2016 Fall Arts Guide 

A look ahead

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Erin Bennett Banks

Dear Charleston, wake up. You’re sleeping on our city’s next big thing. Forget your food fascination for just one second and turn your attention to the stage. The Holy City is brimming with theatrical talent right now. We have young playwrights producing original work, theater companies bringing in New York productions, thespians pushing this city’s buttoned-up limits with controversial topics. But what are we doing with our entertainment dollars? Eating. Eating and eating and then eating again. Put down the fork and go see a show, dammit. If not for the love of the stage, do it to test the truth of Stella Adler who said, “Theater means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.” Trust me, you’ll have way more to talk about at cocktail hour after watching PURE’s The Christians or Threshold Rep’s Becky Shaw. Don’t believe me? Read CP Theater Critic Maura Hogan’s piece on the state of Charleston’s theater scene. —Kinsey Gidick
A look at Charleston's theater scene today
A look at Charleston's theater scene today All the City's a Stage

From where I'm sitting, the view of Charleston's stages is pretty striking — and that's not only because a critic often snags those coveted center aisle seats. — Maura Hogan

Are Pay What You Will nights beneficial to theater companies?
Are Pay What You Will nights beneficial to theater companies? The Cost of Art

In 2006 the City Paper ran an article, "Pay to Play," about how Charleston's museums and theaters set their admission prices. The article referenced prices at Charleston Stage, where in 2006, a theater-goer could see a play for $25, and a musical for $35. — Connelly Hardaway

Fahamu Pecou's art grapples with cultural representations of African Americans
Fahamu Pecou's art grapples with cultural representations of African Americans Triumph Over Tragedy

In a July op-ed for ArtsATL, a nonprofit publication in Atlanta, visual artist Fahamu Pecou wrote a column titled, "Art Will Tell." In it he talks about the origins of his Halsey exhibition, DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance, which opens this weekend. — Connelly Hardaway

How Charleston's major theaters plan to stand out on their own
How Charleston's major theaters plan to stand out on their own Playing Their Part

As Charleston's arts scene continues to grow and develop, the area has become home to an increasing number of performance venues, both large and small. — Dustin Waters

Fall Arts Picks

Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Threshold Repertory Theatre

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 29

A collaboration between Threshold Repertory Theater and What If? Productions, Evil Dead: The Musical is kind of what it sounds like, a musical reminiscent of the Evil Dead films, which debuted in 1981 with The Evil Dead, and turned into a cult classic followed by several sequels, video games, comic books, and a TV series. The play’s director, Kyle Barnette, calls Evil Dead “nuts.” “The show has a singing demonic zombie moosehead, severed limbs, and lots and lots of blood,” says Barnette. “It’s super campy and mocks a lot of horror movie tropes while also being genuinely gory and frightening and hilarious at the same time.” In addition to Evil Dead’s over-the-top theme, the performance is notable for the collaborative efforts between the two theater companies, a rarity for most. “You don’t see a lot of theaters doing a full-on production together,” says Barnette, but since both Threshold and What If? had Evil Dead on their to-do lists, they figured what better time to collab than while occupying the same building? Evil Dead is about five college kids on a trip to a cabin in the woods, which seems fitting for the cast, which is comprised of several CofC theater students. And if you want in on the gory action, you’re in luck. Attendees can pay an extra three bucks to be seated in the Splash Zone seats, which are in full range of projectiled blood and guts. —Connelly Hardaway

Pulp Gallery & Bookstore screenings

Pulp Gallery & Bookstore screenings


Sundays. Continues through Oct. 31

Since its opening earlier this year, the refreshingly risque Pulp Gallery & Bookstore has brought to King Street everything from an old-school circus freakshow photography exhibition and burlesque to comedy and Star Trek karaoke. You never know what culture shock you’re gonna get at Pulp, but you can always count on a cool weekly flick shown on the gallery’s 15-foot screen. This fall, you can look forward to Japanese horror film Audition, the 1963 Western Hud, starring Paul Newman and Melvyn Douglas, 1972 neo-noir film The Long Goodbye (directed by Robert Altman), 1958 drama Peyton Place with Lana Turner, 1992 Australian skinhead flick Romper Stomper, starring Russell Crowe, 1972 classic Slaughterhouse Five, and the 1968 Oscar-nominated The Sterile Cuckoo, featuring Liza Minnelli. For further updates, go to pulpcharleston.com or check their feed at instagram.com/pulpcharleston. —Kelly Rae Smith

The Realm of the Spirit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection and the Gibbes Museum of Art

The Realm of the Spirit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection and the Gibbes Museum of Art

Gibbes Museum of Art

Through Jan. 7, 2017

In 1936 the Gibbes Museum of Art presented Solomon R. Guggenheim’s first collection of modern art and now, 80 years after the fact, the Gibbes presents a revival of Guggenheim’s two Charleston shows, one held in 1936, the other in 1938. The Realm of the Spirit will show 35 of Guggenheim’s collected pieces, including works by Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, and Pablo Picasso. “It’s a part of our history that’s been buried,” says Sara Arnold, the exhibition’s curator. Guggenheim, a businessman, art collector, and philanthropist, bought a house on the Battery in 1929. Arnold says that Guggenheim’s tenure in Charleston started right around the time he began building his art collection. The Gibbes’ director at the time was Robert Whitelaw, a friend of Guggenheim. The two began talking about a show and a few years later, the first exhibition came to fruition.“It’s interesting to look at press clippings from that time,” says the Gibbes’ executive director Angela Mack. “There were both very positive and very negative reviews, and it confused some people.” One thing that most everyone could agree on, though, was that the controversial exhibition needed to be seen. “America as a whole was becoming more open than ever before,” says Mack. —Connelly Hardaway

Moving Star Photography Exhibit Finale

Moving Star Photography Exhibit Finale

Main Library

Fri., Oct. 28, 4 p.m.

This closing reception to Ron Rocz's month-long photography exhibit featuring local dancer Lamar Hunter includes live freestyle dance performances, demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities to talk to both Ron and Lamar about their collaboration.

"Romance Abroad"

Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery

Fri., Nov. 4, 5-8 p.m.

Join us at Ella W. Richardson Gallery to enjoy "Romance Abroad", artist Craig Nelson's new show. Refreshments and small bites will be provided.

"Filling the Void" Heather Thornton

"Filling the Void" Heather Thornton

Charleston Music Hall

Tue., Nov. 8, 6-8 p.m.

Join us for the opening reception of Filling the Void, a display of new, figurative paintings by Heather Thornton.

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