USC Dance Company member

UofSC talent on display

Can't-miss arts programs for the 2017-18 school year

August in Columbia means the beginning of the new school year — classes resume, activity picks up and entertainment choices abound. Carolina is the place to find many of these offerings, from theater and dance performances to fine art shows. To make choosing easier, we’ve picked five of this year’s can’t-miss events to put on your calendars now.

Start off with a stroll around McMaster Gallery’s exhibit “SC.Fellows Part I.” Running from Aug. 3 to Sept. 17, “SC.Fellows” is a retrospective exhibition drawn from the work of the 89 artists who have received S.C. Arts Commission fellowships since 1976 when the program was established. All the fellows are current or past residents of South Carolina. The offerings include works in ceramic, papermaking, textiles, painting, sculpture, photography, installation and assemblage. Eleanor Heartney, “SC. Fellows Part I” curator, will be hosting an artist panel and gallery talk in McMaster Gallery at 4 p.m., Sept. 12. The McMaster Gallery is located at 1615 Senate St. During exhibitions, hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Next, head over to McKissick Museum’s newest exhibit “Nostalgia for Nature: Democratizing Decorative Arts,” which explores the revival of applied decorative arts and the creation of the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts movements. Developed by graduate students in the Museum Management Certificate Program, this exhibition features art glass and ceramics from artists including Emile Gallé, René Lalique, Tiffany Studios and Rookwood Pottery. “Nostalgia for Nature” will host an opening reception on Sept. 21, and will be on view until June 2, 2018. McKissick Museum, located on the university’s historic Horseshoe, is open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturdays.

In October, make sure to stop by Drayton Hall Theater to catch Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” courtesy of Theatre South Carolina. The comedy, a tale of mistaken identity and unrequited love, will be directed by guest artist Louis Butelli, who comes from the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Butelli is known for bringing a really fun energy to the classics, and this production will be no exception, with a setting that will evoke the “golden age of Hollywood.” The show will have a musical element as well, with original songs in the style of the 1940s written specifically for this production by NYC-based composer Matthew Marsh. The show will be staged daily Oct. 6–14.

Kick off USC Dance Company’s season with its Fall Concert on Nov. 16 and 17. The show will be a mixed-repertory concert featuring timeless classics and contemporary dance works. The company will perform three new works by Distinguished Artist in Residence Stacey Calvert, as well as a new world premiere by associate professor Thaddeus Davis. Catch it at the Koger Center for the Arts nightly at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, plan ahead for Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” on March 2, 3 and 4, 2018. Celebrating the centenary of the American composer and conductor, the university’s School of Music will stage the performance three times over the weekend. The production was composed at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center in 1971. The epic stage production includes two orchestras, a rock band, a blues band, several choirs, singers, dancers and actors, and features as the Celebrant acclaimed Seattle tenor Kevin Vortmann, who performed the role to critical praise with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Tickets range from $10 to $30 and can be purchased at the Koger Center online.

Bonus: For more exhibits and gallery talks, visit the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. The library is open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. one Saturday each month (Sept. 9, Oct. 7 and Nov. 4).

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