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Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center announces inaugural season

FLORENCE – The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center will launch its first season with five different series that include Broadway shows, concerts, dance, family oriented shows and a variety series as well as a wide range of acts in the Black Box Theatre. 

From plays to musicals, the Center will host an impressive lineup of musicians and performers including bluegrass, classical, Celtic and swing, dance styles ranging from tap to modern to classical ballet, family-friendly shows that showcase storytelling, masks and marionettes, and a bit of theatre and comedy thrown in for good measure.

“The opening season of performances at the FMU Performing Arts Center promises to be ambitious and delightfully diverse. It includes nationally renowned artists as well as regional touring companies and student performance groups. We are confident that this program of events will accomplish what good academic theatre should – entertainment and education,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “Laura Sims and her staff are providing us with a fine inaugural year.”

Some of the season’s highlights include: 

  • In the Broadway series the Color Purple based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg.
  • In the Concert Series Grammy-winning singer Kathy Mattea. 
  • In the Dance Series Ailey II an exceptional company that merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of outstanding choreographers.
  • In the Family Series the highly animated Garry Krinsky brings his non-stop energy to the stage. 
  • In the Variety Series Second City’s Laugh Out Loud tour showcases its entirely unique way of creating and performing comedy. 
  • In the Black Box Theatre 12 different shows. 

Patrons can receive a discount by subscribing to a series, or they can purchase tickets for individual shows if seats are available after series sales are complete.

The FMU Department of Fine Arts will have shows featuring its Concert Band, Jazz and String Ensembles, its Theatre program, and its Concert Choir and Cut Time Show Choir.

In addition to these performances tickets are available to the Florence Symphony Orchestra’s season which will make the center its permanent home. Also the Master Works Choir will be a resident company in the facility. 

The 68,000-square-foot center can seat 850 in the Mainstage Auditorium and up to 125 in the Black Box Theatre. As an educational facility, the center houses classrooms and office space for the FMU Department of Fine Arts. In addition, the building houses offices for the Florence Symphony, the FMU Music Industry faculty and the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation. 

Development and construction of the FMU Performing Arts Center was made possible by the generosity of the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation, the state of South Carolina, the city of Florence and several private benefactors including BB&T, McLeod Health, Adele Kassab and others throughout the community. 

Tickets may be purchased at, via telephone at (843) 661-4444, and at the FMU Performing Arts Center Box Office. Telephone and personal ticket sales are available Monday through Friday between 12-5 p.m. Subject to availability, tickets may be available for purchase at the door.  


2011-2012 Season at a Glance

By Series

Broadway and More Series:
October 13, 2011 (7:30pm) – S’Wonderful
November 18, 2011 (7:30pm) – In the Heights
January 17, 2012 (7:30pm) – The Color Purple
February 2, 2012 (7:30pm) – Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway

Concert Series – sponsored by Progress Energy:
November 11, 2011 (7:30pm) – Kathy Mattea
March 4, 2012 (7:30pm) – Celtic Crossroads
April 5, 2012 (7:30pm) – Synergy Brass Quintet
May 17, 2012 (7:30pm) – Steve Lippia-Simply Sinatra
Dance Series:
October 1, 2011 (7:30pm) – North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble-Good Vibrations
November 1, 2011 (7:30pm) – Taylor 2
March 1, 2012 (7:30pm) – Ailey II
April 9, 2012 (7:30pm) – Moscow Festival Ballet-Chopiniana/Romeo and Juliet
Family Series:
September 23 (9am/11am) & September 24, 2011 (2pm) – Garry Krinsky’s Toying with Science
November 29 (6:30pm) & November 30, 2011 (9am/11am) – San Jose Taiko
January 31 (6:30pm) & February 1, 2012 (9am/11am) – Harriet Tubman and the Underground
March 22 (6:30pm) & March 23, 2012 (9am/11:30am) – Jason and the Argonauts
Variety Series:
October 7, 2011 (7:30pm) – The Wonder Bread Years
December 1 (7:30pm) & December 2, 2011 (7:30pm) – It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL
   Radio Theatre
February 10, 2012 (7:30pm) – The Second City “Laugh Out Loud” Tour
May 26, 2012 (7:30pm) – War Bonds: The Songs & Letters of World War II
Black Box Events:
September 29, 2011 (7:30pm) – Minton Sparks
October 14, 2011 (7:30pm) – Duo Clarion
October 29, 2011 (7:30pm) – Crosswinds Trio-Winds Across Time
November 12, 2011 (2pm) – Michael Cooper-Masked Marvels & Wondertales
January 14, 2012 (2pm/7:30pm) – Andy Offutt Irwin-Kid Entrapment (afternoon)/Book Every
   Saturday for a Funeral (evening)
January 27, 2012 (7:30pm) – Barry Smith-Every Job I’ve Ever Had
February 11, 2012 (7:30pm) – An Evening with Blues Master Scott Ainslie
March 10, 2012 (2pm/7:30pm) – The Cashore Marionettes-Simple Gifts (afternoon)/Life in
   Motion (evening)
April 28, 2012 (2pm) – Robbi K-Osebo’s Drum
May 10, 2012 (7:30pm) – Catie Curtis
Department of Fine Arts Events:
October 25, 2011 (7:30pm) – Concert Band
November 17, 2011 (7:30pm) – Jazz Ensemble
February 7, 2012 (7:30pm) – Concert Band
February 20-24 (7:30pm) & February 25, 2012 (2pm) – Theatre Department-Back Back Back
April 12, 2012 (7:30pm) – Jazz Ensemble
April 15, 2012 (7:30pm) – String Ensemble
April 17, 2012 (7:30pm) – Concert Band
April 22, 2012 (3pm) – Concert Choir/Cut Time Show Choir


Last Published: October 21, 2011 9:00 AM
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