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St. Petersburg’s American Stage returns to live performances — outdoors

Pop Up! shows will happen around the city starting in May.
The American Stage building in downtown St. Petersburg in 2009. After a year of virtual programming, the company will return to live, in-person outdoor performances in 2021.
The American Stage building in downtown St. Petersburg in 2009. After a year of virtual programming, the company will return to live, in-person outdoor performances in 2021. [ Courtesy of American Stage ]
Published Mar. 12
Updated Mar. 12

When St. Petersburg theater company American Stage was forced to close a year ago due to the pandemic, programming changed to a digital platform. The first half of their 2020-21 season, aptly named Reimagine, brought streamed recordings of performances to viewer’s homes.

Now, the company has announced a return to in-person, live performances, held outdoors with social distancing and mask requirements.

In May, Pop Up! Performances will happen around St. Petersburg, including The Factory St. Pete.

In the summer, Romeo & Juliet (The One with The Happy Ending) will be presented at Williams Park. It reimagines Shakespeare’s tragedy but keeps all the fun stuff — party crashing, clandestine encounters and plot twists. Viewers 20 and younger get free admission.

In a news release, CEO and producing artistic director Stephanie Gularte said the American Stage team is “ready and very excited to begin to carefully return to onsite performances.” She said by implementing safety measures and creative approaches to content and staging, the goal is to “begin to restore the joy of joining together for live performance experiences.”

From March 29-April 4, a pre-recorded performance of Natalie Symons’ comedy The People Downstairs can be streamed, but is only available for American Stage members. It was filmed during a preview performance in front of an audience.

Adult classes will resume in the spring, outdoors and virtually. Summer theatre camp returns and a one-day improv workshop happens in August. The company will announce its 2021-22 season in the summer, as well as name its new producing artistic director.

American Stage in the Park, which includes the Gala Under the Stars fundraiser, will be postponed until spring 2022. Those are the largest events the company produces.

For more information, visit americanstage.org.