Arts & Theater

Capital Stage founder moving to Florida

Stephanie Gularte, co-founder of Sacramento’s Capital Stage professional theater company, has been named artistic director of American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Stephanie Gularte, co-founder of Sacramento’s Capital Stage professional theater company, has been named artistic director of American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, Fla. Courtesy of Capital Stage

Stephanie Gularte, co-founder of Sacramento’s Capital Stage, has been hired as the new producing artistic director at the American Stage Theatre Company of St. Petersburg, Fla.

The company announced Gularte’s hiring on Tuesday.

Gularte co-founded Capital Stage with Peter Mohrmann and her husband, Jonathan Williams, in 2005 after she had spent five years as the artistic director of the Delta King Theatre. She stepped down from her position at Capital Stage in March 2013, and Williams was named to replace her.

Gularte starts her new position on Feb. 24, and Williams has told the Capital Stage board he plans to join Gularte in St. Petersburg, so the company will again search for new artistic leadership.

Williams will stay with Capital Stage through the completion of this season and will also select the plays for its 2015-16 season. He’ll then oversee the transition to new artistic leadership for the company.

“I am very committed to making sure that Capital Stage finds an appropriate, artistically aligned leader who will take on the leadership of the company heading into the future,” Williams said. “The board, myself, and Stephanie have all started the process of discussing what the transition might look like.”

Capital Stage has about 1,800 subscribers and its annual operating budget is just under $810,000. American Stage was established in 1977 and is considered the Tampa Bay regional professional theater company. It operates on a budget of $2.2 million, with year-round performances in the 182-seat Raymond James Theatre and a staff about three times larger than that of Capital Stage. The previous artistic director, Todd Olson, left after 11 years to become executive director of the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Maryland.

“When I made the decision to step down from Capital Stage,” Gularte said, “I wasn’t entirely sure what the next step would be, but I knew I was looking for the next big challenge in my life. This opportunity feels ideally suited to the experience that I’ve had and the opportunities I’m looking forward to.”

Gularte said some of the lure was that the larger company had significant resources with nearly five times as much contributed income as Capital Stage generates.

Williams will stay with the theater through the artistic transition and continue to be a member of its board. Gularte will be a board member emeritus. “The theater is in really excellent shape to ensure it maintains its artistic position in Sacramento,” Williams said.

Call The Bee’s Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. Follow him on Twitter @marcuscrowder.

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