Piccolo Spoleto released its 2011 schedule last week. The 33rd annual festival, the city of Charleston’s official outreach arm of Spoleto Festival USA, runs from May 27-June 12. The festival launched a redesigned website this year (praise Jesus!) as well as a new box office location in the Charleston Civic Design Center, conveniently located next to the Gaillard Auditorium (where you'll find the Spoleto box office). The second box office location is at the Charleston Visitor Center.
As usual, Piccolo features more of a local and affordable focus than its big sister Spoleto. The schedule includes a number of returning shows either from local runs earlier in the year or previous festivals.
Some of the most exciting offerings are from Piccolo Fringe, the comedy series organized by Theatre 99ers Brandy Sullivan and Greg Tavares — you’ll see new shows like the Bike Trip, Ted and Melanie (featuring SNL's Paul Brittain and The Reckoning's Jet Eveleth), and Kurt Braunohler’s Amish Guide to Fucking along with returning acts like the Shock Ts and the Upright Citizens Brigade.
The College of Charleston’s Stelle di Domani Series also consistently delivers fresh theater from students and alums. Theater companies like PURE, Footlight, Charleston Acting Studio, and the Village Playhouse anchor the theater series with a blend of new and repeat shows.
Dance fans will get four shows from the Charleston Ballet Theatre as well as the return of the Dance at Noon Series, with performances from regional acts like Atlanta’s Sideways Contemporary Dance and the Sumter Civic Dance Company.
The music lineup is packed as usual with familiar series like the Early Bird Blues, the Spotlight Concert Series, and Traditional Music of the Old South. The Sunset Serenade on May 27 is a highlight, with a pops concert from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and a performance from the Charleston Ballet Theatre.
City Gallery will once again host the Contemporary Charleston: Under the Radar exhibit, featuring eight emerging Lowcountry artists.
The always-popular block party will be held June 4 in Marion Square, and the Motown-themed finale is once again in Hampton Park on June 11.
Want to know more? Check out Piccolo’s new website for the full line-up of events.