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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • MFA Actors 2018

MFA Actor Solo Shows

The University of SC Department of Theatre and Dance will present Where the Roots Take Hold, a showcase of original solo works written, directed and performed by second-year graduate acting students, February 18-20 at the Center for Performance Experiment.

The eight original pieces will be presented in two groups of four on February 18 and 19.  On February 18, “Group A” will perform at 7pm and “Group B” will perform at 8:30pm.  On February 19, “Group B” will perform at 7pm and “Group A” will perform at 8:30pm.  All eight works will be presented as a marathon performance on February 20 at 7pm.  The Center for Performance Experiment is located at 718 Devine St., between Huger and Gadsden Streets, near the Colonial Life Arena.  Admission is free.  

UofSC Master of Fine Arts in Acting students undergo a three-year training program, with the first two years spent in intensive study and practice at the university, and the third year spent on professional internship.  The solo works are developed in class during the students’ second year, and serve as a basis for their thesis.  

Theatre Professor Robyn Hunt says the solo show project is a crucial part of the MFA in Acting curriculum. “It asks that the actor work alone and not in a collective,” she says.  “That he or she be playwright, then designer, editor, director, and, finally, actor, rehearsing and performing alone. It asks that the actor be not only an interpretive artist, but also an originator.”

“Being able to write and devise our own show really helps us to develop a sense of what we can create and own, and where we’d like to go in the future,” says second-year MFA actor Nick Stewart.  “Everyone is finding a strength that they have.  We’re finding ourselves through our own work.”

The eight MFA actors performing are Kimberly Braun, Gabriela Castillo, Kaleb Edward Edley, Kimberly Gaughan, Libby Hawkins, Darrell Johnston, Nicolas Stewart, and Donavon St. Andre.

“It’s exhilarating work,” says Professor Hunt, “because these artists are fully independent, pure inventors, and the final arbiters of what will be seen.”  

For more information about Where the Roots Take Hold or the theatre program at the University of SC, contact Kevin Bush phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at

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