As a premier performing arts jubilee, the Spoleto Festival offers established artists a chance to stretch their talents during a two-week lineup of dazzling showcases. Set in outdoor spaces and theaters across Charleston, the festival has emerged as a can’t-miss event for those hoping to expand their appreciation for the arts. Encompassing theater, music, dance, and more, every event is dedicated to highlighting the inspiring talents of award-winning artists from around the world.

Special Events / Visual Arts

Opening night begins with a bang during the Opening Night Fête, celebrating the beginning of the festival at Edmund’s Oast, right after enjoying Compagnie Herve Koubi (see above). Toast with refreshing cocktails, a buffet spread, and live music surrounded by talented artists and patrons of the arts. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, wander through eight different private gardens on the weekends. With the combined help of the Charleston Horticultural Society and The Garden Conservancy, Behind the Garden Gate is a self-guided tour through the greenery that Charleston’s botanical sanctuaries have to offer.

Opening-Night Fête: Sat, May 25, 8pm
Behind the Garden Gate: Sat, May 25 & June 1, 9am

Theater

All right drama queens, get ready to immerse yourself in the some award-winning theatrics. In the Audience Choice Shakespeare play, scream, and shout from your seat for the play you want to watch, then see the cast members perform it on demand. Or perhaps be involved in The Fever, an audience-performer collaboration with a story that examines how we care for the people around us. Pay No Attention to the Girl observes the complexities of the Silk Road narratives and waking up truths from ancient Islam that we thought we knew.

Audience Choice Shakespeare: Sat, May 25, 3:30 & 8pm; Mon, May 27, 8pm; Thurs, May 30, 7pm; Sat, June 1, 8pm; Tues, June 4, 7:30pm; Thurs, June 6, 7:30pm; Sat, June 8, 8pm
Pay No Attention to the Girl: Wed, May 29, 7pm; Thurs, May 30, 7pm; Fri, May 31, 5pm; Sat, June 1, 2pm & 8pm

Dance

In their Spoleto Festival USA debut, Compagnie Herve Koubi blends street dance with contemporary style to create a performance that showcases beauty and strength throughout. With One Thousand and One Nights, embrace this classic retelling with the vibrant beauty exuding through the performance’s use of silk costumes, Arabic melodies, and a merging together of ballet and modern dance that is sure to delight.

Compagnie Herve Koubi: Sat, May 25, 7pm; Sun, May 26, 2pm
One Thousand and One Nights: Fri, June 7, 7:30pm; Sat, June 8, 8pm; Sun, June 9, 2pm

Music

The Living Earth Show exemplifies a bright musical personality in its performances. A duo of percussion and electric guitar alongside native-born and immigrant composers, the show asks what it means to be considered an American during these peculiar times. And in the orchestra realm, Prokofiev & Shostakovich bridge together two iconic Russian performances under Evan Rogister. Hear the powerful orchestra and dramatic contours beaming through the harmonies, something that can only be heard in this particular era of classical music.

The Living Earth Show: Sat, May 25, 5pm & 8pm
Prokofiev & Shostakovich: Sat, June 1, 7:30pm

Need a place to stay? Check-out Editor-in-chief Blair Knobel’s first-hand account of her stay at dreamy boutique hotel The Dewberry