College of Charleston Theatre (CofC Stages) presents Pippin in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Classic Musical

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season with its next production, Pippin, this season’s musical offering. This season features eight compelling productions that each highlight the theme of “Expectations and Explorations”—challenging what we think we know as we discover the world around us, as well as ourselves.

Pippin tells the story of the son of Charlemagne, king of the Holy Roman Empire in the 8th Century. However, the plot is entirely a work of fiction and makes no claims of historical accuracy.

The story revolves around a traveling performance troupe who is telling Pippin’s story. The Leading Player of this troupe directs the story for the audience and often breaks the fourth wall to address the audience directly. This particular production of Pippin takes place within an Old Hollywood Film Studio. The Leading Player serves as the director of a 1930s film, attempting to tell Pippin’s story on the silver screen, while Pippin proves a difficult lead actor, constantly changing the film because of his dissatisfaction with the story being told. The production’s designers were inspired by various films that were produced throughout the 1920s and 1930s while creating the concept.

Pippin has achieved classic status as a musical having premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theater in 1972. Featuring music and lyrics written by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson, the original production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, otherwise best known for Sweet Charity and Chicago. Pippin has grown into a highly conceptual show since then, with the 2014 Broadway Revival featuring a concept based around a circus theme. CofC Stages is pleased to celebrate this fantastic show during the celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The production is directed by Assistant Professor of Performance Nakeisha Daniel, whose previous directorial work was seen last season in the musical Violet. The music direction is helmed by Professor Laura Turner, and adjunct faculty member Laurel Van Beusecum provides choreography. Master of Arts in Teaching student Mekhi Gaither serves as assistant director.

The cast consists entirely of undergraduate students and is led by Drake Carney in the role of Pippin, Ngaa Magombedze as the Leading Player, Ben Hudd as Charles, and Kate Yarbray as Catherine. The show’s designers include senior Theatre major Bristol Barnes (scenic design), junior Theatre major Chris Warzynski (lighting design), recent alumna Molly Belle (costume design), and adjunct faculty member Caleb Garner (sound design). Junior Theatre and Psychology major Mollie Davis serves as stage manager.

DETAILS: Performances of Pippin at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) are November 17-19. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17th and 18th with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Nov. 19th. Individual tickets are $30 adults; $25 seniors (60+), military/veteran, and youth under 18; and $15 for CofC students, faculty, and staff. Contact the George Street Box Office (gsbo@cofc.edu or by calling 843.953.4726) or purchase your tickets online:

General audience

CofC student tickets

CofC faculty/staff tickets

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In Love and Warcraft – Digital Program

Access The Pages Festival program by clicking here.

 

 

CofC Stages proudly presents

In Love and Warcraft

by Madhuri Shekar

A Staged Reading

Directed by Peter Spearman

Stage Manager
Riley Taylor
Assistant Director
Bea Lemaster
Interaction Designer
Bootsie Baldwin

November 3-6, 2023
Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun Street


Jump to: Acknowledgments | Director’s Note | Cast and Production Team Biographies


Cast

Madelein Hanson | Evie
Jenna Bush | Kitty
Brandon Alston | Raul
Chris Warzynski | Ryan
Phoenix Brown | Ensemble
Delaney Faile | Ensemble


Production Team

Director: Peter Spearman
Assistant Director: Bea Lemaster
Stage Manager: Riley Taylor
Lighting Stewards: Bootsie Baldwin and Chris Warzynski

Interactive Design Team
Project Coordinator: Dr. Bill Manaris
Lead Programmer: Drew Smuniewski
Concept Designer: Bootsie Baldwin
Head Animator: Reed Reed
Assistant Colorist: Autumn Rose Lloyd
Graphic Designer: Taj Ballinger

CofC Stages Operations Coordinator: Miles Boinest
Technical Director: JD Stallings
Stage Management Advisor: Susan Kattwinkel
Marketing & Communications: Nandini B. McCauley
Graphic Designer: Rob Alexander
Photography: Madison Berry
Publicity: Madison Berry, Bristol Barnes, Kaylee Phillips

Box Office: George Street Box Office


Special Thanks

School of the Arts Interim Dean Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein, Ellen Swick, Susan Kattwinkel, Addi Spearman, the students of THTR 315, the Department of Computer Science, Carolyna Ramirez, and the George Street Box Office Staff


Thank you to all of our donors!

Become an Impact Sponsor
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers opportunities to become an Impact Sponsor. Impact Sponsors have a direct financial and personal impact on individual students with whom you’ll be connected. You will be honored at special events, receive recognition in the 2022-2023 season programs and other department reports and receive updates from your student. For more information, visit theatre.cofc.edu/support and contact our office at 843.953.6306 to declare your impact.

Impact Sponsor Levels:
BENEFACTOR $2,500+ (for incoming student scholarship)
Add your name here!

GUARDIAN $750 (Clarence Student Award)
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Tap & Jean Johnson
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Nancy & Sam Stafford
Chester & Arlene Williams
Anonymous (3)

Special Gifts: (Leave a lasting legacy. Learn more: 843.953.5348 or cofclegacy.org)
Anonymous – legacy gift
Charleston Academy of Music
John Covington & Robert Lukey – legacy gift
Michael & Susan Master – legacy gift

Become a Season Sponsor
As we transitions back to live in-person audiences and mask-free performances last season, we worked hard to keep our students and audiences engaged. We preserved the student experience during these last two years, but we lost essential revenue that plays a huge role in funding our season’s productions. Your donations contribute to funding the essentials needed for scenery, lighting, sound, and costumes, but more importantly, they help support student employees, student research and travel, and other student-focused experiences. We can’t do this without your generosity!

Season Sponsor Levels:
PRODUCER $1000+
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Anthony Laneve
Chester & Arlene Williams

ADVOCATE $750-999
Tap & Jean Johnson
Susan Kattwinkel
Janine McCabe
Matt & Gretchen McLaine
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Nancy & Sam Stafford

STAR $500-749
Leslie Dyke
Michael & Susan Master

DIRECTOR $250-499
Sandra Garner
Janice & Jay Messeroff
Laura Turner
Jonathan & Janine Wentz

FAN $100-249
Kristin Alexander
Rebecca Boone
Glenda Byars
Todd McNerney
Elena & Ted Mitchell
Sam Rhodes
Emma Simmons
Jillian & Michael Smallwood

PATRON up to $99
Caroline Baker, Mary Beth Berry, Shelby North, Bari Perales, Claire Steffens


Director’s Note

For me, this is a play about vulnerability and how it can be hard to let people see all of us. However, there are situations and people for which being physically and emotionally vulnerable is not only worth it, but can be transformative.

I want to thank the cast, crew, department, and Dr. Manaris’s research team for making this experience truly memorable.

—Peter Spearman, Director


Cast and Production Team Biographies

 

Brandon Alston (Raul) is a senior Theatre major with a concentration in Costume Design and Technology. He has appeared in the CofC Stages productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Pipeline, and Living Dead in Denmark. 

Phoenix Brown (Ensemble) is a senior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theatre with a concentration in performance. They most recently appeared in October’s mainstage production of Men on Boats. They would like to thank the wonderful cast, crew, and directors for such a fun and exciting experience. 

Jenna Bush (Kitty) is extremely excited to be making her mainstage debut in In Love and Warcraft. Jenna is a sophomore Biology major with a minor in Theatre. She was last seen in Center Stage’s production of Firebringer as Zazzalil. She is currently rehearsing for CofC’s production of Pippin which opens on November 17th! Jenna would like to thank the lovely cast, crew, and amazing director Dr. Spearman for this wonderful opportunity and she hopes you enjoy the show!

Delaney Faile (Ensemble) is a senior majoring in Arts Management with a minor in Theatre. Previous credits at the college include Agave in The Bacchae (Center Stage), Ensemble in Violet (Department of Theatre and Dance), Andres/Cochenille in The Tales of Hoffman (CofC Opera), and Jen in The Cake (Center Stage). Delaney will also be playing Prince Orlofsky in CofC’s upcoming production of Die Fledermaus. Local credits with Footlight Players include Nadine in The Wild Party, Gloria in Wait Until Dark, and Ensemble in Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. She also works as a stage manager at Footlight Players and in the box office at PURE Theatre. Much love to the cast and crew, the gals of 308, her family, and Jonathan.

Madelein Hanson (Evie) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Theatre Studies) and French Studies with a minor in Linguistics. She was last seen in the mainstage production of Two Gentlemen of Verona and most recently as Brad Majors in Center Stage’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast. Madelein is currently working as the dramaturg for Center Stage’s upcoming play As I Was, Not As I Am.  She would like to thank Dr. Peter Spearman for all of his support, and she hopes you enjoy the show!

Bea Lemaster (Assistant Director) is a senior majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre Studies and was last seen as Hall in Men on Boats, directed by Sharon Graci. They want to thank Peter Spearman and the rest of the In Love and Warcraft team for all the fun they’ve had this week! 

Riley Taylor (Stage Manager) is a junior majoring in Arts Management and Theatre. This is her first time stage managing a production and she wants to thank Peter Spearman, Bootsie Baldwin, and the cast for such a welcoming environment.

