The annual Spoleto Festival USA is one of the best events that comes to Charleston, SC every year. Coming up on its 38th season, Spoleto runs for two and a half weeks every spring and highlights performing arts from around the world in various genres of music, theater, and dance. Over the 17 days of the festival from May 23 – June 8, nearly 150 performances will be featured at 14 different local venues, giving people an abundance of opportunity to find the show that’s perfect for them. And because there are so many options, you aren’t limited to choosing just one. No matter where your interests lie, be sure to see at least one of the performances during the 17 days of the 2014 Spoleto Festival.
Spoleto Festival Shows
Three opera shows will be in town during Spoleto, including Kát’a Kabanová, Facing Goya, and El Niño.
A Brimful of Asha will run for four days, while My Cousin Rachel will be displayed on 13 of the 17 days of the festival.
Acrobats and aerialists will take the stage with two different performances: A Simple Space and Ilona Jantti.
There will be four different dance shows that you will be able to see, beginning with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on May 23-25. You can also see Keigwin + Company on May 30 – June 1, Dorrance Dance on May 31 – June 3, 5-8, and Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre on June 5-8.
Musical performances are the most abundant at the Spoleto Festival USA. There will be 19 different musical acts displayed over the two and a half weeks, including seven jazz acts. You can find all the Spoleto musical performances here.
The Opening Night Fête will begin the festivities on May 23, while Behind the Garden Gate will give a tour of private Charleston gardens on May 24 and May 31.
Different artists participating in the Spoleto Festival will be chatting with Martha Teichner at the Charleston Library Society on May 24-25, June 2, and June 6.
Spoleto Festival Venues
Fourteen of your favorite Charleston venues will be on display during the Spoleto Festival. A few of the 14 include Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Dock Street Theatre, and Memminger Auditorium. A complete list of Spoleto venues can be found here.
Piccolo Spoleto Festival
The Piccolo Spoleto Festival runs in conjunction with its parent festival and tends to focus more on regional artists rather than national and international artists. Many of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival events require no admission fee, including the outdoor art exhibit downtown at Marion Square. Although free, you will have the option to buy some of the amazing work from the local artists. There is also a good chance you will be able to catch a free concert.
When you attend the Spoleto Festival for a few days, you will need a place to stay. We suggest making a reservation at The Governor’s House Inn, which is conveniently located in downtown and within walking distance of many of the festival venues. So after your treating yourself to a night at the theater, extend that treat through the morning by staying in one of The Governor’s House Inn’s 11 luxurious rooms. The Spoleto Festival and The Governor’s House Inn are the perfect complements for one another.
Photo courtesy Chuck Grimmett