Scholars will enjoy breakfast together, then select free time options in Downtown Charleston or on Isle of Palms with lunch on your own, then meet up for a lovely tour of the Nathaniel Russell home (some standing and a few stairs with elevator available) in full holiday decor. A special supper will be enjoyed together at a downtown restaurant and we will then enjoy a stage production at a local performance venue. Rain jackets, coats, and /or umbrellas may be needed.
Breakfast begins at 8:15 am with coffee available for early birds at all hours.
The enjoyable and educational presentation of Christmas Music Through the Ages continues as we take a closer look at stage and film. Professional Thespian Vicky Henderson, recently named the South Carolina Teaching Artist of the Year, shares a musical overview from staged Christmas Plays. Afterwards, Scholars have the option of departing for downtown Charleston or staying on the Isle of Palms for lunch on your own and an afternoon of free time. Suggested restaurants and tour spots will be provided to participants.
Today's lunch will be together at Coastal Retreat.
At the conclusion of our free time, Scholars will meet up to tour the Nathaniel Russell House Museum. Located at 51 Meeting Street and located near the High Battery in downtown Charleston, this home is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical structures. Today, the interiors are restored to their original 1808 grandeur and surrounded by formal gardens. Guests will enjoy the period Holiday Decor and emerging slave history as the home undergoes recovery of the the former kitchen and slave quarters.
Supper is earlier today, at 5:30 p.m., allowing time to enjoy each other before we walk to the local stage for our evening production. Scholars will delight in fresh local Charleston Cuisine and share stories of their free afternoon adventures. Coffee, tea, soda and water are provided and other beverages will be available for individual purchase. After supper, we will enjoy a brief stroll to our evening production.
Scholars will delight in a local live theater performance akin to A CHRISTMAS CAROL or ELF THE MUSICAL at Dock Street Theater, which originally opened February, 1736. This Historic Theatre was the first building in America built exclusively for theatrical performances. Flora, the first opera performance in America, took place at Dock Street Theatre. The original Dock Street Theatre was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1740. In 1809, the Planter's Hotel was built on the site. Many notable persons worked and patronized the Planter's Hotel including 19th Century actor Junius Brutus Booth (father of John Wilkes Booth). Robert Smalls, an African-American Civil War hero who stole a steamboat in the harbor and turned it over to the Union Fleet, once served as waiter in the hotel's dining room. After the Civil War, the Planter's Hotel fell into disrepair and was slated for demolition. But in 1935, the original building became a Depression Era WPA project. At that time, the present theatre was constructed within the shell of the Planter's Hotel. The beautiful woodwork and mantels of the second floor drawing room were salvaged from the Radcliffe-King Mansion (circa 1799). Modeled on eighteenth century London playhouses by Charleston architect Albert Simons, the present Dock Street Theatre's new stage house and auditorium were built in the hotel's courtyard. Following this $350,000 renovation, The Historic Dock Street Theatre's second grand opening took place on November 26, 1937. Notables in the audience included author DuBose Heyward (Porgy). The Historic Dock Street Theatre reopened for the third time on March 18, 2010 after a three year, $19 million dollar renovation by the City of Charleston. The theatre was made seismically secure and fully handicapped accessible. Now owned and managed by the City of Charleston, the Historic Dock Street Theatre is home to many of the City's finest cultural institutions including Spoleto Festival USA.