Category Archives: Apprentice Blog

American Stage shines a light on 40 years

By | 21st Century Voices: NEW PLAY FESTIVAL, Apprentice Blog, as40 | No Comments

Tato_Castillo_headshot_SmChoosing American Stage; January 19th, 2018:
By Tato Catillo
In 2007 I was a senior in High School completely immersed in Theatre and planning to study it in College starting the fall. This was also the year I got an opportunity with American Stage as an Intern. The Theatre was located in a smaller building which housed offices, work spaces and an intimate black box stage. Everyone in the staff was completely new to me, and though I also didn’t really know how I would spend my days while I worked there, I was excited to begin the experience to come. Luckily for me this Theatre had plenty for me to learn and do.

I sat on a chair close to the Directors during rehearsals for which I happily gave my undivided attention. I worked as an intern during OTHELLO, 9 PARTS OF DESIRE and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. The level of creativity and passion I saw in those involved in those productions impressed me to a degree I couldn’t yet comprehend. I got to see professionals in their element which gave me something to aspire to in my own career.

That was ten years ago and I am back, this time as an Apprentice. When I heard that American Stage had an apprenticeship program I immediately decided upon being a part of it. I had no hesitation as I had previously witnessed the powerful works that this company produces and I wanted to take part in it again.

I have gained new training and experience since my internship season but I’ve also grown more comfortable with myself and as an artist. This program has been exactly what I need to grow professionally and I think any young actor would be very lucky to have the same experience at the beginning of their career.

When I returned as an apprentice for the 2017-18 season I walked into a totally different Theatre. The energy of this company has changed but its mission to create community is the same. The stage is a completely new version of the old one. It is capable … Read the rest


By | A RAISIN IN THE SUN, American Legacy Series, Apprentice Blog, Mainstage | No Comments


A RAISIN IN THE SUN runs January 24 – February 18, 2018. Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking family drama is the first play in our American Legacy series! Tickets at | #asRAISIN #asLEGACYSERIES

Alex1WebBy Alexandria Crawford, American Stage 2016/2017 Acting & Production Apprentice Alumni
​Former Apprentice Takeover! & Why we need RAISIN now; January 12th, 2018:
Hello, everyone! My name is Alexandria Crawford. Last season here at American Stage, I was a member of the inaugural class of Acting and Production Apprentices at American Stage. You may remember me as Martha Loomis Pentecost in the last August Wilson Century Cycle Play, JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE. Since finishing up the apprenticeship in August, I was blessed to be asked to stay with the theatre as a teaching artist. It has been an absolute joy teaching theatre to young artists and being apart of their creative endeavors. For me it all comes full circle; when I was a child, my love for theatre began here taking classes with American Stage Education. It’s pretty cool how life works out that way.
Currently, the theatre is in rehearsals for A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry. It is the first in their new American Legacy Series. I am so excited for this production, as it happens to be one of my favorite plays. So much to the point, that last season when our Artistic Director mentioned the possibility of doing this play next season, I became one of its biggest advocates. The play, whose title comes from a line in the Langston Hughes poem, HARLEM, is about the Younger family living in the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. They are about to receive a $10,000 life insurance check after the death of Mr. Younger. Each family member has a different dream in how they would like to use the money. As the play progresses, you see how those dreams clash with one another and how it affects them all as a family. For audiences, It leaves open the question that Langston Hughes asks in his poem HARLEM “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up … Read the rest


By | Apprentice Blog, Holiday, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE | No Comments

Tickets at | #asWonderfulLife

Apprentice christmasBy Kody Hopkins, Courtney McLaren, and Tarilabo Koripamo, American Stage 2017/2018 Acting & Production Apprentices
​A Very Apprentice Christmas; Dec. 22nd, 2017:
During our run of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, we’ve had some apprentices out in the lobby to help establish a mood of holiday cheer, as well as talk to our guests about all the exciting new initiatives we have going on at American Stage. Yesterday, I sat down with two of my fellow apprentices, Courtney McLaren and Tarilabo Koripamo to discuss their experiences so far. From crazy coincidences to how awesome our Producing Artistic Director is (spoiler: she’s really awesome), we discuss it all. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

[Kody]: During IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, we’ve gotten the opportunity to be representatives of the Apprentice Program as well as American Stage’s Advancement team. How has that experience been for you?
Tari: It’s been enlightening for me… to have conversation with different people and listen more than you would normally because you’re trying to find a connection with every person. When I first started, I was thinking, “…okay, the goal is to introduce them to our gifting options, the different subscription options, why to sign the 40 FORWARD wall…” But sometimes, it turns out, you just listen to them talk about their memories of coming to theater, or sometimes it’s their first time, or they talk about how lovely the show is. And just that conversation, getting into their mind and learning how theater has impacted them is enough for me.

Courtney: Yeah, I like that you get to listen to people talk about why they love theater which brings me back to how special it is what we do and what a blessing it is to be here and be involved in theater. It’s a really fun experience, getting to talk to people, getting to know who they are and how they came to the theater. Last night … Read the rest


By | 17/18 Season - WE THE PEOPLE, Apprentice Blog, Mainstage | No Comments

Artwork by Laura Spencer and Joey Clay Photography in collaboration with the American Stage Marketing Team

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING now playing through
December 10, 2017.

Tickets at


Check out Opening Night photos here!



By Kody Hopkins, American Stage 2017/2018 Acting & Production Apprentice
Behind-the-scenes (Nov. 3rd, 2017):
One of the major draws for me when applying to be an American Stage Apprentice was the scope of the program. While I am a performer by nature, I quickly gained an interest and respect for all aspects of theatre making upon entering university. I put myself to work in a little bit of everything: I sewed costumes, took lighting design, wrote some plays, directed several scenes, and even house managed two productions. The stage always feels like home to me (and I’m glad to be returning to it in MUCH ADO!), but I realized that being a part of everything it touches is what makes me feel whole. So, when I found out just how MUCH I would get to put my hands on here at American Stage, I was excited… and maybe a bit overwhelmed.

Because of this program, I am afforded the ability to peek behind the curtain, to see how the proverbial sausage gets made. It’s inspiring, if not always easy. From the design reveals at our first rehearsal, to making marketing posts I can’t believe the boss green-lit, to putting together the set and cabling the lights (you know you’re committed when you’re crawling on your hands and knees under the stage…), I get to see my small, but noticeable touch on the final product. Jack of all trades, master of none, I like to say. All of this is fueled by my passion for the profession. But, how does anyone else get to know about any of this? About the late night light hangs with lo-fi music and Master Electrician Chris Baldwin, or early morning bagels before tearing down a set you helped put up?

Well, in the words of Beatrice, there is “a very even way”: American Stage’s BEHIND-THE-SCENES series. A few weeks … Read the rest