Chris Warzynski (Ryan) is a junior Theatre Major at the College with a double concentration in Performance and Scenic/Lighting Design as well as a minor in Japanese Studies. Chris was last seen at the College in Center Stage’s Firebringer (Molag) and on the mainstage in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Launce). During the summer, they traveled abroad in Japan and created a new interpretation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the Yokohama Theatre Group. Back home, their play A Conversation was read during the Piccolo Spoleto’s Under The Lights event. Chris is currently working on a new play and is the Lighting Designer for CofC Stages’ upcoming production of Pippin. Chris would like to thank their grandparents for not evicting them.


Up next:

The Department of Theatre and Dance and CofC Stages present Pippin!

Learn more and buy tickets here.


Land Acknowledgement: We acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians). We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations. 

We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina. On this campus and in our spaces, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.

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CofC Stages presents a staged reading of ‘In Love and Warcraft’

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance continues its season with its first November offering: a staged reading of In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar. This season features eight compelling productions that each highlight the theme of “Expectations and Explorations”—challenging what we think we know as we discover the world around us, as well as ourselves.

In Love and Warcraft tells the story of Evie Malone – gamer girl, college senior, and confirmed virgin – who has it all figured out. Not only does she command a top-ranked guild in Warcraft with her online boyfriend; she also makes a little cash on the side writing love letters for people who’ve screwed up their relationships. Love is like a video game, after all: it’s all about strategies, game plans, and not taking stupid risks. Well, that’s what she thinks… until she actually falls for a guy. In real life. No amount of gaming expertise will help her out when she finds herself with a non-virtual, totally real and incredibly cute boyfriend, who wants more from her than she’s willing to give.

Written by Madhuri Shekur, In Love and Warcraft premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in 2014 and won the 2013-2014 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Madhuri Shekar was born in California and grew up in India, and is currently based in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is an alumna of the Juilliard Playwriting program, a fellow at New Dramatists, and the 2020 winner of the Lanford Wilson Playwriting award. Her other works include the audio play Evil Eye, which debuted on the Audible bestseller list in May 2019, and won the 2020 Audie Award for Best Original Work. Her play House of Joy received its world premiere at Cal Shakes in August 2019.

The staged reading is directed by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Dr. Peter Spearman, whose previous directorial work includes last season’s staged reading of The Late Wedding. Later this season, Dr. Spearman will also direct the department’s co-production with CofC Opera, Die Fledermaus. Senior theatre major Bea Lemaster serves as the Assistant Director. The cast, comprised of theatre majors and minors, includes Madelein Hanson as Evie, Jenna Bush as Kitty, Brandon Alston as Raul, Chris Warzynski as Ryan, and Phoenix Brown and Delaney Faile portraying a variety of ensemble characters.

DETAILS: Performances of In Love and Warcraft at the Chapel Theatre (172 Calhoun St.) are November 3-6. Curtain times are 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 3rd, 4th, and 6th, with a 4:00 p.m. matinee on Nov. 5th. Discounted season ticket packages are available for all eight CofC Stages productions. Individual tickets are $10 adults; $8 seniors (60+), military/veteran, and youth under 18; tickets are free for CofC students, faculty, and staff.

Purchase individual tickets online or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing gsbo@cofc.edu or calling (843) 953-4726.

2023-2024 CofC Stages Season
Visit go.cofc.edu/cofcstages to learn about all eight productions that center on the theme “Expectations and Explorations” :

Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus
After the Rain (faculty-choreographed dance concert)
In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar (staged reading)
Pippin by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson
The Pages Festival: Staged Readings of Student-Written Works
Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II (co-production with Department of Music/CofC Opera)
Pathways (student-choreographed dance concert)
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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After the Rain – Digital Program

After the Rain

Artistic Director 
Kristin Alexander
Quattlebaum Artist-in-Residence
Herman Ramos
Lighting Designer
Sara Whitehead
Technical
Directors
JD Stallings

Evie Palmisano
Costume Shop Manager
Ellen Swick
Stage Manager
Lexi Prioleau

October 28-29, 2023
Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street


Jump to: Production Team | Acknowledgements | Cast and Production Team Biographies


Dance Pieces and Program Notes

CRUST
Choreographer: Charlie Maybee
Costume Designer: Mira Turkewitz
Music: Charlie Maybee
Dancers: Skylar Carroll, Whitney Green, Dylan Horwitz, Emily Monahan*, Abby Percy

After the rain falls
The mud soaks into my skin
A crust I call home

Lost & Found
Choreographer: Emily Falcone
Music: Patrick Watson, edited by Emily Falcone
Dancers: Emily Acome, Amara Alexander*, Eliza Farley, Lindsey Ferguson, Sophia Ford, Sophie Ketchum, Lily Mueller*, Cheyanne Stankiewicz

“There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain.” —Rick Warren

Pas de Square
Choreographer: Gretchen McLaine
Costume Designer: Mira Turkewitz
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
Dancers: Ella Downs, Emmie Kiser, Maria Stewart*, Mackenzie Walker, Olivia Wilkinson

Alf Leyla Wa Leyla — One Thousand and One Nights
Choreographer: Beena Austin
Costume Design: Stef Amezcua
Music: Baligh Hamdi, edited by Beena Austin
Dancers: Amara Alexander (Sunday), Avé-Ella Blanchette, Alejandra Casco, Mackenzie Cassidy (Saturday), Emily Falcone, Madison Fisher (soloist), Emily Monahan (Sunday), Gabby Perales (Saturday), Sophia Wirta (soloist), Ava Woods (soloist)

This piece is in honor of Egyptian artists, especially the most honored woman of the Arab world, Oum Kalthoum. Much of my career has been working with students of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds to learn and perform Arabic Dance. The students dancing in Alf Leyla Wa Leyla now have an appreciation for this cultural art form that is rooted in feeling the movement. The student costume designer researched to better understand the traditional dress, and the dancers are wearing some of my own costumes. A special thank you to Izdihar and Esabeau for costume inspirations, knowledge, and loans.


10 MINUTE INTERMISSION


Broken Crayons Still Color
Choreographer: Kristin Alexander
Costume Design: Lily Lombardi
Music: Greenwood/Greenwood/O’Brien/Selway/Yorke, Wieniawski, Carey; edited by Rob Alexander
Dancers: Hailey Commodore, Leila Crane, Lexi DeBo, Maya Everett-Wilson, Ayushi Gaur, Alyssa Guardino*, Jen Griffaton*, Hayden Horton, Mia Moran*, Irina Moul, Ana Plucar, Tabitha Rapp, Chloe Stankiewicz, Cheyanne Stankiewicz, Lauren Summerville, Madison Vaughan, Katelyn Ventura, Mackenzie Walker, Chloe Whitley

Even at our lowest, we still have gifts to give. Dedicated to LSE and JDC.

Excerpts from Le Corsaire
Choreographer: after Marius Petipa
Restaged by Olga Wise and Pamela O’Briant
Costume Design: Mattison Gaillard
Music: Adolphe Adam
Soloists: Jillian Epstein, Kailee Rafalko and Maria Stewart
Corps de Ballet: Aidan Baumann, Corrina Castillo, Katie Mullins

Originally premiered in 1856, Le Corsaire is a swashbuckling, romantic tale of pirates, beautiful women in distress, and intrigue that is typical of the ballets created during that era. Loosely based on the 1814 poem by Lord Byron, this ballet tells the story of the passionate pirate Conrad who falls in love with the beautiful Medora. Le Corsaire has become one of the most popular ballets in the world, with excerpts performed independently as an essential part of classical ballet training.

Bohemian Rap City
Choreographer: Herman Ramos
Rehearsal Director: Gretchen McLaine
Rehearsal Assistants: Avé-Ella Blanchette, Ally Keschinger
Costume Designer: Ashlyn Denham
Music: F. Mercury, original introduction by text-to-speech AI
Dancers: Avé-Ella Blanchette, Alejandra Casco, Lindsey Ferguson, Madison Fisher*, Sophia Ford*, Lauryn Gadson, Alyssa Guardino, Hayden Horton, Dylan Horwitz*, Ally Keschinger, Libbie Krey, Abby Percy, Gianna Trimboli, Madison Vaughan, Mackenzie Walker, Halle White

*indicates understudies


Production Team

CofC Stages Artistic Director: Janine McCabe
Director of Dance: Gretchen McLaine
Production Coordinator: Ellen Swick
Stage Management Advisor: Susan Kattwinkel

Costume Design Advisor: Janine McCabe
Sewing & Alterations: Zoe Barber, Ava Woods, and students of Intro to Costume
Wardrobe Crew: Cadence Brown, Maya Everett-Wilson, Lila Knull
Costume Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Brandon Alston, Stef Amezcua, Zoe Barber, Savannah Blake, Ashlyn Denham, Mattison Gaillard

Electric Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bootsie Baldwin, Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski
Light Board Programmer and Operator
: Jacob Reiss
Sound Board Operator: Amelia Tebalt
Fly Rail Operator: Sam Meier

Operations Coordinator: Miles Boinest
Marketing & Communications: Nandini B. McCauley
Graphic Designer: Rob Alexander
Photography: David Mandel, Max Myers, Madison Berry
Publicity: Madison Berry, Bristol Barnes, Kaylee Phillips
Box Office: George Street Box Office


Special Thanks

The Quattlebaum Family
Robert Ivey Ballet
Beena Austin, Izdihar and Esabeau
SOTA Interim Dean Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein
Carolyna Ramirez and the George Street Box Office staff


Thank you to all of our donors!

