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
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  2. Disassembling the tree from Matsukaze, 2013
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  3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream puppet hand, 2013
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  4. Puppets from Carlo Colla and Sons’ presentation of Sleeping Beauty, 2015
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  5. Director and Designer Jennifer Wen Ma dying the memorable gown for the final scene of Paradise Interrupted, 2015
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  6. Spoleto Festival USA’s scene shop before local artist Patch Whisky spruced it up, 2015
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  7. The scene shop after, 2015
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  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
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  11. Cami Alys of The Intergalactic Nemesis teaching a young boy her craft at the MUSC Children’s Hospital Atrium, 2013
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  12. A Midsummer Night’s Dream cast members give a demonstrative talk at the Charleston Library Society, 2013
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  13. The Charleston Gaillard Center Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall renovation near its completion, 2014
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  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
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  15. Soundboard renovations at Sottile Theatre revealed remnants of decorative murals painted during the 1920’s, 2011.
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  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
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  21. In the scene shop where the Festival’s production magic happens
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  22. Set up for a luminous Cistern Yard show, 2012
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  23. Freshly painted Folly boat, 2014
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  24. Joseph Young rehearsing with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, 2014
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  25. The cast of Traces show off their physical prowess at a Riverdogs game, 2012.
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  26. Set and Costume Designer Ugo Nespolo painting backdrops for the set of Veremonda, L’Amazzone di Aragona, 2015
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  27. Scott Higgins, the Festival’s official piano tuner, hard at work
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  28. Jonathan Green’s costume sketch for opera Porgy and Bess, 2016
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  29. Students of the Master Class tumble around with Casus Circus, 2015.
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  30. Dancers learn some new moves in the Master Class with Trisha Brown Dance Company, 2015
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  31. 2015 jazz artist, Carlos Aguirre, shares his Spoleto experience in 3 words: diversity, emotion, encounter, 2015
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  32. Setting up for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell in the TD Arena, 2015
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  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
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  36. Freshly painted canvas for Kát’a Kabanová, 2014
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  37. Jonathan Green and Matt Mill at Green’s pop-up art show on Coming Street, 2015
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  38. Festival poster reveal at Festival offices with General Director Nigel Redden, 2014
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  39. Vocal scores for Westminster Choir‘s Te Deum concert, 2014
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  40. Set model for the Italian operas Mese Mariano and Le Villi, 2012
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    ***
    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!