I've been behind the veil for the past eight years, as I like to think of editing. It's where you do a lot of good work and make other people shine.
But now, I'm going back to my first love, writing about creativity and how artists of all types produce their work. This column will be about all things good in the performing and visual arts, and maybe I'll sneak in a few musings from time to time.
For those of you new to the arts scene, I've been around awhile. I've been a photographer and documented 17 years of Spoleto and Piccolo festivals. I've been a reporter, writing about the arts, fashion, design and culture. And I've been an editor specializing in regional news issues and politics. So this column will be a bit of all of those wrapped into together.
New productions? Definitely. New gallery openings? Ditto. A little bit of gossip? Absolutely. The arts are all of that and more.
Summer with the kids
I know that it's a few weeks until school and my young teenage nieces are coming, so I'm looking hard for something to do with them.
On Friday and Saturday, Charleston Stage has "Willie Wonka Jr." put on by the SummerStage Musical Theatre Camp. Sixty-seven students, ranging from grades 2-12, will be interpreting Willie Wonka's search for an heir, with lots of oompa loompas and sugary confections. The play wouldn't be complete without "The Candy Man." I can hear that song in my head.
Amanda Wansa, director of music education, says that she doesn't want to give anything away, but every child has something good to do. Shows are 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dock Street Theatre. Tickets are $20. Sounds yummy.
In Summerville, the Flowertown Players are also doing a family-friendly play by putting on "Annie," the classic story about a red-haired little girl who changes a millionaire's heart.
So many girls have grown up with Annie, and this is just the kind of entertainment to occupy us all before school starts. Flowertown's production boasts a cast of more than 30 people with children acting alongside veteran cast members. "Annie" has been a hit musical since 1977 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
The show runs for three weekends, with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and military and $20 for students. The theater is at 133 S. Main St. in Summerville.
Decidedly not for youngsters although the title may sound like it, The Footlight Players is holding open auditions for the play "Boys' Life," an adult play that follows three former college male friends who are making their way in the big city.
There is the cynical and married Jack, the innocent, vulnerable Phil, and the handsome, amoral Don, and their women. The play dissects and analyzes the male narcissism and makes it hilariously clear that it is actually the women who possess the qualities of "manhood" and maturity.
Ages range from 20s to 30s for both men and women, and you need to prepare a monologue as well as read from the script. Auditions will be 7 p.m. today and Monday at the Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St.
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble is seeking new volunteer members. Directed by Nathan L. Nelson, the ensemble is a 35-member all-volunteer vocal group focusing on African-American spirituals. The group will be preparing for its fourth season, which will include a holiday concert, Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and Piccolo Spoleto performances among others.
The CSO Spiritual Ensemble will hold two voice assessments: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 and 8 at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 626 Savannah Highway, West Ashley.
And not to be confused with the ensemble, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir is seeking new volunteer members, too.
Directed by Sandra Barnhardt, the celebrated choir is an 80-member all-volunteer vocal group focusing on gospel. Those tryouts are 5:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 9 at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.
For information about either set of auditions, call 991-1035 or visit www.csospiritual.com.
Let me know what's happening the city. I know you artistic types are starting to come home from the beach. The fall arts season isn't far away.