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About
US
Lean forward
Powerful Stories
Boldly Told
We have a story to tell
Lean forward
Powerful Stories
Boldly Told
We have a story to tell
Lean forward
Powerful Stories
Boldly Told
We have a story to tell

Since 1977 American Stage has been dedicated to telling meaningful, compelling stories with integrity and professionalism. As the Tampa Bay area’s longest-running, most critically-acclaimed professional theatre company, we seek to bring the power of quality live theatre to each generation in our community.

As we move into our next exciting era, American Stage is committed to being a vital arts leader and contributing to the cultural landscape of the Tampa Bay region as we pursue innovative programming and deeper connections with our patrons and community partners.  Because we believe that live theatre can connect us to our world and to one another, we aspire to make the experience of world-class theatre accessible to all.

American Stage invites you to lean forward and experience the most captivating stories of the moment and the most relevant stories of the past.  All told with passion and a commitment to excellence.

American Stage is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable organization and operates under agreement with Actor’s Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

What?

We tell powerful stories.

How?

Boldly.  With a commitment to quality.

Why?

Because we believe that through the telling of dynamic stories, live theatre has the power to unite us in our shared experiences and to deepen our connection to one another through the illumination of diverse perspectives.

OUr Mission

We seek to reinforce the power of live theatre with high quality productions of compelling plays that excite and challenge a diverse audience.  We are passionate about the telling of meaningful stories that inspire audiences to lean forward and engage.

Our Vision

American Stage’s vision is to be a vital arts leader, connecting our community to world-class productions that celebrate the most powerful stories of the moment and the most defining stories from our past.

Our Values

We seek to present POWERFUL plays.

We strive to achieve EXCEPTIONAL quality.

We endeavor to be ACCESSIBLE to all.

We celebrate DIVERSITY in our stories & characters.

We RESPECT our artists, our staff and our community.

We believe that great art thrives under fiscal
and operational RESPONSIBILITY.

GEt YOur TIckets Now

or call American Stage’s Box Office
at 727-823-PLAY (7529)

Our Team - Board & Staff

2022-2023 ASTC Board of Trustees

American Stage is governed by a dedicated Board of Trustees comprised of business leaders, philanthropists, and arts advocates who share a common passion for theatre and a commitment to our community.

CHAIR
Anastasia C Hiotis
Chief Operating Officer (Retired)
Carlton Fields

PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
& RESIDENT PLAYWRIGHT

Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj
rmaharaj@americanstage.org

MANAGING DIRECTOR

CJ Zygadlo
727-823-1600 x 206
czygadlo@americanstage.org

PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Helen R. Murray
hmurray@americanstage.org

VICE-CHAIR
Will Hough
Vice President
Directed Capital

TREASURER
Trevor Wells, CPA
Core Operations, Financial Reporting
Pfizer

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
Gina Clement
VP of Marketing & Business Development
Gator Cases & Levy’s Leathers

Renee Baker
Head of PCG Advisor Inclusion Networks
Raymond James

Elizabeth Brincklow
Founder
Elizabeth Brincklow Arts, LLC

Jose Fourquet
Managing Director & Tampa Market Executive
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Joel B. Giles
Attorney at Law
Carlton Fields

Alais L. M. Griffin
Founding Member
Griffin Strategic Law Advisors PLLC

Robyn Rusignuolo
Chief Operating Officer
SoleVenture, Inc

Sherri Smith- Dodgson
Miss Science®

Cathy P. Swanson
SVP – Market Executive, Pinellas County, Seacoast Bank

Steven W. Walker
Entrepreneur

Evan Whittle, CFP®
Branch Manager
Ameriprise Financial

DEPARTMENT HEAD

Paul Edward Wilt
Associate Artistic Producer
727-823-1600 x 203
pwilt@americanstage.org

Rachel Harrison
General Manager
rharrison@americanstage.org

Patrick A. Jackson
Associate Artistic Producer
727-823-160 x 213
pjackson@americanstage.org

Avery Anderson
Director of Marketing & Communications
727-823-1600 x 209
aanderson@americanstage.org

Megan Haris
Director of Development
727-823-1600 x 214
mharris@americanstage.org

Erica Sutherlin
Director of Community Engagement
727-823-1600 x 204
esutherlin@americanstage.org

