Have you ever wondered what happens before the curtain rises or after it falls? Or have you ever wanted to know what visiting artists do when they aren’t performing on stage in front of Festival audiences? These moments—let’s categorize them all as behind-the-scenes—are part of what makes Spoleto Festival USA so special. Below are 40 of our favorite behind-the-scenes moments from past seasons.

  1. Brochure printing, 2015
  2. Disassembling the tree from Matsukaze, 2013
    Matsukaze tree_2_opt
  3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream puppet hand, 2013
    midsummer night puppet hand_opt (1)
  4. Puppets from Carlo Colla and Sons’ presentation of Sleeping Beauty, 2015
    carlo puppets_opt
  5. Director and Designer Jennifer Wen Ma dying the memorable gown for the final scene of Paradise Interrupted, 2015
    paradise dress_opt (2)
  6. Spoleto Festival USA’s scene shop before local artist Patch Whisky spruced it up, 2015
    Entrance (Patch)_opt
  7. The scene shop after, 2015
    Scene shop after_opt (3)
  8. Piero Corbella of Carlo Colla and Sons with Meeting St. Academy students, 2012
    SFUSA 2010 - Colla with Meeting St_opt
  9. All hands on deck for a Music in Time piece, 2007
    SFUSA 2007 - Music in Time - Photo by William Struhs_opt
  10. Motoi Yamamoto’s Return to the Sea: Saltworks installation at The Halsey, 2012
    Saltworks installation 2912_opt (1)
  11. Cami Alys of The Intergalactic Nemesis teaching a young boy her craft at the MUSC Children’s Hospital Atrium, 2013
    cami alys_opt
  12. A Midsummer Night’s Dream cast members give a demonstrative talk at the Charleston Library Society, 2013
  13. The Charleston Gaillard Center Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall renovation near its completion, 2014
    January 2014 (7)_opt_opt (1)
  14. Geoff Nuttall surprises Bank of America Chamber Music attendees with a mini pop-up chamber performance before the full show at the Dock Street Theater, 2015
    Chamber_opt (1)
  15. Soundboard renovations at Sottile Theatre revealed remnants of decorative murals painted during the 1920’s, 2011.
  16. A moment at a special event between Tobias Wegner from Leo and a Meeting Street Academy student, 2012Spoleto Festival USA 2012 - Leo and Meeting Street Academy students
  17. Community event at the MUSC Children’s Hospital Atrium featuring Ethan Law from Traces, 2012
    Julia Lynn Photography
  18. Conversations with Shen Wei at the Charleston Library Society, 2015Martha Teichner; Charleston Library Society; Spoleto Festival USA 2015
  19. Handspring Puppet Company hard at work for their 2013 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream With Bristol Old Vic
    midsummer night puppets
  20. Elizabeth Caitlin Ward’s costume sketch for the 2013 opera Matsukaze
    matsukaze costume sketch_opt
  21. In the scene shop where the Festival’s production magic happens
    scene shop 1_opt (1)
  22. Set up for a luminous Cistern Yard show, 2012
  23. Freshly painted Folly boat, 2014
  24. Joseph Young rehearsing with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, 2014
  25. The cast of Traces show off their physical prowess at a Riverdogs game, 2012.
  26. Set and Costume Designer Ugo Nespolo painting backdrops for the set of Veremonda, L’Amazzone di Aragona, 2015
  27. Scott Higgins, the Festival’s official piano tuner, hard at work
    Scott Higgins_opt
  28. Jonathan Green’s costume sketch for opera Porgy and Bess, 2016
    23501830334_a8e2ec0cea_z (1)_opt (1)
  29. Students of the Master Class tumble around with Casus Circus, 2015.
  30. Dancers learn some new moves in the Master Class with Trisha Brown Dance Company, 2015
    trisha brown master class_opt (1)
  31. 2015 jazz artist, Carlos Aguirre, shares his Spoleto experience in 3 words: diversity, emotion, encounter, 2015
    carlos aguirre_opt
  32. Setting up for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell in the TD Arena, 2015
    td arena_opt
  33. Mending a costume for The Globe’s Romeo and Juliet, 2015
    romeo and juliet costume_opt (2)
  34. Steve Tiplady and Sally Todd of El Niño made clay sculptures with the kids at the MUSC Children’s Hospital Atrium, 2014
    el nino visit to MUSC_opt (1)
  35. SPOLETO letters for the 2014 Scene kick-off party
    spoleto auction letters_opt
  36. Freshly painted canvas for Kát’a Kabanová, 2014
    kakakss canvas_opt (1)
  37. Jonathan Green and Matt Mill at Green’s pop-up art show on Coming Street, 2015
    Jonathan Green popup show_opt (2)
  38. Festival poster reveal at Festival offices with General Director Nigel Redden, 2014
    2014 poster unveiling_opt
  39. Vocal scores for Westminster Choir‘s Te Deum concert, 2014
    Westminster scores 2014_opt
  40. Set model for the Italian operas Mese Mariano and Le Villi, 2012
    mese mariano_opt
    40 for Friday
    is a new weekly (or bi-weekly) blog series celebrating the 40th season of Spoleto Festival USA. Feel free to comment if there is something you would like to see in this series. We have a lot of interesting content coming your way!