Become an Impact Sponsor
Impact Sponsors have a direct financial and personal impact on individual students with whom you’ll be connected. You will be honored at special events, receive recognition in the 2022-2023 season programs and other department reports and receive updates from your student. For more information, visit theatre.cofc.edu/support and contact our office at 843.953.6306 to declare your impact.

Impact Sponsor Levels:
BENEFACTOR $2,500+ (for incoming student scholarship)
Add your name here!

GUARDIAN $750 (Clarence Student Award)
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Tap & Jean Johnson
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Sam & Nancy Stafford
Chester & Arlene Williams
Laurel and Justin Van Beusecum
Anonymous (3)

Special Gifts: (Leave a lasting legacy. Learn more: 843.953.5348 or cofclegacy.org)
Anonymous – legacy gift
Charleston Academy of Music
John Covington & Robert Lukey – legacy gift
Michael & Susan Master – legacy gift

With its origin dating back to 1985, the College’s Quattlebaum Artists-in-Residence Endowment has helped connect students and the community to renowned artists such as visual artists Christo and Htein Lin, pianist Leon Fleisher, photographer Duane Michaels, former NEA Chariman and actor Jane Alexander, among many others.

Become a Season Sponsor
As we transitions back to live in-person audiences and mask-free performances last season, we worked hard to keep our students and audiences engaged. We preserved the student experience during these last two years, but we lost essential revenue that plays a huge role in funding our season’s productions. Your donations contribute to funding the essentials needed for scenery, lighting, sound, and costumes, but more importantly, they help support student employees, student research and travel, and other student-focused experiences. We can’t do this without your generosity!

Season Sponsor Levels:
PRODUCER $1000+
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Anthony Laneve
Chester & Arlene Williams

ADVOCATE $750-999
Tap & Jean Johnson
Susan Kattwinkel
Janine McCabe
Matt & Gretchen McLaine
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Mindy Seltzer & Bob Lovinger
Nancy & Sam Stafford
Laurel and Justin Van Beusecum

STAR $500-749
Leslie Dyke
Michael & Susan Master

DIRECTOR $250-499
Sandra Garner
Janice & Jay Messeroff
Laura Turner
Jonathan & Janine Wentz

FAN $100-249
Kristin Alexander
Rebecca Boone
Glenda Byars
Todd McNerney
Elena & Ted Mitchell
Sam Rhodes
Emma Simmons
Jillian & Michael Smallwood

PATRON up to $99
Mary Berry, Laura C. Bayless, Stephen & Allegra Litvin, James Rozier, Bari Perales, Claire Steffens, Laura Turner


Cast and Production Team Biographies

Quattlebaum Artist-in-Residence: Herman Ramos (Guest Choreographer)

Herman Ramos is a native of Northern Virginia. His initial training came from local Hip Hop crews of the DC metro area where he specialized in breakdance and Hip Hop choreography. He remained active in the culture and battled in the North Florida areas until 2010. Upon beginning his classical training in Florida he simultaneously toured regionally with Apocalypse Dance Crew and worked locally with the Danscompany of Gainesville where he has frequently returned as a guest artist.

Herman received his MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University in 2016; shifting some focus to improving his pedagogy with various teaching opportunities at the University of Florida, the South Eastern Regional American College Dance Association and the annual American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. Recently, Herman has worked with dance departments at University of Tampa and Texas A&M to set new works and provide additional lectures in African Diasporic practices of Jazz and Hip Hop. In recent years, his studies in Jazz dance practices has led him on a journey to receive dance certification in Giordano technique.

As of 2023, Herman will hold an intermediate level certification in Giordano dance technique. As a guest teacher, Herman has taught various contemporary styles at many local dance studios and high schools across the state of Florida; appearing as a guest artist for the Volusia County Performance Dance Assessment All-County squad.

As a dance performer/choreographer, he is currently immersed in the Orlando contemporary dance scene and is a contributing artist with Non-Profit Company: Emergence Dance. Other notable choreographic project interactions from Herman’s career include work with members of Florida State University dance faculty, the Red Project (NYC), Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre (Miami), and T Lang Dance (ATL). Herman holds adjunct dance faculty positions at Santa Fe College and the University of Florida.


Guest Artist: Sara Whitehead (Lighting Designer)

Sara Whitehead is a 2023 graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Theatre (Lighting Design and Technology), and she is excited to be back for this concert. Previously she has designed as a student for many dance concerts at the College including Wanderlust, Becoming We, and Shifting Perspectives, as well as for theatre productions Two Gentlemen of Verona and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. She is happy to be returning as a professional to shed light on the show!


Emily Acome is a freshman majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Dance from Richmond, Virginia. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Amara Alexander is a freshman double majoring in Biology and Dance, from Potomac, Maryland. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Kristin Alexander is an Associate Professor of Dance at the College of Charleston. She is the Artistic Director of Annex Dance Company and serves on the City of Charleston’s Commission on the Arts. Last spring Kristin served as the Artistic Director of the student dance concert Becoming We, and looks forward to taking on that role again next semester for Pathways.

Beena Austin is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She has studied, performed, and presented cultural dances of the Arab world, folkloric and modern dances from Egypt to the Gulf countries, and from the Levant region to North African Maghreb region. She teaches non-Western dance at the College of Charleston as well as private lessons and group classes in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley.

Aidan Baumann is a senior double majoring in Dance and Hospitality & Tourism Management from Philadelphia, PA. This is her seventh mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We. 

Avé-Ella Blanchette is a junior from Nashua, New Hampshire. She is double majoring in Dance and Special Education. This is her fourth mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Skylar Carroll is a sophomore majoring in Dance, from Lexington, SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Alejandra Casco is a senior from Summerville, SC. She is majoring in Dance with a concentration in performance and choreography, and minoring in Arts Management. This is her fourth mainstage performance at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Shifting Perspectives.

Mackenzie Cassidy is a freshman from Ardmore, Pennsylvania. She is double-majoring in Psychology and Theatre and minoring in Dance. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Corrina Castillo is a sophomore from East Hampton, NY. She is majoring in Communications with a double minor in Dance and Spanish. This is her second show with the college, and was last seen as an understudy in Becoming We.

Hailey Commodore is a sophomore double majoring in Exercise Science and Dance, from Tinton Falls, New Jersey.  She is also on the CofC dance team, as well as a teacher at Tapio School of Dance in Mt. Pleasant. This is her second show with the college, and she is so excited to continue her dance career with CofC.

Leila Crane is a junior double majoring in Dance and English on the Pre-Law track from Habersham, Georgia. This is her fourth performance with the college, last seen in Becoming We.

Lexi DeBo is a freshman double majoring in Dance and Communication from Greenville,SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Ashlyn Denham is a junior majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Costume Design from Morgantown, West Virginia. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston

Ella Downs is a freshman majoring in Dance from Kennett Square, PA. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Jillian Epstein is a freshman double majoring in Dance and History, from Asheville, NC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston

Maya Everett-Wilson is a senior dance major from Natick, Massachusetts. This is their fifth main stage show at the College of Charleston. They were last seen in Becoming We.

Emily Falcone is a junior double majoring in Psychology and Dance from Smithfield, Rhode Island. This is her fourth main stage show at College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We. 

Eliza Farley is a freshman majoring in Communications from Hingham, MA. This is her 1st mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Lindsey Ferguson is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Dance from Greenville, SC. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Madison Fisher is a junior majoring in Dance and minoring in Finance from Ocean, New Jersey. This is her fifth mainstage show. She was last seen in Becoming We. 

Sophia Ford is a freshman majoring in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Bedminster NJ. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Lauryn Gadson is a senior majoring in Theatre with a Concentration in Performance from Charleston SC. This is her fifth main-stage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Violet.

Mattison Gaillard is a senior majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Costume Design from Greenville, SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Ayushi Gaur is a sophomore double majoring in Marine Biology and Dance from Memphis, Tennessee. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We. 

Whitney Green is a senior majoring in Arts Management from Annapolis, Maryland. This is her third MainStage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Shifting Perspectives.

Jen Griffaton is a freshman double majoring in Dance and Music from Columbus, Ohio. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Alyssa Guardino is a senior double majoring in Dance and Elementary Education from Newburgh New York. This is her fifth main stage show at the college of Charleston. She was last seen in Shifting Perspectives.

Hayden Horton is a freshman from Barnwell, South Carolina. She is a double major in Business Administration and Dance. This is also her first mainstage performance with the College of Charleston.

Dylan Horwitz is a junior majoring in Dance with a minor in Jewish Studies, from Fairfield, Connecticut. This is her third mainstage production with the college and she was last seen in Becoming We.

Ally Keschinger is a junior majoring in Dance and Psychology and minoring in Crime, Law, and Society from Irmo, South Carolina. This is her third mainstage production with the college and she was last seen in Becoming We.