José Avilés
Director of Education
727-823-1600
javiles@americanstage.org

ADMINISTRATION

Paige Gilley
Office Manager
727-823-1600 x 222
pgilley@americanstage.org

Stella Dover
‍‍
Finance Manager
727-823-1600 x 210
sdover@americanstage.org

MARKETING

Abigail Baker
Communications Coordinator
727-823-1600 x 215
abaker@americanstage.org

Curtis Waidley
Graphic Designer
cwaidley@americanstage.org

Travis Hawkes
Video Producer
thawkes@americanstage.org

AUDIENCE SERVICES

Taylor KcKee
House Manager

Steve Mountan
Box Office Manager
727-823-7529
boxoffice@americanstage.org

Jenny Peacock
Box Office Associate
727-823-7529
boxoffice@americanstage.org

Troy Brooks
Heath & Safety Manager
727-823-1600 x 205

tbrooks@americanstage.org

Chris Strong
Bar Manager

EDUCATION & OUTREACH

John Perez
Education Associate
727-823-1600 x 212
jperez@americanstage.org

PRODUCTION

Timon Brown
Director of Production
727-321-7467
tbrown@americanstage.org

Thad Engle
Technical Director
727-321-7467

John Millsap
Assistant Technical Director
727-321-7467
jmillsap@americanstage.org

Debbi Lastinger
Costume Shop Manager
727-321-7467
dlastinger@americanstage.org

DEVELOPMENT

Cheyenne DeBarros
Donor Services Manager
727-823-1600 x 207

cdebarros@americanstage.org

PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING WEB LINKS AND DEPARTMENTAL
EMAILS FOR OUTSIDE INQUIRIES

Marketing and Public Relations
marketing@americanstage.org

Donors and Sponsorship
development@americanstage.org

Employment Opportunities
employment@americanstage.org

Volunteer Opportunities
volunteer@americanstage.org

Donation Requests
Click here for form

Meet The 2021-2022 Apprentices

Hannah Hockman
Acting & Production

Hannah Hockman recently graduated from Eckerd College with BA in Theatre with minors in Marketing and Music. She has spent two summers studying in New York City with The Atlantic Acting School and The Circle in the Square Conservatory. Her favorite roles include the lead role in Feinstein’s/54 Below concert of CALL IT IN THE AIR and Steve in SHE KILLS MONSTERS. She recently made her directorial debut with HEATHERS THE MUSICAL, Eckerd’s first student run musical. Hannah is excited to work with American Stage and to continue to grow as an artist. Instagram: @hannahbellhockman www.hannahhockman.com

Massiel Evans
Acting & Production Apprentice

Massiel Evans is a passionate island girl from Nassau, The Bahamas. She recently received her M.F.A in Acting and Directing from Eastern Connecticut State University along with a film studies minor. While in The Bahamas, Massiel has starred in two local plays and one local bahamian movie. Her first year she received the leading role in the main stage production, “Chitra.” Since then she has starred in four other shows as an actress, two shows as an assistant director for Eastern and for a professional theater company, Spectrum Theater. Her last semester she was the primary director of a main stage production called “Blood at the Root.” She has also written, directed and filmed two small pieces under her film studies minor. Massiel has been heavily involved throughout her time at Eastern and she’s now ready to bring those experiences and learn more with American Stage.

Jessica Jennelle
Acting & Production Apprentice

Jessica Jennelle was most recently seen as Ginette in ALMOST, MAINE at West Coast Players. Other roles include THE LARAMIE PROJECT, MEDEA, and LAUGHING STOCK all at St. Petersburg College Arts Dept. She also worked on productions such as PIPPIN and INTO THE WOODS as a Props Master. She is currently studying at St. Petersburg College finishing up her transfer program to University of South Florida.

The History of
American Stage

1977

American Stage is founded as The Palisades Theatre of Florida, taking residence in Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College) in St. Petersburg, FL. Its programming consists of theatre for students and educators, including an annual School Tour.

1979

The Junior League of St. Petersburg provides The Palisades funds to convert an old cinema house in downtown St. Petersburg into a 179-seat performance space. The Palisades launches its five-play Mainstage subscription series with a non-union acting company in residence. John Berglund and Victoria Holloway take over leadership of the theater following the departure of the founding directors.

