The Local Arts: Footlight Players

Posted By: Erika Grimes General News,

For the month of August, we’re celebrating the arts! We’re proud to have dozens of small business members, including the Footlight Players, a theatre company located in Downtown Charleston. This Lowcountry giant has been a part of the local arts scene since the early 1930s. For this Q&A, we caught up the theatre’s Executive Director, Brian Porter ahead of their 91st season.  

1.Can you give a brief history of the Footlight Players?

The Footlight Players was launched in 1931 with a series of one-act plays directed by Lt. Commander Charles Russell Price at the Charleston Navy Yard. The series was such a success and drew such a following that The Footlight Players formally organized and incorporated in the fall of 1932.  For more information about the history of the Footlight Players, click here.

2.Does the theatre have anything exciting coming up that you can share?

We have an amazing lineup of full stage productions including The Full Monty, Misery, our annual Holiday Special, The Mountaintop, God of Carnage and ending with Monty Python’s Spamalot. We are also launching our new cabaret series called Sunday Night Speakeasy. One Sunday of every month, we will have local artists perform in our historic lobby. 

We are also launching a new second stage series (Act II) with more risqué shows like The Rocky Horror Experience, where we perform live with movies, “Who’s Holiday”, about Mary Lou Who as she is now a chain smoking 40 year old living in a trailer, and “The Last Five Years”, a two person musical about a relationship told from the beginning by one character and backwards by the other. 

3.What makes the Footlight Players unique and/or special from other theatres in the area?

We are the only theatre that owns its own space which affords us the opportunity to welcome in other artists and performers to practice their art and gain exposure in the community. We are truly a community space hosting a number of special events each season including hosting the Italian Film Festival every year as well as serving as the primary venue for Piccolo Spoleto.

Brian along with the Footlight Player’s Artistic Director Kyle Barnette were recently guests of Small Talks, Big Ideas with Steve. Listen to the episode here.