Friday, September 18, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company presents The Great American Songbook: A Tribute to Phoenix’s Arts Community


from our friends at The Phoenix Theatre Company:

Live performing arts organizations, artists and patrons alike are eagerly awaiting the day they can gather for in-person events. Some local venues plan to reopen as soon as Fall 2020, while others have moved programming 100% online. As The Phoenix Theatre Company develops plans for digital content and outdoor performances later this year, the theatre company is graciously offering a free digital performance to its patrons, in collaboration with local favorite We3, it’s The Great American Songbook.


“Our faithful patrons are the reason we remain hopeful we’ll be back together soon for live performance,” says Karla Frederick, director of production at The Phoenix Theatre Company. “To thank our patrons, we’re collaborating with three of the Valley’s finest musicians for an evening of healing, joy and comfort.”


We3 is a Phoenix-based, all-female trio with pianist Nicole Pesce, vocalist Renee Grant Patrick and violinist Suzanne Lansford. The Great American Songbook encapsulates the work of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and more, giving viewers the opportunity to rediscover the most influential composers of jazz and showtune music.


“Music is something we need now more than ever—it uplifts, inspires and builds empathy,” says Nicole Pesce, pianist of We3. “This set list is meant to give us a sense of comfort. We’re celebrating these iconic composers. And even more so, it’s a reason for us to come together and enjoy the music we all know and love. ”


The Great American Songbook is a free digital event streaming live September 18 at 7:30PM. Once guests RSVP, The Phoenix Theatre Company will email attendees a streaming link. To learn more and to book a free ticket, visit To download this news release and photos visit


Thursday, September 17, 2020

State 48 Theatre Company presents ROMEO AND JULIET, September 18-20

State 48 Theatre Company is premiering Romeo & Juliet beginning this Friday  The show will be presented as a three-part mini series and will air at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 18-20). 

  • State 48 Theatre company presents a new twist on the classic tale of Romeo & Juliet - now set in the Old West! 
  • Join the all-ages cast in Verona, AZ, for an Old West tale of tragedy. Tybalt is a flashy cowboy, the Prince is the long-suffering sheriff, Mercutio is a whip-wielding, hard-drinking, cattle driver - she has a tangled relationship with more than one of the eligible bachelors in this town defined by which family you work for or call kin. 
  • Do Romeo and Juliet stand a chance in a town where the local preacher is also the saloon keeper and everybody carries a gun on their hip?
  • “Romeo & Juliet” will be presented online as a high-quality video and streamed as a three-part mini-series at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18, 19 and 20. It will include a live Zoom talk-back with performers each evening.
  • You can purchase a “virtual ticket” (to receive a link and watch the live stream) at or via Venmo @State-48-Theatre. Individuals: $15; families: $40. 
  • The show will be broadcast at (no login required). Viewers also can download the Twitch app on a mobile device (login required) or watch the show on Apple TV or Chromecast. (We recommend logging in 15 minutes early to troubleshoot any tech issues.)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Desert Foothills Theater announces their 2020 / 2021 Season!


from our friends at Desert Foothills Theater:

Desert Foothills Theater is pleased to announce our 2020-21 Season!

Desert Foothills Theater is ready for a SAFE and wonderful return to the stage. DFT takes its mission to heart in these challenging times.

Safety precautions include smaller audience sizes, safe distance seating, face masks, and a thorough theater-cleaning before each performance.

Our storytellers are excited to take you on journeys filled with music, dance, and adventure. We have missed you!

The majority of shows for the 2020-21 season will be performed at the beautiful

Holland Center in Scottsdale.
34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85266

Our seasoned patrons will know that this venue move is a change from previous years. The Desert Foothills Theater staff determined that this venue not only gives us the opportunity to recover from the challenges of recent times but also open with a FULL new season. Because the Holland Center is also the home of the DFT offices, this move allows our team to insure that the theater and premises are clean, safe, and ready for a wonderful and healthy theater season! 

Tickets are on sale now

You can purchase online, call, or visit the box office. Tickets this season are all General Admission Seating. Watch for add-on opportunities for early seating and pre-show VIP experiences to include a reception and priority seating. 