1984

The Palisades Theatre of Florida officially changes its name to American Stage Theatre Company. The City of St. Petersburg condemns the American Stage facility. The local power company offers an alternative site which provides over 10,000 square feet for an intimate 130-seat performance space with a lobby, costume shop, rehearsal hall, and office spaces.

1985

American Stage becomes the first non-profit theatre company in the Tampa Bay region to operate under a full contract with Actors’ Equity Association. The company is one of five original theatres in the country pioneering the Small Professional Theatre contract.

1986

American Stage in the Park, also known as Shakespeare in the Park, is launched in the Spring, offering ten free outdoor performances of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. More than 8,000 people attend, and a community tradition is born.

1987

The St. Petersburg City Council designates American Stage as St. Petersburg’s Resident Professional Theatre Ensemble.

1989

Awarded Best Theatre Company by Tampa Bay Magazine.

1991

The Florida State Legislature designates American Stage as a Vital Local Cultural Organization due to the theatre’s outreach efforts, community support, and artistic excellence.

1992

American Stage is one of 13 professional arts organizations nationwide to participate in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program.

1993

It is announced that a thorough renovation and remodel will begin on the American Stage building.

1996

Renovation of the new facility is completed, and includes the redesigned 148-seat space, a new sound system, new light board and dimmers; remodeling of the costume shop, rehearsal space, and courtyard; inclusion of a visual arts gallery; and an expansion of the lobby space.

1998

Shakespeare in the Park adds an additional eight performances in Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park, following the regular run in St. Petersburg.

Awarded Best Theatre Company by the annual survey of the Best of the Bay by The Weekly Planet. American Stage will be awarded this title for the next fifteen consecutive years, during which The Weekly Planet is renamed to Creative Loafing Tampa.

2002

American Stage produces August Wilson’s GEM OF THE OCEAN, embarking on an ambitious endeavor to complete Wilson’s Century Cycle within the following ten seasons.

Shakespeare in the Park presents its first adaption, based on THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, the Regional Premiere of THE BOMB-ITTY OF ERRORS (Allen-Dutton, Catalano, et al.).

World Premiere: I LEFT MY HEART: A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF TONY BENNETT (D. Grapes/T. Olson).

Awarded Best Theatre Company by Tampa Bay Magazine, an award American Stage will receive for the next twelve consecutive years.

Awarded the Neighborhood Builder Award by the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.

2004

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross presents American Stage with the Good Neighbor Award for having made significant humanitarian contributions in support of the American Red Cross.

2006

American Stage changes a twenty-year tradition of presenting Shakespeare in the Park with a musical, the Regional Premiere of CROWNS (R. Taylor).

Bank of America awards American Stage with the Neighborhood Excellence Award.

2007

American Stage enters into a partnership with St. Petersburg College to build a brand new state of the art building in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. This is the first time in Pinellas County history that a brand new building is constructed for a professional theatre. Raymond James Financial acquires naming rights to the new theatre space.

2008

American Stage Theatre Company celebrates its 30th Anniversary Season. Administration offices are moved into the new building.

Florida Premiere: BY THE WATER OF BABYLON (R. Schenkkan).

1987

The St. Petersburg City Council designates American Stage as St. Petersburg’s Resident Professional Theatre Ensemble.

2009

American Stage completes its first full season in the Raymond James Theatre.

Regional Premiere: KING HEDLEY II (A. Wilson).

2010

American Stage in the Park celebrates its 25th anniversary with a production of HAIR, enjoyed by over 15,000 Tampa Bay residents. It is the highest-attended Park production in nearly two decades.

The St. Petersburg Times chooses the opening of American Stage’s new home in the Raymond James Theatre as the Tampa Bay art scene’s most important event of the decade.

Todd Olson celebrates his 10th year as Artistic Director at American Stage.

Named Non-Profit of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Regional Premiere: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (T. Letts).

2012

Presented with Watermark’s Wave Award for Variety and Excellence as one of St. Petersburg’s favorite local performing arts venues.

Presented with the PARC Community Service Award in appreciation of American Stage’s extraordinary volunteer efforts.

Presented with the St. Peterburg Mayor’s Top Apple Award for continued partnership with local schools.

2013

Todd Olson celebrates his 11th and final year as Artistic Director at American Stage, before departing to assume the duties of Executive Director at the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Maryland.