Sophie Ketchum is a sophomore majoring in Dance and minoring in Studio Art from Nashville, Tennessee. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Libbie Krey is a sophomore currently undecided from Richmond, VA. This is her second mainstage show at the College of Charleston and she was last seen in Becoming We.

Lily Lombardi is a senior majoring in Theatre with a concentration of Costume Design. She is from Greenwich, Connecticut and this is her first time designing for a main stage production. She served as co-costume designer for Center Stage’s Firebringer.

Charlie Maybee is a choreographer, musician, educator, and writer currently based in Charleston, South Carolina where he is adjunct faculty member of dance at the College of Charleston. He holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois with a certificate in Criticism and Interpretive Theory and is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble (MYTE). He has worked consistently in higher education since 2015, specializing in tap and modern dance technique classes, overseeing dance research projects, and providing musical accompaniment for dance classes on drums, guitar, and piano. In 2014, he founded Polymath Performance Project through which he creates interdisciplinary performances with tap dance as its artistic center. His current research explores hybridity, literary archetypes, punk aesthetics, and techno-cultures through a tap dancer’s perspective and works to make tap dance more pronounced in higher education.

Gretchen McLaine is an Associate Professor and the Dance Program Director at the College of Charleston, where she also researches Labanotation and dance reconstruction. Dr. McLaine is also Assistant Editor for the Journal of Dance Education and Southeast Regional Director for the American College Dance Association.

Emily Monahan is a junior majoring in English and minoring in Dance from Landrum, South Carolina. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Irina Moul is a senior majoring in Dance with a performance and choreography concentration and a minor in Russian studies. She is from both Asheville, NC and Columbia, SC. This is her seventh mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen performing in Becoming We.

Lily Mueller is a Freshman from New Hampshire double majoring in Dance and International Business. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Katie Mullins is a sophomore majoring in Public Health and minoring in Healthcare and Medical Services Management from Summerville, SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston

Pamela O’Briant is in her twelfth year as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance.  In addition to teaching Ballet technique and Dance Appreciation, Pamela is a certified Pilates and Gyrotonic instructor.

Gabby Perales is a junior majoring in Psychology from Sumter, South Carolina. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We

Abby Percy is a freshman majoring in dance and political science from Madison, AL. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Ana Plucar is a freshman majoring in Dance with a Concentration in Performance/Choreography from Plymouth, Minnesota. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Kailee Rafalko is a junior double majoring in Dance and Communications from Hackettstown, NJ. This is her fifth mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We. 

Tabitha Rapp is a freshman double majoring in Dance and Exercise Science from Wilmington, NC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Cheyanne Stankiewicz is a junior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Arts Management from Greenville, SC. This is her fourth mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Chloe Stankiewicz is a freshman majoring in Exercise Science from Greenville, SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Maria Stewart is a sophomore majoring in Dance with a concentration in performance and choreography from Clemson, SC. This is her third mainstage show and was last seen in Once More.

Lauren Summerville is a sophomore majoring in English and minoring in Dance from Raleigh, North Carolina.  This is her second mainstage performance at the College of Charleston.  She was last seen in Shifting Perspectives.

Gianna Trimboli is a senior double majoring in Theatre and Dance from Rochester, NY. This is her seventh mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in Becoming We.

Mira Turkewitz is a senior majoring in Theatre with  concentration in Costume Design and a minor in Film Studies. This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston. She hopes to further do costume design and work in film and television after she graduates in May.

Katelyn Ventura is a freshman majoring in Exercise Science from Aiken, South Carolina. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Mackenzie Walker is a freshman Dance major with a concentration in performance and choreography from Columbia, South Carolina. This is her first performance with the department.

Olivia Wilkinson is a Freshman majoring in dance. She is originally from Austin Texas. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Chloe Whitley is a freshman majoring in Exercise Science from Charleston, SC. This is her first mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Halle White is a junior double majoring in Arts Management and Dance with a concentration in Performance/Choreography. This will be her fourth dance concert at the College including presenting her own choreography for the previous spring semester dance concert Becoming We. They were last seen onstage in Center Stage’s The Bacchae.

Olga Wise is a graduate of the Bolshoi Choreographic Institute in Moscow, Russia. This is her sixth year as a faculty member at the College of Charleston where she teaches ballet and pointe technique courses. In addition to teaching at the college, Olga and her husband are Co-Artistic Directors of the Robert Ivey Ballet.

Ava Woods is a junior dance major with a concentration in performance and choreography from Parkville, Maryland. This is her fifth performance with the department, and was last seen in the spring production Becoming We.


Land Acknowledgement: We would like to acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians).

We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations.

We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina.

On this campus and in this space, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.

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College of Charleston Dance Program (CofC Stages) to Present Fall Performance ‘After the Rain’

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents its fall dance concert, After the Rain. Choreographed by faculty and guest artists, this collection of dances portrays the department’s 2023-24 season theme, “Expectations and Explorations” – challenging what we think we know as we discover the world around us, as well as ourselves.

After the Rain highlights contemporary and classical dance works inspired by the strength we have to move forward when the clouds lift. The concert will premiere the work created by the 2023 School of the Arts Quattlebaum Artist-in-Residence, Herman Ramos, a dance stemming from his choreographic voice of Hip-Hop and western classical dance. Additional choreography featured in the concert include a restaging of the Pas de Trios des Odalisques from Le Corsaire, an Egyptian dance choreographed by adjunct faculty member Beena Austin, and a contemporary work by junior dance major Emily Falcone.

“The breadth of work in this concert reflects the fact that the emphasis of our dance major has shifted from a euro-centric curriculum. Including styles beyond ballet and modern has opened the door not only to a wider range of movement experience for our majors, but more importantly the historical and cultural conversations about the roots of dance,” says Kristin Alexander, Associate Professor of Dance and Artistic Director of the concert. Alexander continues, “The theme of the concert lends itself to choreographic investigation of the rebuilding from devastation or new beginnings that occur in the aftermath of a storm. We’ve seen resilience from our students in many ways over the past few years, and for that reason, they have connected deeply with the works.”

DETAILS: Performances of After the Rain will take place at Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) on Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m. Contact the George Street Box Office (gsbo@cofc.edu or calling (843) 953-4726). Or buy tickets online:

General audience

CofC student tickets

CofC faculty/staff tickets

Quattlebaum Artists-in-Residence Endowment:
With its origin dating back to 1985, the College’s Quattlebaum Artists-in-Residence Endowment has helped connect students and the community to renowned artists, such as visual artist Christo, pianist Leon Fleisher, photographer Duane Michaels, former NEA Chairman and actor Jane Alexander, and visual artist Htein Lin, among many others.


2023-2024 CofC Stages Season

Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus
After the Rain (faculty-choreographed dance concert)
In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar (staged reading)
Pippin by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson
The Pages Festival: Staged Readings of Student-Written Works
Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II (co-production with Department of Music/CofC Opera)
Pathways (student-choreographed dance concert)
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Visit go.cofc.edu/cofcstages to learn about all eight productions that center on the theme “Expectations and Explorations.”

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Men on Boats – Digital Program

 

CofC Stages proudly presents

Men on Boats

by Jaclyn Backhaus

Directed by Sharon Graci

Scenic Designer
Madison Berry
Costume Designer
Savannah Blake
Lighting Designer
Alex Jones
Sound Designer
Miles Boinest
Technical Director
JD Stallings

Costume Shop Manager

Ellen Swick
Stage Manager
Olivia Maness

October 4-13, 2023
Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun Street


Jump to: Production Team | Acknowledgments | Director’s and Dramaturgical Note | Cast and Production Team Biographies


Cast

Isabella Gardner | Powell
Natalie Montserrat | Dunn
LG Wylie | Sumner
Brandi Smalls | Old Shady
Natalia Ramirez | Bradley
Trinity Griffin | O.G.
Tippy Trombly | Seneca
Katie Burns | Goodman
Bea Lemaster | Hall
Aidan Wunderley | Hawkins
Phoenix Brown | Johnson/Understudy
Joy Sabet | Just Jim/Understudy
Lauren Evans | Mr. Asa/Understudy

 


Production Team

CofC Stages Artistic Director: Janine McCabe
Production Supervisor: Miles Boinest
Assistant Director: Kylie Daisey
Dramaturg: Nora Gore
Assistant Stage Managers: Cheyenne Comitz, Grace Albertson
Stage Management Advisor: Susan Kattwinkel

Scenic Design Advisor: Jonathan Wentz
Properties Lead: Madison Berry
Scenic Charge: Jonathan Wentz
Assistant Scenic Charge: Madison Berry
Carpenters: Brandon Alston, Arsalan Baig, Cheyenne Comitz, Jacob Rye, Aidan Wunderley, students of Stagecraft
Properties Room Managers: Isabella Gardner, Riley Taylor
Scene Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bristol Barnes, Madison Berry, Isabella Gardner, Eli Salas

Costume Design Advisors: Janine McCabe, Ellen Swick
Hair and Make-Up Design: Savannah Blake

Sewing & Alterations: Zoe Barber, Ava Woods and students of Intro to Costuming
Wardrobe Crew: Brandon Alston, Lindsay Ward
Costume Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Brandon Alston, Stef Amezcua Barrientos, Zoe Barber, Savannah Blake, Ashlyn Denham, Mattison Gaillard

Lighting Design Advisor: Lauren Duffie
Head Electrician: Bootsie Baldwin
Apprentice Electrician: Abby Israel
Light Board Programmer: Ngaa Magombedze
Light Board Operator: Sam Rhodes
Electricians: Emma Bennett, Caroline Drinnon, Abby Israel, Ngaa Magombedze, Hannah Moore, Reed, Chris Warzynski
Electric Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bootsie Baldwin, Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski

Assistant Sound Designer: Bea Lemaster
Sound Engineer
: Caleb Garner

CofC Stages Operations Coordinator: Miles Boinest
Marketing & Communications: Nandini B. McCauley
Graphic Designer: Rob Alexander
Photography: David Mandel, Max Myers
Publicity: Madison Berry, Bristol Barnes, Kaylee Phillips
Office Assistant: Ngaa Magombedze
Box Office: George Street Box Office
House Manager: Alejandra Casco, Michael Davenport, Kaycee Dial, Reagan Neilson, Rosey Pelicano

 


Special Thanks

School of the Arts Interim Dean Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein, Meagan McMahon, Rodney Lee Rogers, Carolyna Ramirez, and the George Street Box Office Staff


Thank you to all of our donors!

