ARTIFACTS 

Front and Center

Back in the late '80s, when the College of Charleston School of the Arts came into being and the Department of Theatre began its Mainstage series in the Emmett Robinson Theatre, a pack of upstart theatre students retooled the original production arm of the Department known as Center Stage. The new series was intended as an entirely student-run, student-directed counterpart to the Mainstage series, focusing on more contemporary, progressive plays with a lot more dirty words than, say, George Bernard Shaw used. These days, the series' hip workings remain mostly (though not completely) untainted by faculty sensibilities, still reveling in foul language, nudity, drug use (largely simulated), and all the other things that make modern theatre great, allowing the students' shows to succeed or fail on their own terms.

Center Stage has three productions this fall in Theatre 220, the cozy blackbox space on the Simons Center's second floor. First up, this week, is Tracy Letts' Bug, (Wed, Sept. 27-Sat. Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.; Fri. Sept. 29 at midnight), followed Oct. 20-29 by Stage Fright, and Nov. 8-11 by Patrick Marber's comedy drama Closer, which, as it happens, Theatre /verv/ is also giving a three-week run starting Friday at The Map Room in West Ashley. Set in a seedy, bug-infested Oklahoma City motel room, Bug centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken Gulf War-vet drifter introduced to her by her lesbian friend, R.C. Director Ryan Mitchell warns of "adult themes, nudity, smoking, and" – yep – "simulated drug use." Where else can you get that kind of culture for $5? –Patrick Sharbaugh

Tell and Show

Redux Contemporary Art Center, getting a head start on next year's programming, has announced that it's seeking exhibition and artist-in-residency applicants for 2007. Exhibitions are not limited to any media or content, and all applicants will be considered for solo, group, and two-person shows. Each exhibition will remain on view for 40 days in one or both of the Redux galleries. The two artist residency slots available – now that 2006 residents Jonathan Brilliant and Max Miller have cleared out – will both include free studio and 24-hour access at the St. Philip Street facility, a one-time $700 work stipend, and a solo or two-person exhibition in 2007 of work created during the residency. To apply for an exhibition or a residency, visit www.reduxstudios.org. You've only got until Oct. 20 to apply, so get busy. –PS


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