USC Upstate News

Shoestring Players At USC Upstate Update Logo To Reflect Its Evolution

10- 15- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - A little over 35 years ago, the Shoestring Players at the University of South Carolina Upstate held rehearsals on the front lawn of the campus and performances in the converted Rodeway Inn Bar and Grill. They worked hard to survive on shoestring budgets without compromising production values. Thus, the organization’s logo accurately reflected that endeavor…..a sneaker with loose shoestrings.

SSP Logo UnveilingBut over the years, the Shoestring Players evolved to higher levels both in reputation and performance facilities. A typical season now consists of at least one studio production and four shows that are performed in the University’s state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center Theatre. With this explosion of growth and evolution of the theatre program, it came time to update the Shoestring Players’ logo to better reflect the current stage of the theatre group.

"As the level of sophistication of the Shoestring Players has grown, we have outgrown the logo that has served us well for so long,” said Jimm Cox, chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies and director of the theatre program at USC Upstate. “While the new logo reflects our continuing connection with the idea that theatre should be accessible to everyone who chooses to attend, the image has its roots deep in the history of the theatre and gives us a much more sophisticated and attractive image."

 J. Caleb Clark, a graduate of USC Upstate who currently resides in Gaffney, designed the Commedia dell'Arte mask for the new Shoestring Players logo. According to Cox, Commedia dell'Arte was theatre of the common man with the actors often traveling in wagons and setting up anywhere and anytime to perform under any circumstances. Clark used the bold colors of purple and green in his design to depict a mask that would be authentic to the early 17th Century. This wasn’t Clark’s only design project for the Shoestring Players as he also designed the cover of the program for the S.C. Theatre Association Convention when USC Upstate hosted the event in 2007.

The Shoestring Players no longer have to practice on the front lawn as the University now has state-of-the-art facilities, which certainly aid in the recruitment of prospective theatre students and faculty members.

The Proscenium Theatre is an intimate, 450-seat gem that offers continental seating for unobstructed views, state-of-the-art lighting system, hydraulic pit lift, and acoustically tunable chamber. The Studio Theatre, which is adjacent to the Proscenium Theatre, has 100-seat capacity and is used as a smaller performance venue, rehearsal space and classroom space.

For additional information, contact Jimm Cox, chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies and director of the theatre program at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5697 or