With opera houses running for over a century and spaces housing Broadway-caliber productions, South Carolina’s theater scene is rich all across the state. Whether it’s something professional you seek, or a community theater event, the Palmetto State has it. So, take a seat and enjoy the show at one of these nine best places to see live theater in South Carolina.
An icon of downtown Greenville, The Peace Center is known for its Broadway-quality shows. Throughout the year, you can expect an assortment of truly professional stage shows, as well as high caliber musicians, dance companies and orchestras.
For over 108 years, the Abbeville Opera House has served as the go-theater destination, offering a variety of plays and musicals each year. Once a hotspot for traveling shows and road companies when it first opened its doors, the theater struggled to stay afloat as theater folks switched from vaudeville and burlesque shows to the growing popularity of “talkies.” Just like much of Abbeville’s town square, the historic theater building has been well preserved, giving visitors a hint of how people enjoyed theatre a century ago (but now with air conditioning and sans rocking chairs for seating)
Once slated for demolition in the 1930s, someone saw something worth saving in the historic building now known as the Dock Street Theatre, and restoration efforts then and in 2010 have transformed the venue into what it is today. Now serving as a cultural hub for festivals, its resident theatre company Charleston Stage keeps the ticket window open with more than 100 performances each season.
Comedies, dramas, musicals, you name it—you can find a variety of performances in this intimate theater. Tucked away right off downtown Greenville’s Main Street, Center Stage offers a modern setting with low profile stage that lets the actors better engage with their audience.
As if you needed another reason to visit the famed Grand Strand, Alabama Theatre puts on the type of show you’d only expect to see in Vegas. Their long-running show “One” is nothing short of spectacular, with professional dancers, musicians, actors, and comedians filling the show’s entertainment agenda. The theatre also features shows outside of their headlining act, including comedians and musical acts.
As part of Clemson University’s campus, the Brooks Center plays home to the school’s theater ensemble, the Clemson Players, as well as other class acts from around the country. You can usually find a thorough mix of orchestras, plays, musicians, and singers throughout the school year.
While some theatre thrives on pure entertainment, the acts you’ll find at Trustus have a message to share. From political to personal statements, hot button issues, and opinions that just want to be expressed, the carefully-selected theatrical shows you can see at this modest theatre always leave their audience with a little something to ponder.
Small, intimate, professional—the Warehouse Theatre offers a variety of productions you can’t see anywhere else. When the actors and crew aren’t working on stage productions, they’re probably hosting The Upstate Shakespeare Festival at Falls Park or performing a variety of community outreach. Simply put, the Warehouse Theatre is true community theatre at its finest, but with the added benefit of professional hands and experience.
Myrtle Beach and the surrounding coastal towns offer seemingly infinite everything, including live entertainment. But the performances you’ll find at GTS Theatre aren’t like anything else you will see on the Grand Strand. With acts spanning a variety of decades, genres, dialects, and ideas, the hardest part will be deciding which one you want to see first (because let’s face it, you’ll probably want to go back for more).