It’s late April, and as anyone who follows the arts scene in Charleston knows, this is the time of year when folks start to ask, “So what’s on tap for Piccolo?” Well, we finally have some answers. Next Thurs. April 24 the Piccolo program will be announced. But don’t look for printed programs any time soon. Because the city has to follow an open bid process for the program print job, there’s no guarantee who the print vendor will be or where they’ll be located, thus making it hard to predict when the programs will be available. That said, Scott Watson, the new executive director of the Office of Cultural Affairs has a plan for sharing 2014 Piccolo information, saying this year’s fest will take on more of a social media approach.

“We want to inject the festival with the sense that it’s 17 days of full-tilt excitement. There will be things we announce via Twitter — preview performances or late-breaking additions to the program. We want people to be showing up at the box office at the visitors center saying ‘What can I go to next?’” he says.

Watson recognizes that Piccolo’s website is as he says, “a bit static,” so he hopes this digital strategy encourages Piccolo audiences to take more of an on the fly approach to finding and seeing shows. “We want people to be ambtious and aggressive of what they want to take on,” he adds.

Watson gave us a few hints at what fest-goers can expect. PURE will perform The Testament of Mary. The production is an adaptation of author Colm Tóibín novella of the same name. “Laura Ball is going to do a concert called Sing Out, a tribute to the legacy of Pete Seeger,” says Watson. “Charleston Jazz Orchestra is doing a weekend takeover of the Music Hall as well with one night big band, one night smaller ensembles, and one day for a family fair. And at City Gallery, Kristin Alexander from Annex Dance Company will be doing a dance with spoken word piece called Out of the Rose.”

Watson also says that pop-up events will be happening as well, giving attendees even more reason to get social media savvy fast (follow @Piccolo_Spoleto). Also, a downloadable PDF of the full lineup will likely go live online before the print version becomes available.

The Piccolo box office at the Charleston Visitors’ Center is expected to open May 7. For more info, call (843) 724-7305, or visit

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