Here are our best tips on how to decide what to see at Spoleto Festival USA 2023. It can feel near impossible to see it all (it’s not…). After all, Spoleto is 17 days. 9 venues. 100+ performances—there’s a lot to see this season…
Mena Mark Hanna, Spoleto’s General Director and CEO, offers a “two-plus-two” strategy. His approach: Pick two performances that you know you’ll like, then add two that may seem confusing or challenging. He explains the tactic this way:
Eat with your eyes
Of course, there are no wrong ways to begin imagining your Spoleto experience. Allison Ross-Spang, who has worked with Spoleto since 2013 and is now an Associate Producer—a.k.a. part of the team that decides which works gets presented—suggests viewing all the offerings and noting which pictures are most eye-catching. “Identify the photos that really stand out to you,” she says, “then click through to read more.” From there, Ross-Spang says to listen to your original instincts, because “you never know exactly what to expect with a Spoleto performance.”
Get out of your comfort zone
Patron Services Manager Sally Lovejoy agrees. For her, the photo of Dada Masilo’s The Sacrifice is really intriguing, even though modern dance performances aren’t always her thing. “It’s out of my comfort zone, but I’m interested—the same with Only an Octave Apart. I love Anthony Roth Costanzo and I have a feeling this one is going to be talked about for years, so I don’t want to miss it.”
Check something off the bucket list
“I always tell people to start with genre,” says Susan Kelly, Box Office Manager. “Are you into dance? Jazz? What do you love? Then think about your timeframe, especially if you’re traveling from out of town. If you have set dates, that may provide some guardrails. My rule of thumb: I choose one performance I know I’m going to like, and then one or two artists or performances that I wager I’ll never see in South Carolina again.”
Susan’s personal picks? “I am a huge Denis O’Hare fan from American Horror Story—I even met him once!—so An Iliad is a no-brainer. My husband is a professional trumpet player, so I’m partial to concerts that incorporate brass instruments. For that reason, I have also Quentin Baxter Quintet on my wish list.”
Need help on how to decide what to see?
Call Spoleto’s box office at 843.579.3100 to chat with knowledgeable ticket agents! They are in close communication with our producing team and are trained to help make recommendations and offer guidance.