Speigeltent is Dutch for “mirror tent,” a large traveling entertainment venue decorated with mirrors and stained glass. This mammoth wood and canvas creation provides an intimate opportunity for audience members to engage with artists and an entirely new space to showcase talent.
“We were looking for something that would allow us to stand apart during a crowded holiday season and complement our larger-scale shows in the main performance hall,” explained Lissa Frenkel, CEO of the Gaillard Center. She first experienced the Speigeltent years ago in Lower Manhattan and was drawn to the idea that it fit “Charleston’s reputation as a city with a historic bohemian underground scene and the community’s clear interest in well-designed spaces.”
It takes more than a week to set up and install the audio, lighting, power, staging, decor, and seating. Kellie Lawson, Director of Marketing and Communications, explained that each performance has a different seating map - from standing room only, to chairs and booths in the round.
Last year’s tent was extremely well received. “Many people were surprised at how old-world and glamorous it felt,” said Frenkel. With more family-oriented shows in the performance hall, she was able to focus on adult programming in this space, working with Spiegeltent collaborator, Underbelly, to bring 15 performances of Cabaret Royale, which features the best in circus, burlesque, and cabaret. Other performances under the big top include Australian cabaret star Meow Meow, and the second annual Homegrown and Nationally Known concert featuring Charleton Singleton.
“Over the past year, I have heard time and time again that audiences were excited about this more intimate venue, and surprised and delighted that the Gaillard Center was programming something a little more adventurous.” Lissa Frenkel, CEO