By the 2019/2020 ASFWD Apprentice Cohort

FIVE TIMES AROUND follows the apprentices as they operate in a world where the only connection they have is on a Zoom call. They meet up, tell their stories and share experiences from their lives. This creates an oasis for these young people, as the world they know is changing around them. Join these five artists and creators as they navigate this new world, laughing and reflecting while doing so.

“Each year, the American Stage apprentice program culminates in the performance of an original work that amplifies the powerful voices of the next generation of theatre professionals. This year’s apprentice cohort has had the unprecedented experience of seeing live theatre as we know it come to a halt due to the global pandemic. We are very proud that these young theatre makers have persevered with an innovative path to share their story and connect with our community.” -Stephanie Gularte, CEO/Producing Artistic Director 

Run Time: Approximately 1 hour. 

Age Recommendation: Recommended for 12+. Some adult language and situations.


Monday, August 17, 2020; Episode 1: Tip of the Iceberg

Tuesday, August 18, 2020; Episode 2: The Monsters Inside

Wednesday, August 19, 2020; Episode 3: Five’s Company

Thursday, August 20, 2020; Episode 4: Where Does Your Hope Come From?

Friday, August 21, 2020; Episode 5: Our Numbers Are Growing

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About ASFWD: As an arts leader, American Stage is committed to engaging and guiding the next era of theatre artists and arts audiences, administrators and advocates. The ASFWD Apprenticeship program provides on-the-job training from theatre professionals and valuable hands-on experience. The Next Generation programs shape young people as individuals, while also shaping the future of Tampa Bay, by cultivating an engaged community and a creative and competent workforce.

A Virtual Release

Coming to YouTube

August 17 – 21

Daily at Noon

Lyle Sweppenheiser (Director) is from Factoryville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a BA in Theatre Arts. In his time at York, he played Louis XVI in MARIE ANTOINETTE by David Adjmi and Charles/ William in OR by Liz Duffy Adams. He also directed THIRST by Eugene O’Neill & James Franco and ME: AN UNAUTHORIZED SATIRE by Kevin Broccoli. He got his start in theatre education as a teaching artist at Baltimore Center Stage. After seeing how powerful arts education can be, Lyle knew he wanted to continue to pursue it, which is what brought him to American Stage for the season as the Education and Outreach Apprentice. Some of his favorite playwrights are Tennessee Williams, Sarah Kane and Rajiv Joseph. His life changed when Blockbuster was going out of business and on a whim, he bought a copy of Boogie Nights. If you see him with headphones in, it is very likely he is listening to Wu-Tang Clan, The Velvet Underground, or Gram Parsons; or something in between. When he is having a bad day, he always looks to Charlie Chaplin to cheer him up.

Connect with Lyle: Email 

Alyssa Baumgardner (Producer, Marketing) is an artist and administrator who is passionate about creating bold, accessible, limitless theatre. She graduated with honors and a meritorious thesis from The University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Musical Theatre. Soon after starting college, Alyssa fell in love with administration, directing and producing. She worked as an assistant director, dramaturge and dialect coach for productions at UNC and The Little Theatre of the Rockies as well as directing and self-producing her own productions of MEDEA and THE SEAGULL. During her senior year, she served as the artistic director for The Underground Theatre Project, a student group that helps develop and produce new student work, and was awarded the David and Dawn Grapes Director’s Award for excellence in theatre. After graduation she joined the team at American Stage as their inaugural arts administration apprentice where she honed her skills in development, marketing and company management. Alyssa will be continuing her professional development at Steppenwolf Theatre Company as their development apprentice. 

Connect with Alyssa: WebsiteEmailLinkedinInstagramTwitter

Kianna Jackson (Choreographer, Sound Design) is an Acting & Production Apprentice from Fort Myers, FL. She recently graduated from Florida Southern College and received a BFA in Theatre Performance with a minor in Communications. Some of her favorite roles throughout the years of performing have been: Brooke Ashton in NOISES OFF, Vibrata in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and Ensemble Dancer in KISS ME, KATE. When not performing she loves dabbling in various creative things: photography, writing, trying Pinterest recipes, and playing guitar. She is excited for audiences to see the work she created with some of her favorite people and new lifelong friends. After the apprenticeship, she plans to keep pursuing her love for screen acting along with theatre in the central Florida area. My work in this piece is dedicated to the love of my life: Nikko. Thanks to my family, Tom, Zach, and Harry Styles for everything. Be happy and be kind! 

Connect with Kianna: Linkedin | Instagram 

Skye Lindberg (Choreographer, Publicity) is thrilled to be an Acting and Production Apprentice with American Stage for their 2019-2020 Season. A Washington DC/Virginia native, sunny St. Petersburg has been a fabulous place to pursue her passions with an incredible theatre. She has most recently appeared virtually as Luce/Officer in COMEDY OF ERRORS with American Stage’s Virtual Stage. Other favorite credits include Paulette in LEGALLY BLONDE (Small Town Stars Theater Company), Valet in NO EXIT (Dark Horse Theatre Company), Beth in MUSICAL THERAPY (Capital Fringe Festival, Best Musical Winner), and Nicole in WE FOUND THE WILD THINGS (Who What Where Theatre Collective). She is a graduate of George Mason University and holds a BA in Theater, with a Dance Minor. She previously served as the Media Relations Associate at Arena Stage. Skye has been thankful to learn and grow at American Stage, and is so excited for you to see FIVE TIMES AROUND! She sends love to her friends, family, and her American Stage family! Keep an eye out for her next steps, by following along on social media and her website!

Connect with Skye: WebsiteEmailLinkedin | Instagram

John Perez (Scribe) is a graduate of the University of West Florida (BFA Musical Theatre) and could not be more excited to have joined the American Stage team as an Acting & Production Apprentice for the 19-20 Season! Selected credits include Che (EVITA), Piragua Guy (IN THE HEIGHTS), Husband/CPA (SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE), Mitch Mahoney & Barfee (SPELLING BEE), Man 2 (SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD) and Ewart/Barbershop (THE MUSIC MAN). Over the course of this year, we’ve endured a hurricane, a pandemic, and a number of personal struggles. But those challenges are exactly what shows the resilience of the theatre and of the many artists that work to bring it to life. The several artists you’ll see in FIVE TIMES AROUND are the embodiment of that resilience. #Resist #Persist #Rise 

Connect with John: Instagram | Email

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association | #Member of the United Scenic Artists union

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