Make us your home page
Instagram

American Stage in St. Petersburg lightens up for 2013-14

American Stage will be lightening up its play list in 2013-14.

"We've been hearing pretty consistently that people want some lighter stuff, so I just think that for this next season, they are going to find plays that they know a little bit more," artistic director Todd Olson said in announcing the lineup, released today. "If we take a year and we laugh a little bit more, I can live with that."

So the mainstage season at the St. Petersburg theater will include a generous share of feel-good shows, such as Steel Magnolias, the durable beauty shop comedy; a revue of Noel Coward songs and scenes called A Marvelous Party!; and a rollicking entertainment inspired by Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days.

These are meant as a counterbalance to the past few seasons in which the company has programmed some plays from the darker side, such as Edward Albee's corrosive portrait of a marriage, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and A Steady Rain, a gritty cop drama by Keith Huff. Still to come this season are a number of relative unknowns, such as The Amish Project, Jessica Dickey's one-woman play about the Amish community's humane response to a schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania, and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, an offbeat comedy by Madeleine George.

Plays that missed with its audience have taken a toll on American Stage, which is the Tampa Bay area's largest professional theater, with a budget of $2 million. Last summer, the company issued an appeal for donations to help it close out the fiscal year in the black.

Next season opens with The Birds, an adaptation by Irish playwright Conor McPherson (The Seafarer) of the short story by Daphne du Maurier that inspired the Hitchcock movie. Two Trains Running will continue the theater's production of August Wilson's 10-play Century Cycle. God of Carnage, a Tony Award winner by Yasmina Reza about feuding pairs of parents, is billed as a "comedy of manners without manners." The Wiz, the African-American take on The Wizard of Oz that starred Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in the movie version, will be the springtime show on the waterfront.

Not only does the 2013-14 season feature lighter fare, but, with seven mainstage and park productions, it also is smaller than the current season, which has 10 productions. There won't be a production at the Palladium Theater, where the company has staged a pair of Pulitzer Prize winners, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts and Wit by Margaret Edson. August: Osage County drew strong attendance in 2011, while Wit this past fall did not.

"I think we want to stick closer to home this season," Olson said.

Mime showcase

Mime Bill Bowers performs Beyond Words, the latest installment in "New Stages: Narrative in Motion," cutting-edge works at the Historic Asolo Theater in the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. Bowers "explores what it means to be a boy and the messages we receive on our way to becoming men" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. $15-$25. (941) 360-7399; ringling.org.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716.

>>if you go

American Stage playbill

Here's a rundown of the American Stage 2013-14 season:

Oct. 4-Nov. 3: The Birds by Conor McPherson; Nov. 22-Dec. 29: A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration; Jan. 24-Feb. 23: Two Trains Running by August Wilson; March 21-April 13: Around the World in 80 Days by Mark Brown after Jules Verne; April 11-May 11: The Wiz by William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls (American Stage in the Park); May 23-June 15: Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling; July 18-Aug. 10: God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.

(727) 823-7529; americanstage.org.

American Stage in St. Petersburg lightens up for 2013-14 02/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 7:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]