Become an Impact Sponsor
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers opportunities to become an Impact Sponsor. Impact Sponsors have a direct financial and personal impact on individual students with whom you’ll be connected. You will be honored at special events, receive recognition in the 2022-2023 season programs and other department reports and receive updates from your student. For more information, visit theatre.cofc.edu/support and contact our office at 843.953.6306 to declare your impact.

Impact Sponsor Levels:
BENEFACTOR $2,500+ (for incoming student scholarship)
Add your name here!

GUARDIAN $750 (Clarence Student Award)
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Tap & Jean Johnson
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Nancy & Sam Stafford
Chester & Arlene Williams
Anonymous (2)

Special Gifts: (Leave a lasting legacy. Learn more: 843.953.5348 or cofclegacy.org)
Anonymous – legacy gift
Charleston Academy of Music
John Covington & Robert Lukey – legacy gift
Michael & Susan Master – legacy gift

Become a Season Sponsor
As we transitions back to live in-person audiences and mask-free performances last season, we worked hard to keep our students and audiences engaged. We preserved the student experience during these last two years, but we lost essential revenue that plays a huge role in funding our season’s productions. Your donations contribute to funding the essentials needed for scenery, lighting, sound, and costumes, but more importantly, they help support student employees, student research and travel, and other student-focused experiences. We can’t do this without your generosity!

Season Sponsor Levels:
PRODUCER $1000+
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Anthony Laneve
Chester & Arlene Williams

ADVOCATE $750-999
Tap & Jean Johnson
Janine McCabe
Valerie Morris
Evelynn Putnam
Nancy & Sam Stafford

STAR $500-749
Leslie Dyke
Michael & Susan Master

DIRECTOR $250-499
Sandra Garner
Janice & Jay Messeroff
Laura Turner
Jonathan & Janine Wentz

FAN $100-249
Kristin Alexander
Rebecca Boone
Glenda Byars
Todd McNerney
Elena & Ted Mitchell
Sam Rhodes
Emma Simmons
Jillian & Michael Smallwood

PATRON up to $99
Caroline Baker, Mary Beth Berry, Shelby North, Bari Perales, Claire Steffens


Director’s Note

Men on Boats has been a joy to work on with a group of fine actors who have demonstrated again and again their commitment to craft, to this play and process, and most importantly, to one another. What strikes me most about the script is the gift it gives to engage in true ensemble work. Complex characters in heightened situations, forward energy, pace, anticipating what’s next while remaining present in the moment, listening HARD, responding, and bringing it at the Spinal Tap “11” while still finding nuance—all are strong components of this piece and of which this ensemble has a solid command. The designers, assistant director, stage managers, and crew are all exceptional collaborators who have built a cohesive, lush world that stands on its own artistic merits while seamlessly aggregating into an engaging, entertaining, and provocative piece of theatre. Please enjoy the wild and wonderful ride of Men on Boats!

—Sharon Graci, Director

Dramaturgical Note

On May 24th, John Wesley Powell, famous geologist and explorer, and his crew of Civil War veterans, hunters, trappers, and mostly inexperienced explorers of all ages and backgrounds, set out to do the impossible: navigate the Colorado River and become the “first” men to sail through the uncharted Grand Canyon. This journey would prove to be challenging and burdensome but would bring together a group of unlikely characters on a voyage through uncharted territory.

Throughout Jaclyn Backhaus’ play, we can immerse ourselves in the camaraderie and the challenges of this crew, like running rocky rapids and saving themselves from life-threatening situations. We can see ourselves in their varied personalities, their desires to make history, and even their flaws of selfishness and fear that overtake them in pivotal moments of the expedition.

Going into this story, it is important to remember that despite their success, the men on this expedition were not actually the first to navigate this land. Due to the collective “Manifest Destiny” ideal in the 19th century, white Americans were eager to discover the uncharted West and often disregarded the millions of indigenous communities that had inhabited it for centuries. The most prominent is the Ute Tribe that are the longest inhabitants of the Colorado region. Throughout the show, the explorers acknowledge that they are not the first ones to discover these lands. These subtle but necessary details inserted throughout the show are Backhaus’ way of recognizing Native Americans’ role in the exploration of the West.

Men on Boats is a wonderfully unique show, not just because there are no men on stage, but because the playwright, an indigenous woman, takes a historical narrative of adventure and survival and creates a space for people of color and noncisgendered men to tell the stories that they have been left out of for centuries. She is not focused on the historical accuracy of the story and asks audiences to set aside their preconceived notions about casting and history to engage in this wild, stressful, and hilarious journey through the American West. She hopes that it will inspire you to seek out other hidden figures in history, whose stories have been untold so that they too can obtain a lasting legacy.

—Nora Gore, Dramaturg


Cast and Production Team Biographies

Guest Artist:
Sharon Graci is the co-founder and artistic director of PURE Theatre. Under her leadership, PURE Theatre has developed into one of the premier theatre companies in the Southeast. She is responsible for programming and producing more than 90 Southeast Regional Premiere productions, 27 World Premiere productions and for developing multiple PURE programs that heighten PURE’s impact and amplify PURE’s position as a “community building theatre” (Charleston City Paper). Notable initiatives include PURE Lab, the division of PURE responsible for developing new work, and PURE Youth Companies, PURE’s education arm serving students in SC’s Title 1 Schools. She is also responsible for implementing PURE’s industry-leading streaming program, which scales PURE’s work and serves audiences and students locally and throughout SC, the US, and abroad. Under her leadership, PURE was awarded the SC Theatre Association’s 2020 Theatre of Distinction Award.

Sharon is the recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship for Acting. She is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and is a SC Liberty Fellow, and a member of the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She has a degree in acting from Augusta State University and studied acting at Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Theatre. Selected Directing Credits: World Premieres – Atwater, Septima, Folly Beach, A Sudden Spontaneous Event, Sheep’s Clothing. Regional Premieres – Compulsion, Mlima’s Tale, Choir Boy (MOJA Festival), Sweat (MOJA Festival, Piccolo Spoleto Festival), The Royale, This Random World, Father Comes Home from the Wars: Parts 1, 2, and 3, Slowgirl, Marie Antoinette, Penelope, The Birds, The Mountaintop, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Selected Stage Acting Credits: The Testament of Mary, The Lifespan of a Fact, Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, Time Stands Still, Hogs, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (PURE Theatre); King Lear, Twelfth Night (Actors Theatre of SC); Dancing at Lughnasa (Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte). Television/Film: Mr. Mercedes (On Demand), Reckless (CBS), Homeland (Showtime), One Tree Hill (WB), Army Wives (Lifetime), The Inspectors (CBS) and Surface (NBC). Film: The Wise Kids, Warrior Road, Downturn, Destiny Road.

Madison Berry (Scenic Designer) is a senior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theatre with a double concentration in Performance and Scenic Design. Recent design work for the mainstage includes Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet (Assistant Scenic Designer) and Violet (Properties Lead). She has been awarded the 2023 Randy Lutz Allied Design & Tech National Finalist for her properties design (Violet) by The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her work has also been seen in the community in Daniel and the Kings (Assistant Properties Designer) and Spoleto’s Stelle di Domani 2023 production of There’s Always Tomorrow (Director). She would like to thank Jonathan Wentz and JD Stallings for being amazing mentors.

Savannah Blake (Costume Designer) is a senior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theatre (Costume Design). Her design credits include Pipeline, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, and The Tales of Hoffmann at the college as well as Little Gem, Compulsion, or the House Behind (co-design) and The Chinese Lady at PURE Theatre.

Phoenix Brown (Johnson/Understudy) is a senior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theatre (Performance). They were last seen in last season’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. They are very excited to once again be performing for the mainstage! They would like to thank the director, their castmates, and the crew for this amazing show!

Katie Burns (Goodman) is a sophomore majoring in both Theatre (Theatre Studies) and Marine Biology. She is thrilled to be acting in her first fully-produced mainstage show after being a part of the department’s staged reading of The Late Wedding last season.

