Spotlight Series

The American Stage Spotlight Series includes pre-opening lectures (LEARN), post-performance talk-backs (ENGAGE), and community forum events (CONNECT).   We want our audiences to LEARN about, ENGAGE with and CONNECT to the plays in our season in order to take their experience of the art on our stage to a new, deeper level.

For more information or to make a reservation, please call the American Stage Box Office at
727-823-PLAY (7529)

LEARN – Take your theatre going experience to the next level through a series of informative and entertaining lectures. Professor Emerita, Dedee Aleccia, will speak on the history, context, and characters of select plays within our season. Following her presentation, a member of the artistic staff will talk about their approach to the production being discussed. LEARN events are $7 for subscribers and $10 for the general public. Subscribers please contact our box office directly at 727.823.7529 to purchase your lecture series ticket at the subscriber price. LEARN Lecture series packages are also available for subscribers. Please call our box office directly to learn more.

All LEARN events take place from 1:00-2:30 pm on select Sundays.

Here’s what patrons have to say about LEARN:

“This was terrific!  What a gem American Stage is.  Keep up the good work.”

“Not having studied plays and theatre the background was very helpful and well presented.”

“Excellent presentations and really interesting. Can’t wait to see the production!”

“Delightful!  Do more of these!”

LEARN 2015 – 2016

Intimate Apparel
Sunday, September 6, 2015

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THE 39 STEPS
Sunday, November 8, 2015

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JITNEY
Sunday, January 10, 2016

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4,000 MILES
Sunday, March 6, 2016

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TALE OF TWO CITIES
Sunday, May 22, 2016

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THE PITMEN PAINTERS
Sunday, July 10, 2016

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ENGAGE – Join us after select performances for an exciting and illuminating conversation with the actors about the play you just watched! For select ENGAGE talk-backs we will also have special guest speakers who can offer unique insights on the context of specific plays within our season. See below for our current list of ENGAGE talk-back dates. New dates may be added throughout the season so check back often.

All ENGAGE talk-back events are free and open to the public. They will begin 5-10 minutes after final curtain at select Sunday performances.

ENGAGE 2015-2016

INTIMATE APPAREL
Sundays, September 27 & October 4, 2015
Talk-back with the cast of Intimate Apparel

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THE 39 STEPS
Sundays, November 29 & December 6, 2015
Talk-back with the cast of The 39 Steps

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JITNEY
Sundays, January 31 & February 7, 2016
Talk-back with the cast of Jitney

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4,000 MILES
Sundays, March 27 & April 3, 2016
Talk-back with the cast of 4,000 Miles

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A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Sundays, June 12 & 19, 2016
Talk-back with the cast of A Tale of Two Cities

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THE PITMEN PAINTERS
Sunday, July 31 & August 7, 2016
Talk-back with the cast of The Pitmen Painters

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CONNECTAlongside select plays in our season, we produce CONNECT Community Forums, intriguing theatrical events and conversations that take the themes addressed in the plays on our stage and explore how they resonate with our  St. Pete and Tampa Bay Area community.

Spotlight On… A TALE OF TWO CITIES
with
Your Real Stories

Tales of Transformation
Tuesday, June 14th 7pm-9pm at American Stage*

*THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, JUNE 14TH at 7pm due to Tropical Storm Colin. Stay safe, and see you next week!

A daring performance and engaging community conversation brought to American Stage by Your Real Stories.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” In A TALE OF TWO CITIES, an aspiring drag queen opens his door to find a baby left on his doorstep. To stop the baby’s crying, he performs the entire narrative of Dickens’ classic rendition of the French revolution

The play questions our connections with one another and our history, while challenging perspectives on acceptance in our society. “He’s a straight baby, but we can co-exist. I know it can be done.”

In Tales of  Transformation, Your Real Stories presents moving and poignant theatre based on interviews with two inspiring community members, shining a light on the experiences of both performing drag, and transitioning during an era of intolerance. These different, yet juxtaposed local stories reveal what is not known or remembered about LGBT stories, struggles, and accomplishments. Connecting to our past is essential as we shape our future, and raises questions like: “How far has our community come?” and “How do we move forward?”. The performance will be followed by a conversation with the audience, actors and original storytellers that allows us to share and listen as a community.

 

2015-2016 Past Events…

chronicles of august wilson

Upcoming Spotlight On… Jitney
Chronicles of August Wilson

with Christopher Rawson

Join the cast of Jitney on a journey through August Wilson’s life and the development of this, in some ways the first play of his famous 10-play Century Cycle. A friend of August Wilson and the long-time theatre critic for his hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Christopher Rawson offers personal insights into Wilson’s life, how the city of Pittsburgh and its famous Hill District influenced Wilson and his plays, and how works like Jitney speak to people and communities around the country. The evening will include a special reading of excerpts from the original 1979 version of Jitney (eventually finished in 2000), as well as a conversation with the cast about their own connections to August Wilson and his work.

More about the host:
Christopher Rawson
 is part-time senior theater critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where, as full-time theater editor and critic from 1983 to 2009, he chronicled August Wilson’s career in detail, starting with his Broadway debut and compiling more reviews, interviews and news stories than any other journalist. In the process, he and August became friends. He was the first to suggest Hill District locations for the ten Pittsburgh Cycle plays, and with historian Laurence Glasco, he co-wrote August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays (Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 2011; 2nd ed. 2015). Along with providing program essays and discussions for August Wilson productions from Lincoln Center to California, Rawson has appeared in several video and radio documentaries, most recently “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand” (PBS/WQED, American Masters, 2015) and “August Shines” (BBC Radio, 2014). He is on the board of the August Wilson House/Daisy Wilson Artists Community, working to save Wilson’s childhood home as an arts center for the Hill District. He is twice past-chair of the American Theatre Critics Association, supervises the annual balloting for the Theater Hall of Fame and, as part of the Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards, started a program for young critics which now bears his name. He has a Harvard B.A. and a University of Washington Ph.D. and since 1968 has been a member of the University of Pittsburgh English Dept., where he has regularly taught courses in Shakespeare, criticism and, for the past ten years, August Wilson.

***

Intimate Apparel  CONNECT Community Forum
with Your Real Stories
EXPOSED: Women You Think You Know…
Tuesday, October 6th, 7:00-8:30 pm at American Stage

A daring performance and engaging community conversation brought to American Stage by Your Real Stories.

Intimate Apparel tells a touching and personal story that unlocks and challenges typical perspectives on gender, sex, race, and religion in our society. While the play is set in 1905 New York, it reveals overlaps that resonate with the St. Pete and Tampa Bay Area community today.

Your Real Stories has constructed an original play of three moving and poignant monologues based on their interviews with three notable women in our community. Thanks to these courageous women, whose stories will be presented by local professional actors, Exposed: Women You Think You Know reveals ideas and topics we don’t typically hear or discuss.

The performance will be followed by a participatory conversation with the audience, performers, and storytellers that is sure to shine a light on new points of view.

CONNECT 2015 – 2016

Upcoming…

SPOTLIGHT ON… A Tale of Two Cities
TALES OF TRANSFORMATION
with Your Real Stories
Tuesday, June 14th at 7pm*

*THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, JUNE 14TH at 7pm due to Tropical Storm Colin. Stay safe, and see you next week!

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Admission:
FREE for members of TransAction, Metro Wellness, and Tampa Bay Lesbian & Gay Chamber of Commerce
$10 for Students and Subscribers
$12 for General Public.

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