Denmark Vesey at the American for Piccolo



Charleston Stage Company's 30th anniversary season comes at an awkward moment for the company this year, what with them about to start packing for a forced evacuation of their longtime home at the Dock Street Theatre as the joint readies for a two-year-long, top-to-bottom facelift. But founder Julian Wiles has apparently decided not to let a temporary displacement rain on his party. In fact, he's getting the party started early — in May, as it happens. While they're refugees from the Dock Street, Charleston Stage will be producing in two separate downtown locations: the CofC's spacious Sottile Theatre and comparatively cozy King Street venue the American Theater. Wiles plans to program his biggest shows and musicals at the 800-seat Sottile (that's it at right) and stretch his company's theatrical muscles at the blackbox-ish American. For this year's Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Wiles will produce his newest original stage play, Denmark Vesey: Insurrection, at the American, Charleston Stage's first Piccolo gig in 17 years. Wiles' script, which is still in draft form — he says he's on either draft 14 or 40, he's lost track — is based on the life of the famed freed Charleston slave, who in July 1822 was hanged for supposedly fomenting a statewide slave rebellion. One supposes he'll nab some of the top talent recently featured in Brad Jaynes' short film Song of Pumpkin Brown for the premiere. —PS

Add a comment