With the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the Trustus Theatre enters its 32nd season as a staple of Columbia culture and performing arts.
At 520 Lady St., the theater is not far from USC’s campus and remains the heart of the Columbia-area arts scene.
“Trustus Theater is committed to bringing fresh and engaging work to the Capital City, and this upcoming season holds true to that mission," Trustus artistic director Chad Henderson said. "We’re also endeavoring to making Trustus an artistic and entertainment hot spot by providing Columbia audiences with big name musicals like 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and 'Rock of Ages,' along with stirring new works like Anna Ziegler’s 'BOY' and Robert Askin’s Tony-nominated play 'Hand to God.'"
The theater is also making efforts to make its shows appealing and affordable for college students.
“Trustus will also be lowering main stage admissions on Thursdays and Sundays this season, as well as continuing our student discount for student reservations," Henderson said. "We know that students are strapped for cash."
In addition, the theater's comedy series features shows from the Loaded Late Night Sketch Comedy troupe and TOAST improv. These shows are different from traditional plays, with the goal of attracting college students.
With the upcoming presidential election, politics have been a hot topic of conversation and of artistic parody — including a comedy sketch that Trustus Theatre will present.
“Tail! Spin!” is being produced in the Trustus Side Door Theatre during September and highlights past political downfalls in a comedic manner.
“This show tells the story of real politicians (Mark Sanford included) who have dealt with sex scandals," Henderson said. "The best part is, the play is written verbatim from the actual emails, tweets, social media posts, and interviews from the politicians and those involved."
The theater is also completing its performance of a trilogy of plays entitled "The Brother/Sister Plays," with the third show, "Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet," being produced this season. Based on Yoruban cosmology, the religious practice of those in southwestern Nigeria, the plays takes place in the fictional community of San Pere.
“The third installment focuses on a young man named Marcus who is in search of his personal and sexual identity while being an African-American in the South,” Henderson said.
With classic shows and new performances, the Trustus Theatre has an eventful year ahead — a year that is sure to provide quality entertainment for students and members of the Columbia community alike.