The Urban Dictionary describes living out loud as “Living on purpose, loving others and yourself, living passionately for your values, no matter what. Letting others see your light shine, and not being afraid to be different or worry about others’ opinions of you. Living a life you’re excited about, with purpose, on your terms. Inspiring others to do the same.”

At American Stage we are committed to telling stories that impact our hearts and minds, honor our diversity, embrace our differences, and rejoice in our shared experience of what it is to be a human being.  Our season theme LIFE. OUT LOUD. reflects our passion for Powerful Stories, Boldly Told and our dedication to promoting connection and unity in our community through the power of live theatre.  Our 2018-19 season features characters laughing, crying, loving, rebelling and soaring out loud.  These are sit-up-and-take notice stories that will dare you to lean forward and be transported.

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TAYLOR_SWEAT_headshot_Sm Kody_Hopkins_headshot_SmApprentice Anticipation; 03/30/18:
By Kody Hopkins and Taylor Sweat
The season reveal: it’s a big event for any professional theatre. Seasons lay out more than just the shows that audience members will be seeing over the course of a year; they showcase where a theatre’s interest lies, what kind of community it’s trying to create, and what kind of culture it wishes to help promote. Our Producing Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte takes things a step further here at American Stage and comes up with an overarching theme, such as 2017-18’s theme of WE THE PEOPLE, which was meant to promote a sense of unity through storytelling in order to combat the divisiveness that has taken hold in our country. I hadn’t come across this method before, but I think it’s extremely efficient in creating a cohesive whole out of a season, rather than just a mixed bag of classics, big hits, etc. It puts the emphasis on vision, and requires a dedication to higher standards of storytelling when each show must align with a year long theme. It’s also quite the commitment! You have to be sure your theme will be relevant an entire 12 months or more after you reveal it! Thankfully, Stephanie has knocked it out of the park again with next season’s theme of LIFE. OUT LOUD., a season all about living with purpose, being your best self, and inspiring and uniting those around you. It’s also a season dominated by women playwrights (thankfully!). What better place to pursue such a lofty goal than the theatre, which Oscar Wilde said was “the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

Read below to get some thoughts from the apprentices about the season and its shows!

Taylor Sweat, Stage Management Apprentice: The 2018/2019 season as a whole “Life: Out Loud” is such a refreshing outlook on an otherwise emotionally heavy America. Every play in this season analyzes the messiness that is our everyday life, and what’s great is that we get to view it through several sets of eyes. I’m definitely here for all of the plays picked for this season (hello, FUN HOME!) but the one that stood out to me was THE ROOMMATE. I read this play for fun once while in college and was immediately drawn to it. Think a modern “The Odd Couple”, an unlikely roommate situation between a quiet woman with an empty house and a radical outspoken woman who’s determined to shake things up. It definitely lays out every aspect that could go wrong in life and how these two women cope and help each other along the way. I’m interested in the first play of the season, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, because it was written by one of my favorite playwrights, Stephen Adly Guirgis. I don’t know much about it, but I do know that it is probably one of those shows that you won’t want to miss. Either way, I’m excited to hopefully come see some of these great productions next year!

Kody Hopkins, Acting/Production Apprentice: As I already mentioned above, I think Stephanie has really hit a homerun again with her choice of a season theme. I’m in love with the idea of telling a large narrative over the course of a season at a theatre, and there are few things more noble and inspiring than the vivaciousness of life. And in no other art form do I think you find that essential quality of humanness and life than in the theatre! Personally, I am most excited for FUN HOME and LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT. I had the opportunity to see “Fun Home” when it came to the Straz last fall and finally realized what all the hype was about — this was a seriously well done and touching musical! Many people who know me know that I don’t care much for musicals, yet I found my face wet more than once while watching FUN HOME. I can only imagine how much more powerful the show will resonate in the intimate space we have at American Stage, and if any show captures the bravery and messiness of life, I think it’s FUN HOME. As for good ol’ Eugene O’Neill, I’ve actually never had the pleasure of seeing any of his shows on stage. When you think of American Classics, O’Neill is easily in the top 5, if not 3. These powerful plays are continuously produced for a reason, and I am excited to see how American Stage boldly tales one of American theatre’s greatest plays.


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