The summer months have gone to bed and Charleston’s performing arts scene wakes from its hibernation. The fall arts season is upon us. From dance and theater to visual art, each of Charleston’s producing organizations have a slate of great offerings coming up. And this year, several organizations are bringing new experiences to local audiences. 

THEATER

Charleston Opera Theater will present its rendition of Don Giovanni Oct. 20 and 22, marking the first time in decades a Charleston-based company will produce a professional opera. 

Charleston Opera Theater will also offer free events in October to connect with the community and the production, including a panel discussion with the Charleston Library Society about Don Giovanni and a Festival de Don Giovanni in collaboration with the Charleston Hispanic Association and Latin Groove Productions. 

PURE Theatre is celebrating its 20th season this year, and is doubling down on the things that have set it apart: exciting new plays, some straight from Broadway, some world premieres. This October, PURE will stage Lynn Nottage’s hit Broadway comedy Clyde’s.

Charleston Stage is in the middle of a transition, as Marybeth Clark begins the process of taking over artistic director duties from company founder Julian Wiles. Wiles will see this season out, which includes great shows like The Play That Goes Wrong (through Sept. 25), The Addams Family musical, opening Oct. 19 and two holiday shows in December: A Christmas Carol and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Charleston Stage is also offering its fall education classes at the West Ashley Theatre Center.

Flowertown Players offers a slew of classics this fall. The Pulitzer Prize-winning psychological examination Harvey opens Sept. 16, the beloved murder mystery play/film/board game Clue opens Oct. 28 and in December A Christmas Story hits you right in the nostalgia. Flowertown Blossoms, the company’s youth department, will also present a showcase performance of Get Smart Oct. 14-16. 

The Footlight Players at the Queen Street Playhouse will present its stage adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Misery. But, the website warns audiences: “Please be advised this show contains graphic violence.” Perfect for the spooky season.

While SIX continues to make waves on Broadway and give spotlight to the wives of Henry VIII, the court of the infamous king will be the subject of South of Broadway’s production of Wolf Hall. Its production with Threshold Rep, Wolf Hall, based on the novel by Hilary Mantel, opens Oct. 7 at Threshold Rep’s Society Street location.

South of Broadway’s recent winner of its Cage Match Improv series, YesAndventures, will be in residency every Sunday for six weeks. South of Broadway will also host an event Sept. 17 to celebrate its new Rivers Avenue space with youth performances, live music, food trucks and more.

And each month new radio drama theater company Shortwave Kitsch will be floating around to different Charleston theaters with a monthly show. The next show will take place in North Charleston Sept. 17 and Summerville Oct. 8. The shows will be recorded live and become the first few episodes of its podcast, launching in 2023.

DANCE

Dance Lab’s new take on the Nutcracker, the perennial holiday ballet, focuses on the eponymous Rat King himself, diving deep into his character and history. Rat King: The Untold & Twisted Tail of a Nutcracker Christmas joins the Empowered Company youth dancers and the Lab Underground adult performers in a show that Dance Lab hopes will become a new holiday tradition. The show opens Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Charleston Music Hall.

Annex Dance Company will kick off its 16th season this fall | Samantha Campbell file photo

Annex Dance Company kicks off its 16th season with an event Oct. 1 at High Wire Distilling Company with a performance of One Who Sees, which is made up of three previously choreographed pieces by artistic director Kristin Alexander. One Who Sees is performed to music voted on by the audience, an exciting piece of design that makes each performance unique. Annex will go on to revisit its digital series Small Plates this November.

VISUAL ARTS

The Gibbes Museum of Art debuts a new exhibit Earthly Matters, featuring artwork by Bo Bartlett, Sept. 10. Bartlett is known for creating large-scale works that focus on ordinary people in everyday situations. His subjects, both humans and animals, often find themselves in a challenging environmental situation that they must confront. This exhibit will be on display through Jan. 15, 2023. The Gibbes will also welcome From Chaos to Order: Greek Geometric Art from the Sol Rabin Collection, an exhibit that examines Greek Geometric art and its influence. From Chaos to Order runs Oct. 14 through March 5, 2023.

Visual artist Kirsten Stolle’s exhibit, Only You Can Prevent a Forest, will be displayed at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art through Dec. 10  | “Science for a Better Life – Good Days” by Kirsten Stolle

Visual artist Kirsten Stolle created photo collages, visually patterned poetry, text-based sound animation, a neon wall piece and a site installation for her exhibit Only You Can Prevent a Forest at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art now through Dec. 10. Her collection of work examines the relationship between chemical companies and food supply after 10 years of researching the subject.

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the MOJA Planning Committee present the 2022 MOJA Arts Festival Sept. 29-Oct. 9. Various arts events will take place throughout the Charleston area across multiple disciplines including dances, visual arts, music, theater and more.

The recently opened Summerville Public Works Art Center hosts several new exhibits in the upcoming fall season. Now through Sept. 7, visitors can view an exhibit by painter Aort Reed in the West Gallery, the Pencils and Pixels group show in the East Gallery and the Summerville Artist Guild 46th Annual Exhibition in the South Gallery.

Beginning Sept. 23, Summerville Public Works Art Center will host the second annual SPARK exhibition through Nov. 4. This themed exhibition has three pieces: the invitational collection in the West Gallery, a community artwork component in the East Gallery and a young artist exhibition in the South Gallery. The community and youth exhibit submissions are open to all. 

For more information about events, tickets, and to potentially get involved in any of these productions, head to each company’s website. 


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