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American Stage debuts world-renowned, cross-city theater experience

American Stage debuts world-renowned, cross-city theater experience

A pair of rabbit heads on a sidewalk
Photo courtesy American Stage

St. Pete’s most immersive and unique theater experience is about to take the stage (and the woods … and a bar crawl). American Stage has announced a new series, Beyond the Stage, an incredible set of shows that brings theater to life in ways St. Pete has never experienced before.

The five-show series takes place alongside American Stage’s 2023-24 theater season, with the experiential shows sweeping into St. Pete from November 2023 through June 2024. Tickets are on sale now for the first show of the series, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which will stage 15 performances at various locations from November 2-19.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a globally celebrated show where each night showcases a new actor who has never before seen the script, with “no rehearsals, no director, and no do-over.” Written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, White Rabbit Red Rabbit was conceived when he was barred from leaving the country for refusing military service.

The play became a “message in a bottle,” communicating the lived experiences of an entire generation under harsh censorship. By the time Soleimanpour was able to travel again, White Rabbit Red Rabbit had gone global, with performances held in over 30 languages. Despite the play’s impressive mileage, the plot has largely remained a secret – a concerted effort by both the actors and the audience.

Learn more and get tickets for White Rabbit Red Rabbit here.

Experience five amazing shows with American Stage

People at an American Stage show
Photo courtesy American Stage

The Beyond the Stage series will employ a number of intriguing ruses to make the experiences unique, from changing actors every show for one production, to hiking through Boyd Hill for another, and even having theater-goers explore downtown with drag queens. The idea is to create a new, immersive, and experiential theater experience, where guests aren’t just attendees, but become part of the show themselves.

“Theatre, at its core, is a storytelling experience,” organizers say. “Join American Stage as we venture Beyond the Stage into new spaces and storytelling formats. These new programs are local, immersive, and diverse. It’s unlike anything St. Pete has ever seen before.”

See the full lineup of shows for Beyond the Stage below:

White Rabbit Red Rabbit

November 2-19

“In this special production, our actors only have one chance to win over the audience. Each night, a different actor steps on stage to perform White Rabbit Red Rabbit, with a script they’ve never seen before. The true meaning of one-night-only, it’s emotionally vulnerable at times and hilarious at others. No do-overs. No repeats. No encores. A theatrical journey into the unknown that holds endless possibilities each time you experience it.”

Tales by Twilight

January 11 – February 25

“Ditch the seat and get ready for a hike through Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. In this immersive experience, actors will spin a story that stretches far and wide across the trail. It’s the perfect chance to experience nature and art at the same time. Be sure to plan to come several times; every two weeks, our company of actors will perform a different story written just for Boyd Hill.”

Lift Every Voice: New Play Festival

March 1-3

“American Stage is committed to producing powerful stories, boldly told. Lift Every Voice is a new play festival dedicated to providing exposure to emerging playwrights with a focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ storytellers. This year’s programming includes a week-long rehearsal and development process for each of the final playwrights and their plays, culminating in public staged readings. In addition, the festival weekend includes workshops, panels and lectures. All public events are held March 1-3, 2024.”

Hedwig at Jannus

June 13-16

“Welcome to a euphoric night on a rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster with our transgender icon and protagonist Hedwig – a hedonistic genderqueer anti-heroine seemingly hellbent on destruction. This darkly humorous self-love story, powered by a live band, epic rock music and hard-hitting lyrics, explores gender identity, acceptance and the freedom to be whoever you want to be. This multi-Tony award winning show will leave you begging for more. And catch an additional week of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the grunge alleyway venue that is Jannus Live!”

Pride Play Crawl

May 30 – June 23

“Picture it: Downtown St. Pete. Drag Queens. An interactive story, and you! In this queer meet, cute local drag queens will usher you through the relationship of a couple. The best part is that you get a say in how the story unfolds.”

Learn more at americanstage.org.

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