The prolific Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Her powerful words and wisdom sit at the very heart of our 2021–2022 season, “For the Love of Theatre” at American Stage.
After the longest wait in our storied history, American Stage returns to action in a bold way as we enter a dynamic new chapter in the history of our theatre and nation. In a time when it seems the world is rapidly changing, our 2021–2022 Mainstage season is one rooted in the power of love, the power of resilience, and the power of the human spirit to overcome!
At American Stage, we see the empty space as an opportunity for social change and civilized discourse to occur – one of the few sacred places left in a far too noisy, often divided, world where human beings can still sit in the quiet dark together, think a while, and be awakened. To gain a richer connection to the fragility of beauty and pain that exists in all art and life.
Like the very soul of America, our season is courageous, resilient, energetic, thrilling, diverse and earnest; embracing stories and storytellers who are brave and committed to reminding us all that we are more alike than different and members of one shared human family. We are proud to present luminary, celebrated American playwrights in our season such as Neil Simon, Tom Mula, Jocelyn Bioh, Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie and Amiri Baraka.
To create a season that’s as encompassing as the city we live in, I’ve decided to update our upcoming season by offering two new productions. Laughter is something we can all use more of, so to lift the spirits of everyone THE ODD COUPLE will be our new opening play featuring a multicultural cast. This Neil Simon classic explores the relationship between two friends who, despite their many differences, must find a way to live together. Then, in the summer, we are staging the prolific classic DUTCHMAN. DUTCHMAN premiered during the height of the Civil Rights movement, this Obie Award winning masterpiece is a timeless play about race and identity in America focused on the political and psychological struggles in regards to race relations in America, then and now…a story that speaks truth to power as we currently find ourselves the midst of the second great civil rights movement in our country.
On a personal note, I want to thank each of you for welcoming me into St. Petersburg with such kindness, respect and warmth as I begin my tenure as the next Producing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright of American Stage.
We are proud to be back, perhaps a little bent, but certainly not broken. I am excited for the journey ahead and all of the wonderful achievements we will accomplish together as American Stage continues to grow into the premiere regional theatre for artistic excellence in the state of Florida.
I know I speak for the entire board of trustees, staff, and the numerous, multicultural artists who call American Stage their artistic home when I say thank you for your continued support. I promise you, the best is yet to come!
Eyes on the prize!
Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj
Producing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright