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Last Act

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There will be laughter at the end of Aristophanes' Lysistrata. And toasts. And dancing. And the cast will invite the audience on stage to celebrate inside this aging building. It's been a good home. "This was my laboratory that I cut my teeth on right out of college, so I'll always have fond memories of this place," said T. Scott Wooten, who co-authored the current adaptation with Todd Olson for American Stage in St. Petersburg. During the late 1920s, an automotive company sold car accessories from here. It later became a cigar warehouse, then an art gallery. The fledgling American Stage - only 5 years old - began its lease with What I Did Last Summer in 1984. They'll bookend it with Lysistrata, a Greek comedy about women who withhold sex until their men end the Peloponnesian War. When the house lights dim on their patrons in June, and a different crop of actors dons costumes, American Stage will be in a new building just four blocks away. Insulation won't hang from the ceiling. Paint won't peel from the walls. The floors won't look so scuffed. Well-worn and familiar, the old house will be missed. "So now we lose our magic place, and then we go to another building," Olson said. "It's just a building to us, although it's been wonderfully, I think, I hope, inspired by this place. And so now we sort of find our new magic place, and we start to fill that building full of the same kind of memories."

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