Denmark Vesey at the American for Piccolo

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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

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