Skip to Content

Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Promotional image showing three cast members in costume including a man with an electric guitar, a woman jumping and a man holding a skull wearing sunglasses.

In-Person and Under the Stars: "Complete Works" Takes the Outdoor Stage March 19-28


The March 28 6:30pm performance has been cancelled due to inclement weather.


The University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance will continue a return to live, in-person performance March 19-28 with a one-of-a-kind outdoor production of the hit comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

The show will be performed on the Russell House patio stage (1400 Greene St.) over the weekends of March 19-21 and March 26-28.  Show times are 6:30pm on Fridays, with Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and 6:30pm each day. Tickets will be available only for the purchase of a single seat or a pair of seats, with single seats priced at $15 for students, $20 for UofSC Faculty/Staff, Military and Seniors and $22 for the general public, and ticket pairs priced $30-$44. Tickets may only be purchased online. Tickets will not be sold on location.

All 37 of Shakespeare’s plays – comedies, histories and tragedies -- get the spotlight in this irreverent, unpredictable comedy by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. One of the world’s most produced plays, Complete Works will have Bard lovers and haters alike rolling in the aisles (and maybe rolling their eyes) as every timeless tale is frantically recreated by three madcap thespians in tights in a fast and furious hour-and-a-half! As reviewed by The Miami Herald, Complete Works is “Shakespeare as it was back in the Bard’s day: bawdy, irreverent [and] sublimely entertaining.”

To help ensure a healthy environment for everyone, a number of safety measures are being implemented by the department. In addition to socially distanced seating, facial coverings will be required of all audience members and theatre staff. Performers will also maintain a safe distance from the audience and will wear masks in instances where an adequate distance from other actors cannot be maintained. Additionally, seating areas will be thoroughly cleaned before each performance. Patrons are asked to monitor their own health and not attend if they have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days, have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus or are exhibiting any symptoms of illness.

COVID safety considerations were actually an initial factor in deciding to mount the production outside and, for director Dustin Whitehead, a unique opportunity.

“To be able to do a show outside, to be able to do it on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, there’s just something really special about it,” says Whitehead. “It’s like the original form of theatre, being in the open air, and it will feel safe because of that. Hopefully our audience will feel like they can enjoy a show for the first time in a long time.”

The choice to perform outside has also informed the style of the production, which takes its design cues from the freewheeling energy of street performance. “From the very beginning, from the second you walk into the space, it’s a festival, it’s a carnival, it’s an experience unto itself,” says Whitehead.

The anything-could-happen vibe of the outdoor space, he adds, is a perfect complement to the improvisatory nature of the show’s wild and wacky sensibility.

“You have all this freedom to do whatever, especially with a show that has space for improv and audience interaction,” he says.  “It’s running around, it’s wigs and quick costume changes…it’s complete pandemonium and just really fun.”

“To be able to get out into the community and laugh together is going to be visceral,” says Whitehead. “It’s going to be something we didn’t realize we were missing until we have it back again.”

This unique performance experience is extending beyond the stage and into the classroom, as Whitehead has structured the show’s rehearsal process into a formal class that is designed to give his student cast practical experience in producing theatre.

“There are two parts to the class,” says the assistant professor . “One part is providing the tools to produce and execute a theatrical production, and the other is finding confidence in their own voices so they know what stories they actually want to tell.”

“One of the greatest gifts we can give our students when they graduate is the ability and confidence to create their own work when they get out,” he says. “The goal of the course is to inspire them and give them the tools to do that.”

The performance team is comprised of seven students, with two casts of three actors each and one ensemble member included in both casts. The two casts will perform on alternate days during the production run. Featured in the cast are undergraduates Jesse Breazeale, Erial Cooper, Ezri Fender, Cameron Giordano, Lily Heidari, Jordan Postal and Carly Siegel. Designers for the production include Professor Nic Ularu (scenic) with assistance from graduate student Karl Dickey, graduate student Kyla Little (costumes), Professor Jim Hunter (lighting) and guest artist Danielle Wilson (sound).

As the ensemble began the rehearsal process, they created a mission statement to guide them through the run of the production. “We are an ensemble of brave and dedicated theatre artists building community through creativity, light, and laughter,” it reads. “We hope to move you, entertain you, and inspire you to hold this inclusive spirit close as we navigate these strange times.”

“To be able to get out into the community and laugh together is going to be visceral,” says Whitehead. “It’s going to be something we didn’t realize we were missing until we have it back again.”

For more information about The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at  

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.