University of South Carolina

Lab Theatre to perform ‘Spinning Into Butter’ Feb. 4-7

The University of South Carolina will perform award-winning playwright Rebecca Gilman’s “Spinning Into Butter” Feb. 4 - 7 at the Lab Theatre.

Tickets to each 8 p.m. performance are $5 and available at the door only.

Directed by Lab Theatre production manager and instructor of acting David Britt, “Spinning Into Butter” is about an unprecedented incident of racism on the campus of Belmont College in Vermont. When a black student begins receiving racist letters, the college administration must take control of the situation before it gets out of hand. Sarah Daniels, the liberal dean of students, is forced to face her demons of racism.

The title of the play refers to the children’s folk tale, “Little Black Sambo,” in which two tigers who threaten the title character begin arguing and chasing each other around a tree. They chase each other so fast that they soon become a yellow blur, which Sambo is cleverly able to scoop up and eat (on a stack of pancakes) as butter.

The “Sambo” story, originally published in 1899 featuring a dark-skinned Indian character, became controversial for subsequent publications that depicted stereotypes and caricatures of African-Americans.

“I thought the setting of the play, a college campus, would be appealing to our student audience,” said Britt. “I also think it’s an important piece that will makes the audience think about how what we say is sometimes very different from what we do and how we make people feel.”

A film version of “Spinning Into Butter,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Beau Bridges and Miranda Richardson, was released in select U.S. theatres and on home video in 2009.

For more information on “Spinning Into Butter” or other Lab Theatre productions, contact Kevin Bush at 803-777-9353.

‘Spinning Into Butter’

  • What: Play about racism on a college campus in Vermont
  • When: Feb. 4 - 7, 8 p.m. each night
  • Where: Lab Theatre
  • Cast: Adrienne Lee (Sarah Daniels), John Bresnihan (Patrick Chibas), Jake Mesches (Ross Collins), John Rhodes (Burton Strauss), Melissa Goodfellow (Catherine Kenney), Chad Tolson (Mr. Meyers), William Vaughn (Greg Sullivan)
  • Crew: Zach Kennedy (stage manager), Kasey Beard (assistant director)

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 02/02/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 02/02/10 @ 12:45 PM | Permalink