following the lives of a young couple in 1940s wartime and into the 1950s, throughout the trilogy. Holden describes the play as “a love story with humble beginnings and plenty of twists and turns.”

In December 1940, strangers May and Raleigh find themselves on the same train as the great American writers Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. During the journey, the young travelers from seemingly different backgrounds and experiences, tease and fight with each other, yet realize they may have more in common than they expected. Touching on and connecting the characters’ aspirations, personal failures, and love, Hutton kicks off the Nibroc Trilogy with this funny, touching portrait of two people searching for happiness. 

Theatre students Zoe Sauder and Mason Monti play the roles of May and Raleigh, respectively, in the College’s production. 

“I think the heart of the play is about resilience and courage….that through many of life’s obstacles these two young people continue to find their way back to one another,” remarks Rolfes, a College of Charleston theatre alumnus and core ensemble member of PURE Theatre.

This simply staged romance played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Off-Broadway, and also earned glowing reviews from Washington Post, The New York Times, and BackStage, among other notable publications.

The live audio performances of Last Train to Nibroc will take place on Feb. 12-13, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and the show will be presented as an audio-only radio play.

To listen Friday, February 12th at 7:30pm click HERE

After Friday’s show, please join us for a post-show talkback.  Please click here for access.

To listen Saturday, February 13th at 7:30pm click HERE

For a link to the Playbill, please click HERE.

For more information on this and forthcoming spring productions visit theatre.cofc.edu, email cofcstages@gmail.com or call (843) 953-6306.

Devised Theatre by College of Charleston Students to Touch on Social and Cultural Challenges

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season theme, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, online as spring semester kicks off this month. In Other Words: A Century’s Reflections, a devised piece of pandemic theatre, is an examination on a collection of themes from pandemics to Civil Rights, and even on the nature of theatre itself. Created by a company of seven students and utilizing text derived from first person accounts, it explores the possibilities for theatre in a Zoom world and for all of us in this time of challenge.

Director and faculty member Todd McNerney shares, “It has been a long and difficult year. COVID-19 has effectively shut down the live entertainment industry. Theatre in particular has been devastatingly impacted. However, like universities around the country our program has sought to find a variety of means to still create, to still inspire, and to still educate our students in the making of theatrical art. This performance and the process used to create it provided our students the opportunity to express some of their thoughts and feelings on their world, through the voices of real people from other challenging periods over the last century. The process led them to discover that even with difference, change, or progress there are far more aspects of our humanity which we share than separates us.”

NEW DATES – This production will now take place February 5th & 6th at 7:30pm each night.  Admission is free, but you must first register for a ticket.  Once you have completed the registration process a link will be sent for you to use.  If you previously registered for the production, you will need to register again for your new date.

Please click HERE to register for tickets.

Students Share Their Perspectives on the Unique Events of 2020 in Monologue Performance

2020 has been a difficult year for many people, and the impact of various issues has been felt especially by college students. The College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance has invited renowned actor, screenwriter, and film director Michael Smallwood to work with its students on writing and presenting monologues that share their observations and express their emotions on this unique year of challenges.

The entirety of the six-monologue performance, Our World: Student Voices of 2020, is conceptualized by the students as they learn various theatre processes. An alumnus of the department, Smallwood recounts, “Monologues are advantageous because they allow for individual ideas and thematic exploration.”

The students address a variety of topics that have weighed on all of us in 2020. One monologue highlights anxiety related to modern media — deciding which ones to trust. Another monologue focuses on the anxiety that a Black person faces and the staggering disenfranchisement of the Black community in the face of police brutality and murder. Tied to the stress of the pandemic and quarantine, students’ works also cover the pressures of the quarantine on families and the lack of national grieving over the 250,000+ lives lost to the virus. All the monologues carry themes of worry and fear, but also of hope, a return to “normal,” and social change.

Through this event, the audience is exposed to the student perspectives on uncertainty and how the events of 2020 have shaped who they are today — and who they might be tomorrow. The various monologues have different goals and intentions, and when asked about what he hopes the takeaway will be, Smallwood replied, “I hope the audience will see how talented and insightful our students are.”

Our World: Student Voices of 2020 will be streamed on December 4 and 5 at 7:30pm. Audience members are encouraged to ask students questions about their experiences at talkbacks following both performance nights. (The Dec. 4 event will be captioned for hearing-impaired audience members and will have an ASL interpreter at the talkback.) Admission is $8 adults, seniors, military / $5 College of Charleston students, faculty, staff / $18 groups of 3 or more. Show and ticket information is available at showtix4u.com/events/cofcstages, by emailing cofcstages@cofc.edu, or by calling (843) 953-6306.  

Michael Smallwood:

College of Charleston alumnus, Michael Smallwood ‘09 is an actor, writer, director, and teacher. While at the College of Charleston, Smallwood studied theatre, acting, and writing, and he won two playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. He is a core ensemble member of Charleston’s Pure Theatre company. His film credits include the Emmy-winning CBS series The Inspectors, the Netflix original movie Naked, and the upcoming Halloween Kills. Smallwood recently won the best screenplay award at the Big Apple Film Festival in New York City. 

