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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

"Away" by Michael Gow at the CPE | September 22-25

The Center for Performance Experiment will present Michael Gow's beloved play, "Away," September 22-25. Admission is free.

The UofSC Dept. of Theatre and Dance


by Michael Gow
Directed by Steven Pearson

September 22-25, 2016

Center for Performance Experiment
718 Devine St.
(between Huger and Gadsden Streets, near the Colonial Life Arena)

Show Times:

September 22-24: 8pm
September 25: 3pm

Free Admission

Tickets available only at the door.  Arrive early as seating is limited.

One of the most widely produced Australian plays of all time, Away centers on three families in 1968, each taking a beach holiday during Christmas (the Australian summer) as a remedy to personal crises.  The families’ story threads eventually interconnect to form a narrative about human responses to death, racism, class, and relationships.  Away received the New South Wales Premier Literary Award and Green Room Award in 1986, and was honored with the Australian Writers’ Guild Major Award in 1987.

The production is the first play undertaken by a brand new class of graduate-level acting students, who have just begun the first semester of a three-year Masters in Fine Arts program. “They’re a terrific group of actors,” says director Steven Pearson, who also heads the MFA Acting program.  “They’re curious and already working with real energy and focus.  I’m really delighted with them.”

Cast in the production are first-year MFA actors Kimberly Braun, Gabriela Castillo, Kaleb Edley, Kimberly Gaughan, Libby Hawkins, Devon Schovanec, Donavon St. Andre, and Nick Stewart

Established in 2009, the Center for Performance Experiment (CPE) serves as both a studio and performance space for the MFA actors, known for staging new and traditional plays in often-unique ways.  Pearson says Away will be a typically “spare” production in the CPE, placing emphasis on the script and the acting, and including just enough scenic and costume elements to “engage the imagination of the audience and actors alike.”

Woven into the play are references to the works of Shakespeare (including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and King Lear), which Pearson says gives the play a captivating mix of “realistic elements and magical realism.” 

“It’s theatrical as well as being a nice drama.  It’s funny and also touching.”  He adds with a laugh, “We’re covering all the bases.”

For more information on Away or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at