American Stage Director of Education, Meg Heimstead is named Interim Artistic Director while Board of Trustees embarks on a nationwide search for the company’s next leader.

Presented with the St. Peterburg Mayor’s Top Apple Award for continued partnership with local schools.

World Premiere: THE AMISH PROJECT (J. Dickey).

2014

Presented with WEDU’s Be More: Educational Outreach Award.

Florida Premiere: NUREYEV’S EYES (D. Rush).

2015

Stephanie Gularte is a named the new Producing Artistic Director of American Stage.

Awarded the MUSE Performing Arts Award by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

2016

American Stage launches the ASFWD: The Next Generation Apprenticeship Program.

2017

American Stage Theatre Company celebrates its 40th anniversary season.

The final installment of the August Wilson Century Cycle.

Launch of the 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival.

Florida Premiere: “The Invisible Hand”

American Stage received a proclamation from the City for the August Wilson Century Cycle.

2018

Florida Premiere: “Strait of Gilbratar;” first selection from 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival to be a Mainstage Selection.

American Stage wins the Be More Enriched, Greenberg Traurig Arts & Culture Award.

10 year anniversary of American Stage Improv.

Introduction of the Under 20 Passport.

Launch of the Emerging Arts Leader Fellowship.

2019

Regional Premiere: “Vietgone”

2020

American Stage is named Theatre Company of the Decade by Broadway World

Production History

2019-2020
  • Vietgone
  • Silent Sky
  • Skeleton Crew
  • The People Downstairs
  • Virtual Stories Series
2018-2019
40th Season
  • Between Riverside and Crazy
  • Miss Bennet: A Christmas at Pemberley
  • Pipeline
  • The Roommate
  • Long Day's Journey Into Night
  • Fun Home
  • American Stage in the Park: Mamma Mia!
2017-2018
  • Much To Do About Nothing
  • It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
  • Raisin in the Sun
  • Marjorie Prime
  • Straight of Gibraltar
  • Bad Jews
  • American Stage in the Park: The Producers
2016-2017
  • Good People
  • Tartuffe
  • It’s a Wonderful Life:  A Live Radio Play
  • Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
  • Informed Consent
  • The Invisible Hand
  • Sex with Strangers
  • American Stage in the Park: Hairspray
2015-2016
  • Intimate Apparel
  • The 39 Steps
  • August Wilson’s Jitney (Century Cycle: 9th Installment)
  • 4000 Miles
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • The Pitmen Painters
  • American Stage in the Park: Monty Python's Spamalot
2014-2015
  • The Chosen
  • Laughter on the 23rd Floor
  • August Wilson’s Radio Golf (Century Cycle: 8th Installment)
  • Gutenberg! The Musical!
  • Red
  • One Slight Hitch
  • Nureyev’s Eyes
  • American Stage in the Park: In The Heights
2013-2014
  • The Birds
  • Love & Laughter: The Noel Coward Celebration
  • August Wilson’s 2 Trains Running (Century Cycle: 7th Installment)
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Steel Magnolias
  • God of Carnage
  • American Stage in the Park: The Wiz
2012-2013
  • Hysteria: or Fragments of an Analysis Of an Obsessional Neurosis
  • Wit
  • A Doll’s House
  • August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Century Cycle: 6th Installment)
  • When the World Was Green: A Chef’s Fable
  • The Amish Project
  • 7 Homeless Mammoths Wander New England
  • My Name is Asher Lev
  • Art
  • American Stage in the Park: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
2011-2012
  • August: Osage County
  • An Ideal Husband
  • August Wilson’s Seven Guitars (Century Cycle: 5th Installment)
  • 2.5 Minute Ride
  • Vanishing Point
  • The Foreigner
  • American Stage in the Park: The Rocky Horror Show
2010-2011
  • The Mystery of Irma Vep
  • Opus
  • August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Century Cycle: 4th Installment)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
  • A Steady Rain
  • American Stage in the Park: Rent
1981-1982
  • A Delicate Balance
  • Table Settings
  • The Sea Horse
  • Two for the Seesaw
  • Little Eyolf
  • Archie & Mehitabel
  • A Familiy Secret
  • The Christmas of 1776
1980-1981
  • The Water Engine
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Star Child
  • Wings
  • The Killing of Sister George
  • Snow White