Kylie Daisey (Assistant Director) is a junior at the college majoring in Theatre (Performance). Men on Boats is their first assistant directing position in the department after serving in technical roles for Center Stage and the mainstage.

Lauren Evans (Mr. Asa/Understudy) is a junior at CofC majoring in Theater (Performance). Most recently you may have seen her in last season’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. She also guided you through a spooky excursion through last fall’s haunted house and she is excited for her third appearance in the Chapel Theatre. She wants to thank her family for their support of her dreams, and her fellow cast and crew members for making this such a great experience! She also wants to thank you, without your support this wouldn’t be possible. Enjoy the show!

Isabella Gardner (John Wesley Powell) is a junior double majoring in Theatre and Arts Management. She has spent plenty of time in the Chapel Theatre this year, having appearing onstage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona in March, Firebringer in April, and as the stage manager for There’s Always Tomorrow during the Stelle di Domani series (directed by Madison Berry). She is grateful to lead her crew into opening the CofC Stages 2023-2024 mainstage season!

Nora Gore (Dramaturg) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Performance), and this is the third show for which she has served as a dramaturg, following Cabaret and Violet.

Trinity Griffin (O.G. Howland) is a senior double majoring in Theatre (Performance) and Communication. You may have previously seen her in the College of Charleston mainstage productions Last Night and The Night Before and Pipeline. Trinity would like to thank her family, friends, cast & crew and director for their support and guidance for her last CofC production!

Alex Jones (Lighting Designer) is a Junior majoring in Theatre (Lighting Design and Technology). They are also the Technical Director for Center Stage (the student run theatre organization). Alex is thrilled to be designing their first mainstage show! Recent technical credits at the college include Two Gentlemen of Verona (Head Electrician), Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet (Associate Lighting Designer), and Shifting Perspectives (Lighting Designer). Alex wants to thank their mentor Lauren Duffie for everything she does.

Bea Lemaster (Hall) is a senior studying Theatre with a focus on producing and directing for the stage. Last seen in Violet, directed by Nakeisha Daniel, Bea is excited to return to the stage! A special thank you to the wonderful cast and crew, and Bea hopes you enjoy…Men in Boots!

Olivia Maness (Stage Manager) is a sophomore majoring in Theatre (Design and Technology/Theatre Studies). She is very excited to be stage managing her first mainstage show. Recent credits include Violet (Assistant Stage Manager), Proof (Stage Manager), Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (Assistant Stage Manager), and The Late Wedding. Olivia wants to thank her family, mentor Dr. Susan Kattwinkel, and the faculty and staff of the Department of Theatre and Dance for their continuous help and support!

Natalie Montserrat (William Dunn) is a sophomore Theater major and double minor studying French and Linguistics. She appeared in The Late Wedding last spring and has done local work with Charleston Stage, PURE Theatre’s youth company, and Charleston County School of the Arts prior to College of Charleston. For those of you who may know her as Natalie Holland, she uses the surname Montserrat for artistic endeavors as it is a beloved family member’s name who she’s inspired by creatively.

Natalia Ramirez (George Young Bradley) is a Junior at the College of Charleston majoring in Theater (Performance). She is very excited to be a part of the Men on Boats cast as her first mainstage show.

Joy Sabet (Just Jim/Understudy) is a Junior double majoring in Psychology and Spanish and minoring in linguistics. She is stoked to be in her first mainstage show! She has previously been in The Late Wedding. 

Brandi Smalls (Old Shady) is a Junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). She’s so excited to be a part of this show and has been seen previously in Pipeline, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and Marcus, or The Secret of Sweet.

Tippy Trombly (Seneca Howland) is a junior majoring in Theatre and Arts Management. She was last seen in Center Stage’s production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress and PURE Theatre’s Compulsion. She is thrilled to be in her first mainstage show & to work with an incredible cast, crew, and director.

Aidan Wunderley (Hawkins) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). Aidan’s previous shows with the College of Charleston mainstage include A Sudden Spontaneous Event, Everybody, and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Aidan is also involved as an actor, stage manager, director, and student representative with the student theatre organization Center Stage. Aidan wants to thank you for supporting the arts and hopes you enjoy the wild ride that is Men on Boats.

LG Wylie (John Colton Sumner) is a junior majoring Theatre (Performance). This is her first mainstage production at the college! She has previously been seen in Center Stage’s The Bacchae and Firebringer. She hopes you have a rootin’, tootin’, and boot-scootin’ good time watching Men on Boats!


Up next:

Center Stage presents The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Charleston Music Hall!

Learn more and buy tickets here.


      

CofC Stages’ fall shows:

After the Rain: a dance concert — October 28-29 • Sottile Theatre
The aftermath of a storm can bring growth, rebuilding from devastation, or new beginnings. Featuring choreography by faculty and guest artists, After the Rain is a concert of contemporary and classical dance works inspired by the strength we have to move forward when the clouds lift. Recommended for all ages.

In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar (staged reading) — November 3-6 • Chapel Theatre
Madhuri Shekar’s gamer girl Evie Malone has it all figured out. Not only does she command a top-ranked guild in Warcraft with her online boyfriend; she also makes a little cash on the side writing love letters for people who’ve screwed up their relationships. Love is like Warcraft, after all. It’s all about strategies, game plans, and not taking stupid risks. In Love and Warcraft is the first offering in our new Staged Reading Series.

Pippin by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson — November 17-19 • Sottile Theatre
There’s magic to do when a prince learns the true meaning of glory, love, and war in Stephen Schwartz’s iconic and unforgettable musical masterpiece. In search of the secret to true happiness and fulfillment, Pippin finds that happiness lies not in extraordinary endeavors, but rather in the unextraordinary moments that happen every day.

Learn more and buy tickets here.


Land Acknowledgement: We acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians). We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations. 

We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina. On this campus and in our spaces, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.

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CofC Stages to Open Season with Men on Boats, a True(ish) History Comedy

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance opens its 2023-2024 season on October 4th with the play Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus. This season features eight compelling productions that each highlight the theme of “Expectations and Explorations”—challenging what we think we know as we discover the world around us, as well as ourselves.

Men on Boats takes us back to an actual 1869 expedition of the Colorado River, in which explorer John Wesley Powell led nine other men to “discover” the Grand Canyon. First produced in 2015, Men on Boats cleverly deconstructs the idea of discovery as we know it and invites audience members to reconsider the records of American history.

Written by Jaclyn Backhaus, Men on Boats premiered as part of Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks Theatre Festival. Backhaus is a playwright and screenwriter best known for Men on Boats, but is also the author of plays Out of Time, Wives, India Pale Ale, and You on the Moors Now. Much of her work examines peoples and cultures which are historically underrepresented.

The play’s inventive casting, as outlined by the playwright, allows for a cast of women, trans, and non-binary actors to portray Powell and his crew of white, cisgendered men, humorously re-examining the ownership that these groups have over our history.

The production is directed by guest artist Sharon Graci, co-founder and Artistic Director of PURE Theatre. Graci shares, “Men on Boats is a delightfully fresh piece of theatre. Featuring an incredibly talented cast, design team, and crew, it is guaranteed to be a charming, provocative, and satisfyingly funny show.”

The cast is led by Isabella Gardner in the role of John Wesley Powell, Natalie Holland as William Dunn, and LG Wylie as John Colton Sumner. The show’s designers include theatre majors Madison Berry (senior, scenic design), Alex Jones (junior, lighting design), and Savannah Blake (senior, costume design), as well as Department of Theatre and Dance staff member Miles Boinest (sound design) and Bea Lemaster (senior, assistant sound design). Junior theatre major Kylie Daisey is the assistant director, senior theatre major Nora Gore is the dramaturg, and sophomore theatre major Olivia Maness serves as the stage manager.

DETAILS: Performances of Men on Boats at the Chapel Theatre (172 Calhoun St.) are Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 10-13. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4-7 and 10-13, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Oct. 7 and 8.

Discounted season ticket packages are available for all eight CofC Stages productions. Individual tickets for Men on Boats are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors (60+), military/veteran, and youth under 18; and $12 for CofC students, faculty, and staff. Individual ticket prices for other shows in the CofC Stages season vary by show. Purchase season packages or individual tickets online here or by contacting the George Street Box Office at gsbo@cofc.edu or by phone at (843) 953-4726.


2023-2024 CofC Stages Season

Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus

After the Rain (faculty-choreographed dance concert)

In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar (staged reading)

Pippin by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson

The Pages Festival: Staged Readings of Student-Written Works

Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II (co-production with Department of Music/CofC Opera)

Pathways (student-choreographed dance concert)

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Visit go.cofc.edu/cofcstages to learn about all eight productions that center on the theme “Expectations and Explorations”

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Stelle di Domani: Tickets on sale now!

The Stelle di Domani series showcases the students, faculty, and alumni of College of Charleston’s award-winning Department of Theatre and Dance during the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. We’re pleased to offer the 17th season of Stelle di Domani at the College of Charleston!

Buy tickets to all Stelle di Domani events here!


