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2012-2013 Cultural Arts Calendar

Theatre South Carolina

Curtain times for Theatre South Carolina productions in the College of Arts and Sciences are: Wednesdays through Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 p.m; (plus 11 p.m. half -price performances on final Saturday); Sundays, 3 p.m. Tickets are $18 for the public; $16 for university faculty and staff, senior citizens (age 60+) and the military; and $12 for students. Season-ticket holders see five shows for the price of four and can use their tickets in any combination for any show. Group tickets are available – call 803-777-9353 for details. Times and ticket prices may be subject to change.  For more information, call 803-777-2551, or go to the Web site: www.cas.sc.edu/THEA

Main Stage Productions

Sept. 12-15  ---- “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder” by James Still; directed by Gilbert McCauley; Drayton Hall Theatre. Special engagement.

Special Times.  Show starts at 8 each evening.

Theatre South Carolina welcomes this one-man tour-de-force produced by USC alum Cindy Murphy and starring Broadway veteran Lawrence Hamilton (“Ragtime,” “The Wiz,” “Jelly’s Last Jam”) as Alonzo Fields, grandson of a freed slave, who became the first African-American Chief Butler of the White House. Looking Over the President’s Shoulder”gives audiences an intimate, behind-the-scenes look into the personalities of President’s Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower during some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century. Recalling his momentous journey, Fields reflects on the promise and realities of life with humor and pride.  

Oct. 5-13 ---- “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde; directed by Robert Richmond;  Longstreet Theatre. Take a walk on the “Wilde” side and enjoy our “swinging ‘60s” take on Oscar Wilde’s comic masterpiece, complete with go-go boots and bad boys in bowler hats. Yet, while the setting changes, this beloved classic comedy remains just as deliriously funny. “The Importance of Being Earnest” follows the exploits of Jack Worthing, a socialite leading two lives: he’s the well-respected “Jack” at his country estate, while, in the city, he assumes the identity of his imaginary brother, the loose and freewheeling Ernest. When his good friend Algernon discovers the deception, he decides to get in on the action, leading to mayhem that threatens to get the best of them both. Filled with hilarious plot twists and Wilde’s singular wit, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is high farce at its finest.

Nov. 9-17 ---- “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” by Jeffrey Hatcher; Longstreet Theatre.Described by LA Weeklyas “a compelling take on the issues of sexual identity and artistic freedom now entrenched in our own culture,” Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Compleat Female Stage Beauty”is a darkly comedic exploration of a celebrity’s fall into obscurity. The 17th century social world seems to orbit around the actor Kynaston, a glittering star famous for his portrayals of female characters, when King Charles II signs a law allowing real women to take the stage. Challenged to his core, Kynaston's domain of privilege is shattered, and he must confront his own sense of self-worth as an actor…and as a man. “Compleat Female Stage Beauty” contains adult themes and is not suitable for children.   

Feb. 22 – March 2 ---- “Boeing-Boeing” by Marc Camoletti; directed by Richard Jennings; Longstreet Theatre.The New York Times raved that the 2008 Tony-winning production of “Boeing-Boeing” ‘soars right out of its time zone and into some unpolluted stratosphere of classic physical comedy.’” Well-regarded as the most performed French play throughout the world, “Boeing-Boeing”tells the raucous tale of Bernard, an American businessman living in 1960s Paris who juggles affairs with three airline hostesses whose flight schedules are perfectly timed to keep them unaware of each other. The introduction of ever-faster jets quickly takes his high-flying ruse off-course, however, and a furiously funny crash of fiancées is just over the horizon.

April 19-27 ---- “King Lear” by William Shakespeare; directed by Beatrice Rancea; Drayton Hall Theatre.Shakespeare’s gale-force tragedy rips back the curtain on a family torn by greed and an unquenchable lust for power. The aging King of Britain, Lear, decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters, but tests their loyalty first to finalize the arrangement. When his most devoted daughter, Cordelia, refuses to flatter him, the king disowns her, paving the way for a venomous plot to usurp the throne concocted by his remaining heirs. The King flees, leading him on a spiraling descent into madness as he fights to regain control. A riveting drama about the corruptive nature of power and a broken man’s agonizing struggle for redemption, Ben Brantley of The New York Times says that “King Lear” includes “some of the most beautiful and devastating observations ever uttered about the human condition.”

Lab Theatre Schedule -- All Shows are performed in the Lab Theatre, USC’s “black box” theatre on Wheat Street, across from Blatt PE Center, unless otherwise noted. Curtain times are 8 p.m., and tickets are $5, sold only at the door. Times may be subject to change. 

Oct. 11-14 --- “August Snow” by Reynolds Price; directed by Patty Walker. “August Snow”is the first in a trilogy of plays chronicling the hardships of a North Carolina family from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era. Writer Reynolds Price, described by TheatreWeekas “one of the great writers of our generation,” introduces us to the Avery family, led by widowed matriarch Roma, and the coming-of-age of her recently married son Neal, who struggles to uphold his responsibilities to his wife and family. “Two of the great strengths of Mr. Price’s writing are his pitch-perfect ear for dialogue and his keen eye for the minutiae of daily life.” -- The New York Times

Nov. 15-18  ---- “The Rose Tattoo” by Tennessee Williams; directed by Rocco Thompson. Winner of the 1951 Tony Award for Best Play, Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Rose Tattoo” still soars with delicious melodrama and Williams’ signature gift for language. Serafina is a Sicilian seamstress living in the American South, who has withdrawn from society (and forced her daughter to do the same) after the tragic death of her husband. Only a stranger with an odd resemblance to her husband can bring her out of her despair and back to life and love.

Feb. 7-10 ---- “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel; directed by Eric Bultman.Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Pamela Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” was described by The New York Timesas “one of the most discomfiting love stories to emerge from the American theater.” Vogel’s affecting drama traces the coming-of-age of main character Li’l Bit, whose life is forever changed by the sexual relationship she develops with her uncle.  “How I Learned to Drive” is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel.

Feb. 28 – March 3 ---- “Twelve Angry Jurors” by Reginald Rose; directed by K. Dale White.  Performed at Benson Theatre,226 Bull St., Columbia. Reginald Rose’s adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning television film “Twelve Angry Men” by Sherman Sergel is an unflinching look at a jury deciding the guilt or innocence of a 19-year-old accused of fatally stabbing his father. What appears to be an open-and-shut case quickly explodes into a tense fight among the 12 men and women, as they struggle to decide the ultimate fate of the accused. Rose’s script won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

April 25-28 ---- “Becky Shaw” by Gina Gionfriddo; directed by David Britt. The blind date from hell opens up a Pandora’s box of familial and romantic entanglements in Gina Gionfriddo’s razor-tongued comedy “Becky Shaw,” a 2009 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. “Blithely cynical and devastatingly funny…witty observations on the emotional damage inflicted by neurotic people in the name of love…Gionfriddo is some kind of genius.” —Variety

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