St. Petersburg playhouse American Stage is coming back in a big way this fall, but first, it’s closing down the “Reimagine” 2020-21 season with the premiere of “The People Downstairs,” which was supposed to be on stage in March 2020 (thanks, Covid). Instead, Best of the Bay-winning local playwright Natalie Symons’ poignant comedy—directed by Chris Crawford—is onstage starting Sept. 15.
But that’s not all happening for the company whose home stage is at 163 3rd St. N in St. Petersburg.
Last weekend, Stephanie Gularte—CEO and Producing Artistic Director at American Stage—said her formal farewell in a letter to supporters after serving the community for 6 years.
“Over the years, the audiences of American Stage put their trust in me and made it possible for us to build a bolder, more vibrant, and more resilient, professional live theatre delivering powerful performances and quality arts education to more people in our community than ever before,” she wrote.
Gularte also introduced American Stage’s new Producing Artistic Director, Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj.
“As soon as I had the opportunity to meet with and get to know Rajendra, I knew he was the right leader for this next chapter at American Stage. Rajendra’s experience, talent, and vision, combined with his warmth and compassion, make him an undeniable force,” Gularte added.
Current safety protocols, updated May 28, include social distancing, extra cleaning and hand sanitizing stations.
All staff, volunteers and audience members are asked to use the CDC screening guide to self-assess before attending an in-person performance. Masks are not required.
See the American Stage 2021-22 season below or visit americanstage.org for more information.
- The People Downstairs Revolving around an isolated father and daughter, “At its heart, this play is about people who, by society’s standards, should end up alone, but through pure and simple human connection, they find one another.” Sept.15-Oct. 3
- Around the World in 80 Days The classic Jules Verne adapted for the stage about a guy who attempts to travel the world because of a bet. Oct. 27-Nov 21
- Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol The holiday tale of redemption, and proof a person can change if visited by ghosts. And is it Christmas if you don’t sob over Tiny Tim? Dec. 8-Jan. 2
- School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play Set in Ghana, this comedy—with not so funny themes of racism and bullying—shows truly how vicious and, well, mean, teenage girls can be. Feb. 2-27
- 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival Live-streaming event showcasing four new plays “exploring themes of mental illness, wellness and resilience.” Jan. 7-9,14-16
- Footloose: The Musical The annual “American Stage in the Park” brings the iconic ‘80s film to life with even more music than the Kevin Bacon version. April 6-May 8
- The Tempest Shakespeare’s tragic-comedy set on an island that pairs magic and betrayal—you know, that silly bard stuff. June 29-July 31
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