American Stage To Present FAT HAM, HAIR, And More For 47th Season

The theatre's 47th season will kick off with Ring of Fire a jukebox musical set to Johnny Cash's greatest hits.

By: May. 13, 2024
American Stage To Present FAT HAM, HAIR, And More For 47th Season
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The common thread is “change” across the five main productions coming to American Stage in its newest season.   

“In programming this season I thought about two things - how can we as a company bring our community joy? And do changemakers play a part in that joy?”, says Producing Artistic Director Helen R. Murray. The new season won't just focus on changemakers; it also posits that its audience has an equal propensity to make a positive impact. “The season is going to entertain, make you laugh, make you sing, and hopefully convince you of your own power to change the world for the better,” says Murray.

The theatre's 47th season will kick off with “Ring of Fire” (September 25 - October 20, 2024), a jukebox musical set to Johnny Cash's greatest hits. The musical features favorites such as “I Walk the Line,” “Country Boy,” and of course, “Ring of Fire.”  Although Cash himself is not featured in the story of a rural community in the 20th century, his presence is felt through its exploration of love, morality, and loss – all prevalent themes in his music as he navigated the changes of life.

The next show in the season is Katori Hall's “The Mountaintop” (November 6 - 24, 2024), a fictionalized depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life set entirely in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Poignant, thought-provoking, and, at times, unexpectedly humorous, “The Mountaintop” humanizes a changemaker often imagined as a saint.

“The Mountaintop” is followed by “This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing” (January 22 - February 9, 2025). Part modern-day fairytale, part coming-of-age story, “This Girl” centers on the change three sisters undergo when each chooses dramatically different paths in life, only to bring them back to what matters most: each other.

Change is centerstage with the penultimate show of the season, “Hair” (March 26 - April 27. 2025), which follows a tribe of protestors in the heat of Vietnam conscriptions. The musical makes its return to American Stage, last produced in the 2009/2010 season. “Our large musical Hair dances into an era that saw young people using their voices to change the world, an era that feels very much like today,” says Murray.

Closing out the season is Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fat Ham” (May 28 - June 22, 2025), a reimagining of Shakespeare's “Hamlet” through the lens of an African American cookout. Like its source material, Fat Ham navigates change through Hamlet's search for truth and accountability.  Hilarious yet profoundly tragic, the play that took the theatre world by storm in 2023 has something for fans of the classics, and those looking for something new.

The 2024/2025 season will also see the return of American Stage's exploratory Beyond the Stage programming, to be announced at a later date. Previous Beyond the Stage programming includes the popular “Tales by Twilight” series, and the theatre's first experimental play, “White Rabbit Red Rabbit.”

“I'm excited to go on this ride with all of you,” says Murray. “See you at the theatre!”

For more information on the upcoming season, visit Season subscriptions go on sale May 21.


American Stage Theatre has operated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida, providing live theatrical productions as a professional regional equity theatre since 1977. As Tampa Bay's longest-running, most critically acclaimed professional theatre company, its vision is to be a vital arts leader, connecting its community to world-class productions that celebrate the most powerful stories of the moment and the most defining stories from our past.

American Stage's year-round accessible programming brings the power of quality live theatre to eachgeneration. American Stage believes that through the telling of dynamic stories, the theatre has the power to unite us in our shared experiences and to deepen our connection to one another through the illumination of diverse perspectives.


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