SC Shakespeare Company to put on production in downtown Lexington

By Natalie Szrajer
Posted 6/1/23

The South Carolina Shakespeare Company is bringing its latest production to a new venue.

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SC Shakespeare Company to put on production in downtown Lexington


The South Carolina Shakespeare Company is bringing its latest production to a new venue.

The company, which for years put on outdoor performances of The Bard’s work in downtown Columbia’s Finlay Park, will bring “Much Ado About Nothing” to the Icehouse Amphitheater in downtown Lexington for two weeks.

The Columbia-based group travels to various schools and venues around the state and has been performing for about 25 years as a nonprofit. The shows are free to the public thanks to help from Columbia’s hospitality tax fund, according to the company’s artistic director, Linda Khoury.

She said performing at the Lexington amphitheater will be different since it’s an open venue, but in Shakespeare’s time, many performances were done in outdoor theaters. She jokes it’ll be like being in a modern day Globe Theater, the home of Shakespeare’s plays in his time.

The production is definitely family-friendly, Khoury emphasized.

“Hopefully a lot of audience members who haven’t seen us will come out and see us,” she said. “They won’t be bored.”

“We’re doing one of Shakespeare’s best and most loved plays,” Khoury said of the play they’re bringing to Lexington. “It’s so accessible and easy to understand, with hilarious characters, comedy and drama. There are two sets of lovers and it’s a good balance of ages and all things about love. It’s about how love can inspire you and make you stupid. It’s a fun show with a lot of characters.”

Khoury and Scott Blanks are the main directors for the show, with Blanks also acting from time to time. There are about 30 committed people who help out with productions and then a small backstage team.

“We’re a small company but every time we have a show we reinvent the company. Not every cast member is a member of the company, as we keep bringing in fresh and new people,” said Khoury, explaining the company works with some regular actors as well as equity actors who travel to Columbia to perform.

While “Much Ado About Nothing” is thought to be from the late-1500s, Khoury and her team have updated their performances with a very modern twist.

“The costumes won’t be classical,” she said. “It’s strictly modern and has music and dancing to go along with it, including hip hop and jazz.”

“This is one of our most contemporary shows, but we’ve done this with other shows. Only when we first started did we do everything with the big [traditional] costumes,” she added. “Sometimes we’ve set shows in the Jazz era and also the 1800s. When we did “Julius Caesar,” we put it in another era.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is the company’s spring performance, with details for a fall performance not yet finalized. While the group has Shakespeare in its name, it isn’t limited to his catalog.

“We’ve done musicals, comedies from other eras, but we do classics mainly,” Khoury said. “We do anything we love. Shakespeare is like the umbrella under which we perform.”

But that doesn’t mean the company is at all looking to get away from Shakespeare.

“The stories are the same despite the time period,” Khoury said of his continued relevance. “The stories just fit anywhere at any time. That’s why there are so many Shakespeare plays around the world. Every country in many parts of the world has a Shakespeare play. It’s something that connects everybody.”


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