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BWW Previews: RAJENDRA RAMOON MAHARAJ APPOINTED PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND RESIDENT PLAYWRIGHT, OPENS SEASON WITH THE ODD COUPLE at American Stage

One of the first productions under Rejendra is a classic tale "The Odd Couple," with a contemporary twist.

BWW Previews: RAJENDRA RAMOON MAHARAJ APPOINTED PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND RESIDENT PLAYWRIGHT, OPENS SEASON WITH THE ODD COUPLE at American Stage Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj has been appointed Producing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright at American Stage. His vision is to provide a space for people of all walks of life to be awakened and enlightened, challenged and inspired, and tell stories rooted deeply in the experience of America.

Rajendra is an Indo-Afro-Caribbean, multi-award-winning, multi-disciplinary American Theater Artist, Educator, Administrator, and Activist.

"I'm happy to be here in St. Pete. I've worked as an artistic director, playwright, director, and choreographer. I've worn many hats in my journey to the chair here at American Stage. I'm a person who believes in the empty space. Growing up, the theatre gave me direction, insight and reminded me, as Maya Angelou says, 'we are more alike than different.' "

The shows for the new season were inspired by the past, present, and future.

BWW Previews: RAJENDRA RAMOON MAHARAJ APPOINTED PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND RESIDENT PLAYWRIGHT, OPENS SEASON WITH THE ODD COUPLE at American Stage "This reflects the world, our country, the state, our city - coming through pandemic, through the Black Lives Matter movement, through the all the things that have been hammered and chiseled into the very soul of our nation. I've always believed that the theatre must reflect the times. In the stories we are presenting will be the conversations that have also been had at kitchen tables across America."

One of the first productions under Rejendra is a classic tale told thousands of times across stages over the United States... with a twist.

Oscar is a slob. Felix is neat. Oscar loves being single, and Felix is newly divorced.

If you recognize Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" description, expect the same dialogue but within an entirely different setting. Opening on Wednesday, October 27, American Stage is reimagining this theatre favorite. Under the directorial debut of Adam Mace, the theatre company has set the play in the summer of 2021 New York, in the heart of the pandemic, using a multicultural cast.

"The Odd Couple represents the journey of how friendship, understanding, and tolerance can really be at the forefront of who we are as a nation and a community, that people from all walks of life, new groups, new families, and groups of people who might not have ever connected, that connected during the pandemic. The heart of show is about two friends kicked out by their wives that have to find a new family. We know from the pandemic that the divorce rate and people splitting up have increased. People are living on couches or moving in with roommates. It felt right on time for what's happening across our country. Then there's the idea of just friendship - we thought it was a great opportunity to reflect the world we live in, to laugh, and to have a good time."

"The Odd Couple" features Michael Burgess (Felix Unger), Damon Dennin* (Oscar Madison), BWW Previews: RAJENDRA RAMOON MAHARAJ APPOINTED PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND RESIDENT PLAYWRIGHT, OPENS SEASON WITH THE ODD COUPLE at American Stage Massiel Evans (Cecily Pigeon), Xavier Harris (Speed), Nick Hoop (Roy), Nicole Masterson* (Gwendolyn Pigeon), and Vickie Daignault* (Vinnie), the play is the return to in-theatre performances for American Stage.

After the play ends, Rajendra, the actors, director, and crew will have a Q&A talkback with the audience.

"We want to create a bridge with the community and the art that we do. Beyond the footlights, we want to ensure that the learning, healing, and inspiration continue when the show ends. We are so excited to welcome back our community. We commit to telling stories that not just reflect the past and the present, but the future as America continues to unfold and grow into this beautiful and diverse nation."

The Odd Couple is on October 27-November 21 at American Stage, 163 3rd St N, St. Petersburg on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm, Friday & Saturday Evenings at 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2 pm. American Stage follows CDC guidelines, requires masks, and is at 85% capacity. Buy tickets and learn more at americanstage.org.




From This Author - Deborah Bostock-Kelley

A twice-published author, multi-time award-winning playwright, magazine writer, theatre reviewer, and newspaper journalist with 30+ years in journalism and business copywriting, Deb was a 2019 Recipient... (read more about this author)


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