Ticket Packages

This season, patrons are offered the opportunity to purchase a special ticket package.

Purchase a ticket to your choice of FIVE shows for the price of FOUR.

Package price: 5 shows- $100 ($25 savings)

Receive Early Seating- Each show this year will be sold as General Admission tickets. Package ticket holders will receive early seating and our heartfelt gratitude for your support!

Call the Box Office to purchase your ticket package! Your Box Office Crew will be happy to help. (480) 488-1981. Ask for Carole or Ginny.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Laughing Pig Theatre Seeks Submissions for "The Most Awkward Talent Show"

from our friends at Laughing Pig Theatre:

We’ve all got weird skills that we never get to show off. Or maybe weird skills that we SHOULDN’T get to show off. Laughing Pig Theatre wants to celebrate your quirks with The Most Awkward Talent Show, a virtual showcase of the things we don’t often get to share.

Participants of all ages are welcome!  Showcase any talent you feel fits the description of “awkward” whether it’s something odd you do well or something at which you are spectacularly mediocre.  Winners will receive gift certificates for our favorite Phoenix businesses!

Deadline for submission is SEPTEMBER 15. Please upload a video of your talent to YouTube or Vimeo and use the attached form to submit the link.

Starting on SEPTEMBER 22, entries will be shared on social media two at a time every two days in head-to-head matches. The entry with the most interaction will advance. The top-rated videos at the end of the competition will receive a gift card to a local business.

Entries should be:
1) Your own work
2) No longer than three minutes
3) If previously recorded, must be within the last five years
4) Exercising proper judgement regarding inappropriate content (adult language generally ok)

Email for questions

Friday, September 11, 2020

Arizona Broadway Theatre announces FALL INTERIM PROGRAMMING beginning mid-October 2020!

Recognizing the ongoing public health challenges due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, ABT today announced plans to begin limited-occupancy in-person Fall Interim Programming beginning mid-October 2020. Programming will take place on the theatre's Mainstage and in the smaller Encore Room. All events will adhere to current reopening guidelines as set forth by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

Included in these exciting new offerings will be a series of programs tailored to family and senior audiences. October, November and December dates and times for the upcoming programming will be announced on Monday, September 14, 2020 via the ABT website ( and on all ABT social media platforms.


ABT Broadway Concert Series* 

A Celebration of Song! Join us as we pay homage to the most beloved melodies of Broadway, Hollywood and the Holidays. This Mainstage series features the extraordinary vocal talent of esteemed ABT Stars of the past, present and future! Concert themes include Music of the Night: A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hooray for Hollywood: A Salute to the Movie Musical and Home for the Holidays: Celebrating the Spirit of the Season!

TAD Management Concert Series* 

Building on our 10+ year partnership, TAD Management and ABT are again coming together to bring eight incredible tribute acts to the ABT stage. Upcoming concerts include Piano Man: Generations featuring Terry & Nick Davies, Voyager: A Tribute to Journey, One of These Nights: The Eagles Tribute, Nick Adams & The Stones: A Tribute to The Rolling Stones, A Tribute to Whitney & Aretha starring Chelsea Lockhart, Garth LIVE: A Tribute to Garth Brooks, December '63: A Tribute to the original Jersey Boys as well as a to-be-announced TAD Holiday Extravaganza concert!
Broadway BINGO!* 
(Encore Room)

Join us for fun and games, and something completely NEW! What could be better than Broadway AND Bingo! This unpredictable, interactive cabaret-style event, hosted by ABT’s very own Kurtis Overby, is the coolest game in town. With the song list determined by the numbers called, you could win the chance to pick your favorite Broadway Hits to be performed by our special local guest stars! Come play for fun and fabulous prizes! Each “show” will be completely unique, and chock-full of (physical-distanced) comedy and camaraderie.

The "UNPLUGGED" Concert Series* 
(Encore Room)

Get up close and personal (safely). This distinctive concert series showcases outstanding local musicians in the intimacy of ABT’s Encore Room. Nationally recognized artists will include Piano-composer phenom and Valley favorite Nicole Pesce, Jared Mancuso & Nick Gallardo with an "unplugged" tribute to Buddy Holly & Ritchie Valens, and ABT's own Resident Music Director Josh Condon and his equally talented better-half Lexy Condon with an intimate cabaret-style tribute to the holidays!

