By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Spoleto Festival USA this season will be the largest ever, offering 160 performances by 45 artists and ensembles.
The internationally known arts festival founded in Charleston by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti begins Friday and runs through June 9.
Some of the performances will be staged at a venue that is new to Spoleto, the College of Charleston's TD Arena.
Events vary from a performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Tom Morris and the Handspring Puppet Company to a production of "Oedipus" by the Nottingham Theatre.
Then there is "The Intergalactic Nemesis," which the festival describes as a live-action graphic novel. Original comic book drawings are projected on a two-story screen while actors voice parts to accompanying sound effects.