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Sunday in the Park with George

Opera at USC presents the Tony Award-winning musical

Tickets are on sale now for the Nov. 4, 5 and 6 production
Purchase tickets here.

Inspired by Georges Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical depicts the journey, the joy and the heartbreak of an artist committed to realizing his vision. Considered a masterpiece of Sondheim and Lapine, Sunday in the Park with George merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, this moving study of the enigmatic painter won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

You have only three opportunities to see the fully staged production premiering in South Carolina at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5. The Sunday matinee takes place at 3:00 p.m. All performances take place at Drayton Hall Theater on the USC campus (1214 College St, corner of Sumter and College streets across from the Horseshoe, Columbia, SC 29208).

A pioneer of modernist art, Seurat’s huge painting shows a crowd of bourgeois 19th-century Parisians relaxing in a park on their day off. But the piece was also a manifesto by an artist in revolt against Impressionism. Sondheim brings the same fierce, methodical intellectual precision to musical and verbal composition that the artist brought to his pictorial realm.

Lapine and Sondheim provide their own speculations about who the people in Seurat's picture might be. The most prominent among them is identified as the painter's mistress, Dot, played by Margaret Van Norden. George Seurat is played by Jake Rothman, and other characters include such diverse types as boorish American tourists, a surly boatman and a class-conscious German servant.

University of South Carolina’s Ellen Douglas Schlaefer directs Opera at USC, a comprehensive program for both graduate and undergraduate students that covers every facet of opera production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

USC’s Neil Casey conducts and former music director of Trustus and Workshop theaters’ Tom Beard is in the pit with the Opera at USC orchestra playing synthesizer. Costume designer Jean Lomasto joins Opera at USC to create clothes from two centuries – 1880s and 1980s; scenery is designed and painted by Teddy R. Moore. Community members Stann Gwynn, Russell Sox, and children McKenzie Powers and Ella Rescigno join the cast.

Sunday in the Park with George is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.


Season tickets - adults: $45; seniors, USC faculty & staff, military: $30 Individual tickets - adults: $25; seniors, USC faculty & staff, military: $20 students with ID: $7. Purchase online here, call 803-777-5369, or purchase at the door.

 Opera at USC is one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offers special training and practice for aspiring opera stage directors. The program offers two fully staged operas with orchestra each year and an evening of One-Act Operas.

Coming next

Opera at USC’s next production in February is Later the Same Evening, a lullaby to New York imagining the lives of the people in five Edward Hopper paintings. See the season.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.