Classic Greek Tragedy ‘Antigone’ Reimagined in Modern, Political Tale

Presented by the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy “Antigone” will be retold with a modern twist in an adaptation penned by multiple Tony-nominated and Peabody Award-winning playwright, Emily Mann. Director and adjunct faculty member Nakeisha Daniel shares, “Emily Mann brilliantly adapted ‘Antigone’ in a way which brought the play out of ancient Greece and into the 21st century. What I found most interesting in this version was the obvious struggle between political and religious ideals, which manifests between Creon and Antigone, and how those ideals are used to win favor with common citizens.” Daniel hopes that the audience will leave with a curiosity about how the decisions of those we place in power affect our daily lives. 

“Antigone” is a story about conflict at its core. Antigone wants to bury her brother, Polyneices because she claims it is her God given right. Creon swears to uphold the law, which forbids her brother’s burial, and demands that everyone obey it. The questions asked are, who is right and who is wrong? What is God’s law and what is Man’s law? Which law prevails in the end?  

The production concept was inspired by images of destruction and civil unrest as seen around the country during the recent protests. The National Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum inspired the set design because of the monument’s tie to Ancient Greek roots and location in Washington, D.C.

Theatre students comprise the cast and crew, and the show’s designers include students Paige Bergen and Hailee Selby (scenic design), Morgan Clinton and Liz Mahon (costume design), and Jessica Shamble (lighting design). 

DETAILS: Livestream performances are on two days only, Nov. 19 and 20, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. No recording will be available for video-on-demand afterward. Admission is $15 adults / $12 seniors, military, and 18 & under / $8 College of Charleston students, faculty, staff / $25 groups of 3+. Show and ticket information is available at showtix4u.com/events/cofcstages, by emailing cofcstages@cofc.edu, or by calling (843) 953-6306.  

Earlier this year, playwright Emily Mann retired from her position at the helm of the McCarter Theatre Center in N.J., where she had overseen more than 160 productions, including more than 40 world premieres – creating a home for theater legends and amplifying the voices of women and people of color. During her 30-year tenure, the theater won the prestigious Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, and Mann herself was nominated for multiple Tony Awards as a playwright and director. She is best known as a playwright for her 1995 Broadway show “Having Our Say” and her more recent Off Broadway bioplay “Gloria: A Life,” about Gloria Steinem. Her numerous personal awards include: The Peabody Award, the Hull-Warriner Award from the Dramatists Guild, the Helen Merrill award, awards from the NAACP, eight Obie awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2011 Person of the Year Award from the National Theater Conference, as well as the Margo Jones Award, given to a “citizen-of-the-theatre who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of the living theatre everywhere.” Mann also received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University, and recently she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in recognition of her significant contributions to the field. 

Thursday, November 19, we will stream a captioned show for hearing -impaired audience members.  In addition, there will be an ASL interpreter for the talkback following that performance.

To access the Charleston City Paper about the show click HERE

To view our student blog with lots of exciting behind the scenes details, click HERE.

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During this challenging time for the arts community the Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season theme, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, with a final fall production of student monologues “Our World: Student Voices on 2020” and spring productions to be announced. Tentative production details are listed and updated at theatre.cofc.edu.

Breaking Down the Dance in ‘dance, deconstructed’ Performance

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is pleased to present dance, deconstructed Oct. 25-Nov. 1, 2020. This video-on-demand presentation includes a mixture of traditional dances filmed at the Sottile Theatre with works that were specifically developed as dance-on-camera films. 

Artistic Director and faculty member Gretchen McLaine recognizes the unique challenges of creating dance during a pandemic, and it was precisely these challenges that served as the concert’s inspiration. “All of us were forced to re-examine how we view, create, and perform dance. Our current limitations pushed everyone to create works that may not have otherwise been conceived under normal circumstances,” says McLaine. While some dances understandably tap into the emotional turmoil and an increasing sense of isolation that this pandemic has created, others are inspired by literary works or in finding new means of communication and expression. New York City tap dance artist Nicole Ohr is a guest collaborator who is investigating conversations through rhythms with faculty member Kristin Alexander. This piece features students from other college dance programs alongside College of Charleston dancers. Two student pieces from the 2020 spring concert are also being revisited; Julia Kabernagel and Madison Patterson have re-imagined their dances to reflect the new realities facing dancers performing during a pandemic. 

The concert will run on video-on-demand starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 25 and available through November 1. Tickets for dance, deconstructed are $18 for a group of three or more, $8 for adults, seniors and military, $5 for 18 and under and for College of Charleston faculty, staff and students. Tickets can be purchased at showtix4u.com/events/cofcstages, by emailing cofcstages@cofc.edu, or by calling (843) 953-6306.

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During this challenging time for the arts community the Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season theme, THE SHOW MUST GO ON, with fall productions: Sophocles’ “Antigone” adapted by Emily Mann, and student monologues “Our World: Student Voices on 2020.” Production details are listed and updated at theatre.cofc.edu.


The major in Dance at the College of Charleston combines the study of dance technique in three disciplines – ballet, modern and jazz – with a grounding in the breadth of dance as a field. Students have opportunities to perform in the Department of Theatre and Dance production season, at state-wide conferences, and at regional conferences such as the American College Dance Association.  Students can also choose to pursue a minor in Dance. More information is available at theatre.cofc.edu.