Since 1977, American Stage has offered the highest-quality theatrical productions in Tampa Bay.
American Stage enjoys a long and storied history. In 1977, what is now known as American Stage was founded as The Palisades Theatre of Florida at Eckerd College (then known as Florida Presbyterian College). Two years later, in 1979, The Palisades used a donation from the Junior League of St. Petersburg to turn a run-down cinema house in downtown St. Petersburg into a 179-seat performance venue. In 1984, The Palisades Theatre of Florida became American Stage Theatre Company, and in 1992, American Stage was one of only 13 professional arts organizations in the country to engage in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program. In 2008, American Stage moved into its cutting-edge facility, the Raymond James Theatre. In the decade since, the company has won numerous awards in recognition of its more than 40-year legacy of artistic and theatrical excellence in Tampa Bay.
American Stage Theatre Company
Number of Employees
American Stage offers its Mainstage Series in the 182-seat Raymond James Theatre year-round, and the annual American Stage in the Park each spring. The theater’s other programming includes an “After Hours” series, cabaret series, school tour, and camps and classes for children. Raymond James is the Mainstage sponsor and WUSF 89.7 is the radio sponsor of American Stage. The company sells season subscriptions, flex passes and single tickets to Mainstage productions, as well as classes and outreach opportunities for adults and children. American Stage invites theater-goers to lean forward, because this professional theater company has powerful stories to tell in a very bold way.
Awards & Accolades
1989: Awarded Best Theatre Company by Tampa Bay Magazine. 1998: 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: 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: Bank of America awards American Stage with the Neighborhood Excellence Award. 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: Presented with the St. Peterburg Mayor’s Top Apple Award for continued partnership with local schools. 2014: Presented with WEDU’s Be More: Educational Outreach Award. 2015: Awarded the MUSE Performing Arts Award by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.
Core values/mission statement
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 theater company, American Stage seeks to bring the power of quality live theatrer to each generation in our community.
Producing Artistic Director
Stephanie Gularte is an entrepreneurial-minded leader with a unique skill set that includes extensive creative, operations, marketing and business development experience. For the past 13 years, she has worked as a nonprofit CEO in the arts industry, where she has developed expertise in leadership and staff development, business and operational structuring and optimization, change implementation, project management, communications, marketing and branding, team-building, strategic planning, and programming conceptualization and implementation.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Apart from her service as chair of American Stage's Board of Trustees, Ellyn Kamke leads the Corporate Procurement and Corporate Real Estate legal teams for Raymond James Financial. Prior to Raymond James, Kamke was Poynter's Staff Counsel and Director of Business Development. As in-house counsel and a member of Poynter's senior leadership team, she advised on legal issues and policies and led contract drafting and negotiations. She also played a key role in developing and growing business opportunities for Poynter.