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South Carolina Public Radio brings you coverage of Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, May 25 through June 10, with reports throughout the day on the artists, events, and organizers of both Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto.Listen to Performance Today and Sonatas and Soundscapes each week day for previews of upcoming performances and guest interviews.

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk Works Its Magic on the Actors as Well as the Audience

Daisy Maywood and Marc Antolin in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
Steve Tanner
Daisy Maywood and Marc Antolin in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall—the flying lovers of Vitebsk—are immortalized as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.

Cornish theater company Kneehigh, whose Tristan and Yseult had a sold-out run at the Festival in 2006, brings its signature blend of original music, whimsical charm, and utterly mesmerizing theatrical magic back to Charleston. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk shows the young couple as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. Emma Rice’s production is drawn in a theatrical language as fluid as Chagall’s painting and woven throughout with music and dance inspired by Russian Jewish tradition.

Marc Antolin and Daisy Maywood play Marc and Bella Chagall in this production. They talk with Jeanette Guinn about the lives of the Chagalls, the unique form of the play, and working with director Emma Rice.

Jeanette Guinn is a professor in the Arts Management Program in College of Charleston’s School of the Arts and is pleased to have former students working in the US, Europe and Australia. After interning at the South Carolina Arts Commission during graduate school, Jeanette spent 25 great years working as an arts manager.