The Performing Arts

Charleston’s major cultural venue is the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. (tel. 843/577-7183;, a 463-seat theater. The original was built in 1736 but burned down in the early 19th century, and the Planters Hotel (not related to the Planters Inn) was constructed around its ruins. In 1936, the theater was rebuilt in a new location. It’s the home of the Charleston Stage Company, a local not-for-profit theater group whose season runs from mid-September to May. Dock Street hosts performances ranging from Shakespeare to My Fair Lady. It’s most active during the Spoleto Festival USA in May and June. The box office (tel. 843/577-7183) is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and a half-hour before curtain, and Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra, 14 George St. (tel. 843/723-7528;, performs throughout the state, but its main venues are the Gaillard Auditorium and Charleston Southern University. The season runs from September to May.

The Black Fedora

This “comedy mystery theatre” at 164 Church St. is lots of fun for families, with two or three comic mysteries running most evenings (in play form). The Pirate Mystery Treasure Show is especially thrilling for little ones, while the hilarious Sherlock Holmes parody is more suitable for pre-teens and above. Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 for students, and $15 for children 12 and under. Visit or call tel. 843/937-6453 for the latest schedule. The book and gift shop on site is open Tuesday to Sunday noon to show time.

The Sounds of CharlestonThe best night out in the city is this must-see performance of gospel, Gershwin, music of the Civil War, light classics, and jazz—all the elements of Charleston’s rich musical stew. The Sounds of Charleston (tel. 800/838-3006; concert lasts around 90 minutes, with shows starting at 7pm. The schedule changes seasonally, but there is usually one show per week (less June to August). Tickets cost $28 for adults, $26 for seniors, $16 for students, and are free for children 12 and under. Get tickets online or at the any of the local Visitor Centers.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.