Midweek Movie Musicals* 
(Encore Room)

Everybody loves a matinee! Hosted by David Appleford, award-winning Valley film and theatre critic, these special screenings of classic movie musicals are a perfect way to spend the afternoon. October through December showings will include Singin' in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Paint Your Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, and of course, Irving Berlin's classic White Christmas!

Murder Mystery Series* 
(Encore Room)

ABT is excited to welcome back to the Encore Room our friends from the long-running Murder & A Meal Mystery Theatre. Murder & A Meal has been serving-up heaping platefuls of belly-laughs in the Valley of the Sun since 2005. A fully-interactive entertainment experience, Murder & A Meal is set in an intimate (yet COVID-conscious) environment where audience members become part of the action. Participants will enjoy a 3-course meal re-imagined to meet with current health & safety protocols. Shows to include CLUE and MURDER ON THE MOVIE SET (show descriptions and menus will be posted on


Based on recent national industry projections including Broadway and the Actor’s Union, all prudent indicators point to January 2021 for a full reopening of ABT and the return of fully-produced musical productions. Having closed only two days after its March 13, 2020 opening night, ABT's production of Chicago will be the first full production to return to the ABT stage. Announcements regarding future Mainstage productions, along with alternative ticketing options, will be announced in the weeks to follow.


ABT will be following all existing Executive Orders and Government & CDC recommendations with regard to additional sanitation, physical-distancing protocols, and local mask ordinances. Masks will be REQUIRED when attending ABT. Additional information and FAQs will be posted to on Monday, September 14.

*Programming dates subject to change

Phoenix College announces Auditions for their virtual production of 14

"Caution Economic Refugees" by jonathan mcintosh

Auditions for 14 by José Casas

Phoenix College will be holding auditions for their virtual production of this ethnodrama set against the backdrop of the U.S.-Mexico border.

14 was inspired by the true-life event in May 2001 in which a smuggler abandoned 30 Mexicans crossing the desert near Yuma, AZ, resulting in 14 deaths due to dehydration. The play is an ethnographic exploration of immigration in the United States, in particular, coming from the perspectives of people living on the Arizona (U.S.) border with Mexico. It is a fictionalized series of monologues based on playwright interviews and public accounts of Arizonans and Mexicans and their different attitudes toward the contemporary issues of not only immigration but also race and public policy.

Casting 16 multicultural performers

Auditions and rehearsals will be held online using a virtual platform from mid-September - early November. In November we will be filming at various locations and at Phoenix College in the Black Box Theatre. Health and safety precautions will be followed throughout all aspects of the production.
Auditions will be scheduled virtually in 15-minute increments on Thursday, September 17 from 4:00 pm - 9:30 pm and Friday, September 18 from 4:00 pm - 9:30 pm (with the last scheduled appointment at 9:15 pm on both days). Callbacks will be held on Saturday, September 19 from 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

If you would like to schedule an audition please email the director, Christina Marín, at

When you make an appointment you will receive a cutting from the script to prepare.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Reimagining Theatre in the World of COVID: An Immersive Journey to Wonderland in Theater Works' CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

Lauren Hardcastle as The Queen of Hearts
Photo by Josiah Duka Photography

by Gil Benbrook, Phoenix Regional Reporter

After having been closed for close to six months due to the COVID pandemic, theatre heads have been trying to find the right way and the correct time to reopen and start shows up again, now that cases are decreasing in certain areas. But how do you reopen and bring live theatre back to life while also ensuring your audiences and cast members are safe?

Chris Hamby, Theater Works' Artistic Director, and a group of actors and designers have devised an original production that not only provides a new and different theatrical experience but also one that adheres to strict CDC and state safety guidelines. Curiouser and Curiouser, an immersive theatrical venture that brings the characters of Lewis Carroll's 1865 children's novel "Alice in Wonderland" vividly to life while also enveloping an audience into the colorful, crazy and wild world of Wonderland, opens this week and runs through October 18.

