Date ArticleType
4/3/2020 Member News

American Stage announces New PSA Video Initiative

First PSA focuses on creating and donating face masks to local health organizations 


St. Petersburg, FL

– American Stage announces its PSA initiative, repurposing staff expertise to benefit and enrich local and national communities. 

With live programming currently paused due to the COVID-19 health crisis and social distancing directives, the team at American Stage, the Tampa Bay area’s longest-running professional live theatre, has launched a series of PSA videos featuring staff members utilizing their skills in creative tutorials.  

“We have a very talented staff with a diverse range of skill sets who are all dedicated to our community,” said CEO/Producing Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte, “When our programming was suddenly halted, it became important to us right away to pivot and to find other creative ways to make an impact.”

The first PSA, released on March 26, featured American Stage costume shop manager Jill Castle creating face masks to donate to local health organizations using in-house equipment, fabric and materials from their costume shop. Dozens of masks have already been delivered to facilities in need. Castle hopes that with her efforts, along with the efforts of the American Stage apprentice cohort and other staff members, over 200 masks will be donated in the coming weeks to various healthcare companies with immediate needs. Castle, leading this initiative, was even able to connect with a nurse and received feedback on how to enhance future construction for longevity after washing.

“We recognize that in a time of crisis, we all need to be thinking of the greater good. It fulfills an urgent need in the community but also keeps us active, rather than idle,” Associate Artistic Director Kristin Clippard said. “There is a movement across the country amongst individual makers and across the industry in theater costume shops to help this effort. It's fueling a sense of purpose and togetherness in tough times.” 

The company is encouraging others in the community to create masks as well, posting instructions at Castle is encouraging those interested in helping to visit the Masks For Medical Workers in Tampa Bay Facebook page to learn about who is collecting mask donations. Videos can be viewed on American Stage’s social media channels. 
“Hopefully, by sewing and providing masks, we are making a small difference in helping our local health care workers get through this very trying time.” Castle said.

Additional American Stage PSAs will include Director of Production Jerid Fox providing a tutorial on “Set Dressing Your Remote Work Station,” “How to Play Creatively at Home” with Director of Education and Outreach Tiffany Ford, “Graphic Design Basics” with Marketing Manager Roman Black, and more. Videos can be viewed on American Stage’s social media channels.

“While American Stage’s live programming and events are currently on pause, we will seek innovative new opportunities to work in partnership with our community to focus on our collective well-being.” Gularte said.


American Stage Theatre operates as a non-profit 501-(C)(3) and has been providing live theatrical performances as a professional regional equity theatre in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida since 1977. American Stage’s mission is to reinforce the power of live theatre with high quality productions that excite and challenge a diverse audience. Our year-round programming seeks to realize this through our Mainstage Season, Spotlight Series, 21st Century Voices: New Play Festival, American Stage in the Park and Improv. American Stage Education’s offerings include award-winning Teaching Artist Outreach, focused on bringing theatrical arts experiences to underserved populations, helping them to excel onstage & beyond.
We believe that through the telling of dynamic stories, live 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. American Stage artists and stakeholders are responsible for helping a small theatre touring company blossom into a thriving world-class professional theatre providing nearly 80,000 Tampa Bay residents and tourists with accessible, relevant art and arts education annually. 
Powerful Stories. Boldly Told.
Phone: (727) 823-PLAY (7529)