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Charleston Performing Arts

Charleston's cultural heritage goes back a long way. By the late 1730s the city had a music society and the Dock Street Theatre, the first building in the Colonies designed solely for theatrical performances. Today the Footlight Players perform in Dock Street Theatre at Church and Queen streets. Opera in Charleston also is a tradition: The first opera performance in America was presented here in 1735. Two centuries later George Gershwin wrote the opera “Porgy and Bess” in Cabbage Row, immortalized as Catfish Row in DuBose Heyward's novel “Porgy.”

Gaillard Municipal Auditorium and Exhibition Hall, 77 Calhoun St., is home to the Charleston Ballet Theatre and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. For information phone (843) 723-7334. The 2,300-seat Performing Arts Center in the North Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, 5001 Coliseum Dr., offers concerts and a variety of theatrical productions; phone (843) 529-5000.