Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

Staged Reading of "The Bee-Man of Crighton County" at Lab Theatre

The UofSC Department of Theatre and Dance will host a premiere staged reading of The Bee-Man of Crighton County by incoming student Ryan Stevens, July 25, 2015, 7pm, at the Lab Theatre.

The UofSC Dept. of Theatre & Dance
will host

A Staged Reading of

by Ryan Stevens
Directed by Grace Ann Roberts

Saturday, July 25
Talk-Back to be held after the performance.

Lab Theatre
1400 Wheat St.

Free Admission

In Stevens’ offbeat comedy, Julie, a woman in her late twenties, has recently returned to living with her parents in the small (fictional) town of Sheol, SC, after her attempt at owning a business has failed. As she tries to rationalize being back in the place she’d tried to escape, she finds herself wrapped up in the exploits of colorful townsfolk who are preparing a grand celebration of Sheol’s 300th anniversary, and are determined to do so with the help of Julie’s secretive neighbor (the “Bee-Man” of the title), whose cloistered, bee-filled home may carry the greatest secrets of the town’s history.

“It’s a comedy about failure,” says Stevens, a 2015 graduate of the university’s English department who will return in the fall to begin studies for an MA in Theatre. “How do we define success and failure, which are both incredibly subjective, and accept that sometimes you have to go back literally to where you started to get a new perspective?”

“The whole reason bees are so prevalent in the story,” he adds, “is that they have a very complex hierarchy. Every part of the colony has a role to play, and if one part of that system goes away, the whole system can be ruined. Like a bee colony, how do communities adapt and change when its inhabitants might want to leave or might not be proud of where they’ve come from?”

Stevens says it was apprehension about his own future that inspired the story. “I was writing it around the time I was hearing back from a lot of graduate schools, and in my head was the option of moving back home… and wondering how I could move on if I had to start back over.”

Stevens' original play, Player King, a comedy written in Shakespearean-style verse about a theatre company staging a production of Hamlet, was produced at The Lab Theatre in April, 2015.

A cast of university students and community actors, including director Roberts as Julie, will bring Stevens' new play to life. A talk-back with the writer, director and cast will be held after the performance.

For more information about The Bee-Man of Crighton County or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by email at or via phone at 803.777.9353.