1. "This time around" means "this time", but implies that a similar event has taken place before. If the sentence relates to a play, for example, the directors have staged the play before.
2. Yes, exactly: "in dispensing" means "in giving out".
3. "Life Lessons" is in capitals to denote a humorous, detached, ironic attitude on the writer's part. If he had written simply "life lessons", it might have seemed as if he believed the production did indeed give life lessons. The capital letters show that he thinks that Laseter and his co-director think they're dispensing "life lessons".
All the best,