The Department of Theatre and Dance is pleased to announce our offerings for Stelle di Domani 2024! Our annual contribution to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Stelle di Domani showcases the work of students, faculty, and alumni and features theatre, dance, and staged readings.

Featuring contributions from Center Stage and Annex Dance Company, Stelle di Domani 2023 hopes to offer something for everyone! Check out this year’s schedule and find ticket links and show descriptions below.


Deathtrap by Ira Levin

Comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a dry spell resulting in a string of failures and a shortage of funds. A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college—a thriller that Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway smash. Deathtrap provides twists and turns of devilish cleverness and offers hilariously sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be spellbound until the final moment. Presented by College of Charleston’s student theatre organization Center Stage.

Performances: Saturday, May 25th at 7:30pm; Sunday, May 26th at 2pm and 7:30pm; Monday, May 27th 7:30pm; Tuesday, May 28th at 5:00pm.
Venue: Chapel Theatre
Address: 172 Calhoun St
A
dmission: $16 (general admission); $12 (students and seniors) plus ticket surcharge
Runtime: 90 Minutes

Buy tickets to Deathtrap here.


Staged Readings from the 15th Annual Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest

Staged readings of the Todd McNerney 15th Annual National Playwriting contest finalists. Previous winning plays have come from notable playwrights including Caridad Svich (lifetime Obie award winner), Sheila Cowley, Arthur M. Jolly, James Still, William Missouri Downs, and Donnetta Lavinia Grays. Free admission.

Readings: Tuesday, May 28th and Wednesday, May 29th at 4pm (runner-up); Thursday, May 30th and Friday, May 31st at 4pm (winner)
Venue: Calhoun Street Annex (adjacent to the Chapel Theatre)
Address: 172 Calhoun Street
Admission: Free
Runtime: 90-120 minutes


Musical Theatre Revue

Join us for a sensational evening of musical enchantment hosted by department alumnus Clyde Moser at Stelle Di Domani in Piccolo Spoleto! Save the date for Friday, May 31st at 7pm as the Chapel Theatre comes alive with the magic of musical theatre. Get ready to sing along to your favorite tunes in a dynamic musical revue featuring the incredible talents of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This event promises to be a celebration of community and the enduring allure of Broadway. See you there!

Performances: Friday, May 31st at 7pm
Venue: Chapel Theatre
Address: 172 Calhoun Street
Admission: Admission: $16 (general admission); $12 (students and seniors) plus ticket surcharge
Runtime: 60 minutes without intermission

Buy tickets to Musical Theatre Review here.


Under the Lights

This perennial Piccolo favorite highlights original College of Charleston student works. A series of ten-minute plays written by and performed by CofC students, Under the Lights features winners of the Franklin B. Ashley Playwriting Award, the Todd McNerney Student Playwriting Award, the David Lee Nelson Hope Award and The Pages Festival.

Performances: Sunday, June 2nd at 7pm and Monday, June 3rd at 7pm
Venue: Chapel Theatre
Address: 172 Calhoun Street
Admission: $10 (general admission) plus ticket surcharge
Runtime: 60 minutes without intermission

Buy tickets to Under the Lights here.


In Love and Death

William Shakespeare is still regarded by many as one of the world’s greatest playwrights, if not the greatest. His plays continue to mesmerize audiences well over 400 years after his death. Shakespeare was an artist of the people, depicting conflict, love, birth, and death in equal measure and with incomparable beauty. College of Charleston current and past Theatre students will collaborate in a dynamic and fast-paced series of scenes from Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and histories. College of Charleston Professors Paul Rolfes and Evan Parry co-direct this exciting production with a company of outstanding talent from the Department of Theatre and Dance’s past and present. Presented in collaboration with the Charleston Library Society.

Performances: Wednesday, June 5th at 6pm and Thursday, June 6th at 2pm. A special free al fresco performance will occur as part of Second Sunday at 2pm on June 9th on the steps of the Charleston Library Society at 164 King Street.
Venue: Chapel Theatre (June 5th and 6th); Charleston Library Society (June 9th)
Address: 172 Calhoun Street (June 5th and 6th); 164 King Street (June 9th)
Admission: $16 (general), $12 (students and seniors) plus ticket surcharge; free admission for Sunday, June 9th performance
Runtime: 75 minutes with no intermission

Buy tickets to In Love and Death here.


It’s Itself

Annex Dance Company presents It’s Itself, an evening-length work straddling themes of the spiritual world and the human world and questioning if something exists, just because it exists. Created in collaboration with visual artist and College of Charleston Studio Art Department faculty member Susan Klein, the choreography and art share the performance space, allowing for connection, interaction, and manipulation of human and inanimate objects. It’s Itself is performed by students and company members as a culmination of the annual residency with the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Performances: Friday June 7th at 7pm; Saturday June 8th at 2pm and 6pm
Venue: Chapel Theatre
Address: 172 Calhoun St.
Admission: $16 (general admission); $12 (students and seniors) plus ticket surcharge
Runtime: 45 minutes without intermission

Buy tickets to It’s Itself here.

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Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet – Paperless Program

CofC Stages proudly presents

Marcus;
or the Secret of Sweet

by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Gary DeWitt Marshall

Scenic Designer
Jonathan Wentz
Costume
Designers

Zach Kobylarz
Ambernice Tolliver
Lighting Designer
Lauren Duffie
Sound Designer
Eli Salas
Technical Director
JD Stallings

Costume Shop Manager

Ellen Swick
Stage Manager
Mikaela Phillips

April 14-16, 2023
Sottile Theatre, 66 George Street


Jump to: Production Team | Acknowledgments | Cast and Production Team Biographies


Cast

Randy Howell | Oshoosi Size
Gee Barber | Marcus Eshu
Sylvia Jones | Osha
Brandi Smalls | Shaunta Iyun
Dani Harrell | Oba
Gloria Smith | Shun/Understudy
Tonya S. Williams | Elegua
Jaden Jenkins | Ogun Size
Alexandar Leary | Terrell
Darius Darby | Shua


Production Team

CofC Stages Artistic Director: Janine McCabe
Director of Theatre: Nakeisha Daniel
Production Supervisor: Miles Boinest
Choreographer: Jah’mar Coakley
Intimacy Coordinator: Nakeisha Daniel

Stage Management Advisor: Susan Kattwinkel
Assistant Stage Manager: Olivia Maness

Assistant Scenic Designer: Madison Berry
Research Assistant: Allison Jones
Properties Lead
: Jonathan Wentz
Properties Artisans: Bristol Barnes, Madison Berry, Zach Kobylarz, Ambernice Tolliver
Media and Projection Research: Chris Warzynski
Media and Projection Editor: Madison Berry
Media and Projection Sound Designer: Eli Salas
Scenic Charge: Jonathan Wentz
Scene Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bristol Barnes, Madison Berry, Glenna Durbin, Isabella Gardner, Bea Lemaster, Caroline Magee, Max Marshall, Ella Moore, Ethan Robey, Eli Salas

Scenic Construction: Students of Stagecraft
Properties Room Manager: Isabella Gardner
Fly Rail Operators: Izzy Byers, Spencer Vinzani

Costume Design Advisors: Janine McCabe, Ellen Swick
Hair, Wig, and Make-Up Designer/Artisan: Lauryn Gadson

Sewing & Alterations: Stef Amezcua Barrientos, Ashlyn Denham, Mattison Gaillard, Sav Griffin, Cameron Gulledge, Samantha Stinner, and students of Intro to Costuming
Wardrobe Crew: Sidney Shanahan, Mira Turkewitz
Costume Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Brandon Alston, Molly Belle, Savannah Blake, Zachary Kobylarz, Olivia Maness

Associate Lighting Designers: Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski
Head Electrician: Bootsie Baldwin
Electricians: Katie Burns, Madelein Hanson, Caroline Magee, Reed, Ethan Robey, Eli Salas, Sara Whitehead
Light Board Programmer/Operator: Abby Israel
Electric Shop Staff (select students hired by the Department of Theatre & Dance with support from donor funding): Bootsie Baldwin, Alex Jones, Chris Warzynski
Follow Spot Operators: Katie Higens, Mary Galemmo

Sound Design Advisor: Caleb Garner
Sound/Mic Technician: Jacob Reiss
Sound Board Operator: Nitin George

CofC Stages Operations Coordinator: Miles Boinest
Marketing & Communications: Nandini B. McCauley
Graphic Designer: Rob Alexander
Photography: Madison Berry
Publicity: Madison Berry, Zach Kobylarz

Box Office: George Street Box Office
House Manager: Sara Whitehead
Office Assistant: Ngaa Magombedze


Special Thanks

Capt. Tim Agee, Anja Kelley, Victoria Leatherman, Carolyna Ramirez, Adam Wells, Evie Palmisano, and the George Street Box Office Staff


Thank you to all of our donors!

Become an Impact Sponsor
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers opportunities to become an Impact Sponsor. Impact Sponsors have a direct financial and personal impact on individual students with whom you’ll be connected. You will be honored at special events, receive recognition in the 2022-2023 season programs and other department reports and receive updates from your student. For more information, visit theatre.cofc.edu/support and contact our office at 843.953.6306 to declare your impact.

Impact Sponsor Levels:
BENEFACTOR $2,500+ (for incoming student scholarship)
Add your name here!

