GREENVILLE, January 21, 2020 – Thanks to grant funding from Hollingsworth Funds, South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) announced today that they have named Matt Giles as Co-Artistic Director of the organization. Giles will officially join SCCT in March 2020 and will serve alongside SCCT’s current Artistic and Education Director, Betsy Bisson, for a period of one year before becoming sole Artistic Director. At that time, Bisson will remain as the organization’s Education Director, narrowing her focus on growing and enhancing SCCT’s robust education programming.
As Co-Artistic Directors, Giles and Bisson will share responsibilities for setting the artistic direction for the theatre; hiring, managing and evaluating artistic personnel including directors, performers and designers; serving as spokespersons for the organization’s artistic purpose; fostering the continued development of good relations with other cultural and community organizations; along with the executive director, setting the strategic and financial objectives of SCCT; and maintaining the artistic and educational integrity of SCCT’s programs.
A native of Upstate South Carolina and a Wofford College alumnus, Giles joins SCCT from Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis—the nation’s largest theatre for multigenerational audiences, where he currently serves as General Manager. Prior to his time at CTC, Giles was the Associate Producing Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre. He is also an accomplished director, with more than 30 directorial credits to his name.
Giles will direct on SCCT’s MainStage as well, beginning with Curious George: The Golden Meatball in April 2020—SCCT’s final production as a resident company of the Peace Center.
"It has been a dream of mine to return to the South, and to have the opportunity to do so at South Carolina Children's Theatre is almost too good to be true. I have such a passion for the work they do on their stages, in their classrooms and throughout the community. I'm excited to partner with the staff as we move into our new home on Augusta Street and continue to grow an organization that means so much to me and to the Upstate of South Carolina."
Throughout his career, Giles has worked with SCCT as an actor, director and teaching artist, most recently playing ‘Snail’ in SCCT’s production of A Year With Frog & Toad, in Spring 2019.
“We are thrilled for Matt to become an official part of the SCCT family,” said SCCT Artistic and Education Director Betsy Bisson. “Through his time spent with us over the years, he has gained an understanding and appreciation of the organization and stands ready to leverage the experience and relationships he has built throughout his career, to help SCCT fulfill our vision of becoming a model for children’s theatres across the Southeast.”
“Matt’s impressive management and artistic experience as well as his strong track record of creating successful community partnerships offer SCCT the solid leadership needed to sustain us into our next 30 years and beyond,” said SCCT Executive Director Debbie Bell. “As we look to the future, I find myself reflecting on the work Betsy Bisson has done as Artistic Director of the theatre. Her dedication has been invaluable to us, and her leadership and vision for the theatre remain an important asset. I am so excited to see these two come together and to see the things I know they’ll do for this theatre and this community!”
About South Carolina Children’s Theatre Since 1987, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in South Carolina through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, SCCT produces and performs five high-quality, live theatre MainStage performances featuring children and adults, as well as four additional shows and other special events on the theatre’s 2nd Stage. SCCT offers professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18 and provides educational outreach to low-income, special needs and hospitalized children. The mission of South Carolina Children's Theatre is to educate and stimulate the minds and imaginations of young people and their families through participation in high-quality theatre, year-round education and accessible outreach.
SCCT is temporarily located at 1200 Pendleton Street in Greenville. In May 2020, the organization will move into its permanent home at 153 Augusta Street.
To learn more about South Carolina Children’s Theatre, visit www.scchildrenstheatre.org.