“My experience in the theatre department has been exceptional. I studied theatre in high school, so I came to the College expecting to be a star. I suspect that happens for a lot of young actors. I was quickly knocked off my high horse. I saw a lot of good work here that first year, and yes, a lot of work that I criticized, but all together, it opened my eyes.”
As a freshman, George was given the opportunity to play the lead in a Main Stage play (The Seagull) one of the department’s premier productions. “Some professors like to cast freshmen, who are usually the least-known actors at the College. That gives freshmen an opportunity to perform in a big production in front of a large audience and thereby get into the program more easily. You might think that those roles would be reserved for upperclassmen – the more experienced actors– but that’s not always the case. I really appreciate that.”
In one of his classes, George studied 17th– and 18th–century comedies. “For one assignment,” he recalls, “the professor gave each student and a partner a five-minute scene to memorize and perform. We had to direct ourselves and develop our own choreography, and then we performed that scene for the entire class. After that, we had a workshop session and commented on each other’s performances. Because of that structure, it was more than just criticism. Everyone participated and learned. It was constructive.”
As George continues to hone his craft, he says he feels supported and fortunate. “It’s not just the department, but also the many active theatre organizations in this community that provide opportunities for student performers. My roommate was in a local show and our professors direct and act in local shows all the time. When you add in all the productions at the College, I’d say it’s very fertile ground for anyone interested in theatre.”
Experience theatre in a liberal-arts environment! From acting to design, from directing to playwriting, our students encounter ideas, theories, techniques and experiences that enable them to excel. Our department promotes a love of learning, a desire for excellence, and professional behavior in its students and faculty through rigorous coursework and high artistic standards in our ambitious production schedule. Students have multiple opportunities to explore practical experiences in productions ranging in size from large scale to small studio. We offer concentrations in performance, scenic/lighting design and technology, costume design and technology, theatre for youth, or general theatre studies. You can also minor in dance.
Our program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
Our facilities include three theatres, two dance studios, a lighting design studio, a costume shop, a scene shop and two acting studios.
Our faculty, the second largest in the state, includes a broad range of expertise and offers theatre major-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.
Charleston’s world-renowned Spoleto Festival USA hires students as apprentices.
Students often work with visiting actors and directors.
Students may perform in or work on a Piccolo Spoleto series only for College of Charleston affiliated productions.