GUARDIAN $750 (Clarence Student Award)
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Tap & Jean Johnson
Mindy Seltzer & Bob Lovinger
Evelynn & Bill Putnam
Sam & Nancy Stafford
Charlotte Townsend
Louis & Andrea Weinstein
Chester & Arlene Williams
Anonymous (4)

Special Gifts: (Leave a lasting legacy. Learn more: 843.953.5348 or cofclegacy.org)
Anonymous – legacy gift
Charleston Academy of Music
John Covington & Robert Lukey – legacy gift
Michael & Susan Master – legacy gift

Become a Season Sponsor
As we transitions back to live in-person audiences and mask-free performances last season, we worked hard to keep our students and audiences engaged. We preserved the student experience during these last two years, but we lost essential revenue that plays a huge role in funding our season’s productions. Your donations contribute to funding the essentials needed for scenery, lighting, sound, and costumes, but more importantly, they help support student employees, student research and travel, and other student-focused experiences. We can’t do this without your generosity!

Season Sponsor Levels:
PRODUCER $1000+
Karl & Charlene Bunch
Tap & Jean Johnson
Jenny Hane
Anthony Laneve
Anne & Allen Lyndrup
Sam & Nancy Stafford
Chester & Arlene Williams

ADVOCATE $750-999
Susan Kattwinkel
Janine McCabe
Matt & Gretchen McLaine
Susan Morrison
Evelynn & Bill Putnam
Mindy Seltzer & Bob Lovinger
Nancy & Sam Stafford
Louis & Andrea Weinstein
Jonathan & Janine Wentz

STAR $500-749
Michael & Susan Master
James McKenna
Valerie B. Morris

DIRECTOR $250-499
Kristin Alexander
Sandra N. Bumgarner
Janice and Jay Messeroff

FAN $100-249
Donnetta L. Grays
Todd McNerney
Jillian and Michael Smallwood
Emma Simmons
Justin Van Beusecum

PATRON up to $99
Mary Beth Berry, Laura C. Bayless, Stephen & Allegra Litvin, James Rozier, Bari Perales, Claire Steffens, Laura Turner


Cast and Production Team Biographies

Guest Artist:
Ambernice Tolliver (she/her) is a Charleston native. Her love and appreciation for theatre began at a young age with Charleston Stage Company. Ambernice went on to study costume design at the College of Charleston. She also received a Master’s degree from University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Ambernice’s recent theatrical credits include Septima, Hangmen, Clyde’s, and A Hidden Life (PURE Theatre). Her creativity and love for the fine arts has guided her back to the Carolinas where she has reconnected with her theatrical roots at PURE Theatre and as a mentor at the College of Charleston.

Guest Artist:
Tonya S. Williams (she/her) is a College of Charleston alumna with a B.A. in Theatre. As an actress and singer, she has had the performed all around Charleston at venues such as The Dock Street Theater in A Raisin in the Sun, Footlight Players Theater in Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Threshold Theater in The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Park Housewife, and The Charleston Music Hall in the musical Love & Southern Discomfort.  Her most memorable performance was at Flowertown Players, when she performed for the legendary Ossie Davis in his play Purlie Victorious as the lead female role Luttiebelle.  Tonya is a PURE Theatre Core Ensemble member. Her credits at PURE include Retcon, This Random World, Father Comes Home from the Wars: Part 1, 2, and 3, the world premiere of Honoria Quietly Drawing Strength from Her Truth, and Clyde’s. Her film credits include The In Crowd and Netflix’s comedy Naked with Marlon Wayans.

Tonya is also a national recording artist and a singer/songwriter/producer (tonyanicolemusic.com). She performs various genres such as R&B, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Pop, and Gospel. When Tonya is not performing, she teaches Theater Arts with the non-profit organization Engaging Creative Minds. Tonya is also a former Theater teacher with Charleston County & DD2 Schools. Her passion to teach and inspire drives her each day. She feels truly blessed to be able to enjoy her passions day and night; performing and teaching it.


Gee Barber (he/him) is a senior majoring in Theatre. This is his third mainstage production with the College of Charleston. He has previously performed in Last Night and the Night Before as well as A Sudden Spontaneous Event. Outside of the theatre he is also a nomad, poet, and photographer. 

Madison Berry (she/her) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance and Scenic Design/Technology). Previous design credits include Violet (properties). 

Darius Darby (he/him) is a junior majoring in Theatre. This is his first mainstage production at the College of Charleston. He can’t wait to share the beautiful story of Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.

Lauryn Gadson (she/her) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). This is her first time designing hair and makeup for a College of Charleston production. She was last seen in Violet

Dani Harrell (she/her) is a senior double majoring in Public Health and Dance with a minor in Theatre. This is her second mainstage production at the College of Charleston. She was last seen in the Fall 2022 dance concert Shifting Perspectives

Randolph James Howell Jr. (they/them) is an undeclared major. This is their first show at the College of Charleston. 

Jaden Jenkins (he/him) is a senior majoring in Theatre for Youth. He has performed in many of the College of Charleston productions including Violet and Cabaret.  

Alex Jones (they/them) is a sophomore at the College of Charleston, originally from Spartanburg, SC. They are majoring in Theatre (Lighting Design and Technology) with a minor in film studies. This is Alex’s first time as an associate designer for the mainstage. Recent technical credits at the college include: Two Gentlemen of Verona (head electrician), Violet (co-head electrician), and Shifting Perspectives (Lighting Designer). Alex would like to thank Lauren Duffie for being a wonderful mentor.

Sylvia Jones (she/her) is a senior double majoring in Communication and Theatre (Performance). This is her fourth mainstage show. She has performed in Spark, Living Dead in Denmark, and Everybody. This is her first time performing in the Sottile and she is excited to conclude her College career with this performance. 

Zach Kobylarz (they/them) is a senior majoring in Theatre (Costume Design and Technology) from Pawleys Island, SC. This is their fifth mainstage show at the College of Charleston. Their work was last seen in Becoming We as a lighting designer and Shifting Perspectives as a costume designer.

Alex Leary (he/him) is a sophomore majoring in Theatre (Performance) and minoring in Film Studies and African American Studies. This is his second mainstage show at the College of Charleston. He was last seen in Pipeline

Mikaela Phillips (she/her) is a junior double majoring in Theatre and Communication. This is her third mainstage show, having assistant stage managed Cabaret and A Sudden Spontaneous Event. She has also stage managed Center Stage’s production of The Swing of the Sea.

Eli Salas (they/he) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Scenic/Lighting Design and Technology). He is this season’s student sound designer. He made his sound design debut with Center Stage’s production of The Swing of the Sea. They last designed CofC’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. You can see him next in Center Stage’s production of Firebringer

Brandi Smalls (she/her) is a junior majoring in Theatre (Performance). This is her third mainstage show at the College of Charleston.

Gloria Smith (she/her) is a junior majoring in Public Health with a minor in Theatre. She is excited to make her theatrical debut in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. This production holds a special place in her heart because of the artistry, camaraderie, and community that she has found by working with the wonderful people on this project.

Chris Warzynski (any pronouns) is a Sophomore pursuing a major in Theatre (Performance and Lighting Design and Technology) and a minor in Japanese Studies. Chris last designed three dance pieces for the Shifting Perspectives dance concert as well being the head electrician for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Chris has performed in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Violet as will be in Center Stage’s upcoming production of Firebringer.

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CofC Stages concludes its 2022-2023 season with Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet

CofC Stages presents its season finale, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The play is a provocative, poignant and fiercely humorous coming-of-age story of a young gay man in the South.

Marcus is 16 and “sweet.” Days before Hurricane Katrina strikes the housing projects of Louisiana, the currents of his life converge, overflowing into his close-knit community and launching the search for his sexual and personal identity on a cultural landscape infused with mysterious family creeds. Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet is a beautiful view into the life of a young man who just wants to feel like he belongs.

April 14 and 15 at 7:30pm • April 16 at 2pm

Sottile Theatre (44 George St.)

Recommended for ages 12+ 

Individual tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for seniors (60+), military/veteran, youth (under 18); $12 for College of Charleston students, faculty/staff. 

or buy tickets in person at Sottile Theatre (Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm), by emailing gsbo@cofc.edu or calling (843) 953-4726.

Directed by theatre instructor Gary DeWitt Marshall, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet features a cast and crew composed of CofC students, faculty, and guest artists. Design faculty members Lauren Duffie and Jonathan Wentz serve as lighting designer and scenic designer, respectively. Guest artist Ambernice Tolliver and theatre major Zach Kobylarz serve as costume designers and theatre major Eli Salas serves as sound designer. The cast is led by theatre major Gee Barber and includes local actor and musician Tonya Smalls Williams as a guest artist.

Tarell Alvin McCraney is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He is the chair of playwriting at the Yale School School of Drama and a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. He wrote the Brother/Sister trio of plays, which are set in the Louisiana projects and explore Yoruba mythology. The triptych of plays includes In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. The plays are not in chronological order, but rather are “in conversation” with one another. McCraney explains, “Each play began a different way – inspired by my brothers and sisters and all of them are dedicated to them. They are about interconnected relationships and the complexities of those.”

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