The Trippers are heading to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston!

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American Stage is going to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston!

spoleto usa

Spoleto U.S.A was founded by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti and is the world-renowned, American counterpart of the famed Italian festival, Festival de DuMondi in Spoleto, Italy.

Dates: June 5th – 10th

We have been looking into this trip for several years, and it seems like Spoleto’s 4oth anniversary is a good time to go. World-class music, opera, dance, theater – this festival has it all! Additionally, Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast regularly list Charleston as the number one destination in the United States.

We will spend five nights at the 4-star Belmond Charleston Place Hotel, known for its southern hospitality and luxurious ambience. The hotel is centrally located on King Street and sits above the most elegant and refined shopping district in Charleston. It is also adjacent to the Old City Market.

(Photo: Belmond Charleston Place.)

(Photo: Belmond Charleston Place.)


The big opera this year is PORGY AND BESS, written in Charleston by George and Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward, a Charleston native and author of Porgy, from which the opera was born; and his wife, Dorothy.

Porgy and Bess design sketch by Jonathan Green. (Photo: Spoleto Festival USA.)

Porgy and Bess design sketch by Jonathan Green.
(Photo: Spoleto Festival USA.)

Porgy and Bess design sketch by Jonathan Green. (Photo: Spoleto Festival USA.)

Porgy and Bess design sketch by Jonathan Green.
(Photo: Spoleto Festival USA.)

Other offerings will be announced in January and will likely include a dance company, an orchestra, and at least one play. We are currently working with other arts organizations in the area to get the inside scoop on the “do not miss” events this season.

Additionally, the trip will include one of Charleston’s famous plantation visits as well as a city bus tour.

And let’s not forget the food! The trip also includes two group dinners and one group lunch at Charleston’s finest restaurants.

(Photo: Visit Charleston South Carolina)

(Photo: Visit Charleston South Carolina)

We offer all this for $3345 which includes:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Five nights at the four-star Belmond Charleston Place Hotel
  • Breakfast daily at the hotel
  • All coach services
  • Round-trip baggage transfer
  • Two group dinners and one group lunch
  • Five Spoleto performances including Porgy and Bess
  • A guided city tour
  • A plantation visit
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Theatre Travel with the Trippers: New York, New York… It’s a Helluva Town!

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  •  We fly nonstop to New York.
  • We’re met by our trusty bus to transport us to the SOFITEL, 45th St. off 5th Avenue near all the shops! (The bus will be with us during the entire trip fortransporting to theatres and all events.) The 4-star Sofitel has walk-in showers andtubs and an excellent restaurant where we will enjoy a fabulous breakfast daily.
  • We enjoy a festive group dinner.
  • We see four outstanding performances.
  • We visit the recently renovated Sagamore Hill, the “summer White House” home of Theodore Roosevelt and enjoy a group lunch in Oyster Bay.
  • We enjoy an excellent Sunday brunch together.

The four days we are there will be filled with THEATRE, the main reason we go to New York!


Here are some of the shows we’re considering:

  • She Loves Me – Laura Benanti and John Radnor star in Roundabout Theatre’s new version of this charming musical comedy classic.
  • Paramour – an exciting new experience that unites the signature spectacle of Cirque du Soleil with the storytelling magic of Broadway.
  • School of Rock – featuring 14 amazing child rock stars, this new musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber with book by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) is based on the cult film.
  • Dry Powder – In this Public Theatre production, John Krasinski stars in a viciously, delicious new drama about the people who mold our economy.

Of course, if exciting new shows pop up, our ticket guru, Caryl, is always watching out for us.


Here’s what the trip includes:

  • Round trip air, bus service from and to N.Y. airport
  • 4 nights in a luxury hotel with breakfast daily except Sunday
  • 4 great theatre events with round trip bus service
  • A day trip with lunch
  • A splendid group dinner and an elegant Sunday brunch
  • A $200.00 tax-deductible donation to American Stage

The helpful Tom Block is our trip leader, and your traveling companions are sure to be among the kindest and … Read the rest

EXPOSED: Women You Think You Know…

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From the standpoint of a Marketing Director, it’s always a priority to make sure tickets are sold and people actually attend your production. However, an equally important task (and some may wager it an impossible one to manage) is to participate in the conversation that continues long after your audience leaves your theater.

Post-show talk backs have been an obvious way to offer an immediate dialogue with your patrons, allowing them to pose their questions to the creative team immediately following a performance. But what about those subsequent conversations, those ideas that crop up after a gestation period?

Our new artistic leadership and our Education Department have made efforts to curate those conversations in a series of events and programming that  address the issues explored in our current Mainstage productions and continue the discussion within the community.

EXPOSED: Women You Think Know… at American Stage on Tuesday, Oct 6th at 7pm.


The first of these events for this season is EXPOSED: Women You Think You Know…, a collaboration with Your Real Stories.  Founded by Jaye Sheldon and Dr. Lillian Dunlap, Your Real Stories uses storytelling, theater, and media to challenge people to talk and listen to each other across perceived differences of identity, experience, and opinions.

I recently sat with Jaye Sheldon and our new Producing Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte to discuss the collaboration between the two organizations.


This is a really exciting night of two different arts organizations coming together. What will the evening consist of?

Jaye Sheldon: It will feature original scripts based on the lives of three local women from our community. Dr. Dunlap and I have spent the last few months interviewing these women and creating original scripts based on these interviews.

Stephanie Gularte: Then three talented, professional actresses will bring the real stories of these women to life on our stage in a really vibrant way. We’ll follow that up with a lively conversation between the audience, the artists and the women whose stories are being told.



Will there be a tie-in with the themes of our current mainstage production, Intimate Apparel?

Jaye: Absolutely. This evening of theatre … Read the rest