Beaufort ’s fine arts scene is small but professional in outlook. Most performances are based in the nice new Performing Arts Center on the oak-lined campus of the University of South Carolina Beaufort (801 Carteret St., 843/521-4100).
A prime mover of the local performing arts scene is Beaufort Performing Arts, Inc. (www.uscb.edu ), formed by a mayoral task force in 2003 specifically to encourage arts and cultural development within the area. The most recent season, with performances at USCB’s Performing Arts Center, included performances by famed Celtic fiddler Natalie MacMaster, the Claremont Trio, and the Bee Gees. Ticket prices typically range $12–40.
Perhaps surprisingly for such a small place, Beaufort boasts its own full orchestra, the Beaufort Orchestra (1106 Carteret Street, 843/986-5400, www.beaufortorchestra.org ), which plays in the Performing Arts Center. A recent season included Paganini’s Violin Concerto in D, Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony No. 6, and “Beaufort Goes to Broadway.”
The closest place for quality live theatre is Hilton Head ; however, just across the bridge from Beaufort on Lady’s Island is the Sea Island Dinner Theatre in the little Sea Island Conference Center (178 Sam’s Point Rd., 843/522-3924, www.seaislandconferencecenter.com ).