Hamby and a small group of designers and actors who have worked on many past Theater Works shows devised Curiouser from a series of brainstorming sessions that started where they were told "the sky's the limit" to let their imaginations soar. They then brought in additional actors and expanded the creative team to further refine the story, characters, and creative aspects to provide an experience that enfolds a small audience of 10 or less at a time into the world of the story, but always with safety aspects in mind. The small audience allows for everyone, including the actors, to socially distance from each other and face masks are also required to be worn.

Talking to Desert Foothills Theater's Terry Temple about the Decision to Start Live Theatre Back Up with their upcoming production of DISNEY'S THE LION KING, JR

Terry Temple

by Gil Benbrook

As COVID cases across the country continue to decline, theatre leaders are having to make hard decisions on whether or not to resume live performances. On one hand it's understandable with this virus still out there and the date for a vaccine still unknown how some people may feel it's too early to start performances back up, even with a long list of safety measures in place. 

However, when I asked Desert Foothills Theater's Managing Director Terry Temple some questions about their decision to present their production of Disney's The Lion King, JR for a two weekend run from September 18-27, he said there were many factors that went into moving forward and reopening with this show, including the need for people, and kids especially, to get back to some sense of normalcy. 

Temple just took over at DFT last season, and only oversaw a few productions before everything shut down. Below Temple provides more detail to my questions about their production, the safety issue they've put in place as well as a few details about his plans for their upcoming 2020/2021 season.

What were some of the questions and concerns that led to your decision to present Lion King, Jr. as one of the first live shows in town since everything shut down last March?

Terry Temple: "Our decision process was led by the parents of our community and our desire to serve them. Over the summer we had a number of inquiries from parents asking if DFT was offering anything in person for their children. They used terms and phrases like 'desperate', 'My child is withdrawing/falling back', 'depressed.'  We managed to safely pull off a couple of small, in-person experiences successfully which only made the demand to get back to some 'theater' normalcy only greater."

What safety measures will you have in place for the performances?  

"During the rehearsal process we are doing everything you might expect: Temperature checks, sanitizer, masks always, distancing as much as possible. Additionally, we are limiting audience size, offering streaming performances when allowed, and actors will wear face shields that will also be incorporated into the costume design using feathers, fur, etc."

What comments have you heard from parents of DFT kids over the last few months about their concerns, both pro and con, in presenting live shows?

"From our community, our parents and actors we have only heard positive things.  They have been so generous in expressing their gratitude.  Parents are profoundly concerned with the mental and emotional health of the children and I, along with my theater team, thought it was time to step up.  We have, however, received a few rather snarky, indirect and rather judgmental comments out there from members of the theater community on social media.   If they had reached out to me directly I would just tell them that Covid and all its negative effects go well beyond just the physical.  We are beginning to understand the challenges and serious issues that arise from the isolation these kids have experienced these past 5 months."

What was the turnout for your auditions like?

"The response was overwhelming with audition turnout being the largest of any show here in the past two years.  We exceeded our audition signups and had several video auditions as well.  From the feedback I'm getting I believe this trend will continue. "

I know you are planning to announce your 2020/2021 season soon, which will be your first full season after being announced as DFT's new Managing Director last December. Any information you can let us know at this time about your plans for the season or what went into picking the shows?

"We are days away from announcing our season!  We are just waiting on the rights to one more show so that we can announce the season in its entirety. I am so excited about these shows.  There is something for everyone... children, teens, adults of all ages.   It is the most ambitious season DFT has offered in quire some time.  Stay tuned."

Scottsdale Musical Theater presents BEST OF BROADWAY, a live stream concert, September 12 & 13

SMTC is producing a Live Streaming concert featuring a full evening of some of the best songs from some of Broadway’s Best Shows. With the coronavirus pandemic shuttering all performance venues and leaving live theater audiences with no outlets to enjoy their favorite Broadway musicals, SMTC is hoping in a small way to fill that void with this live streamed event: “Best of Broadway: Hit Songs from Hit Musicals”. The concert will be streamed on Saturday, September 12th @ 8pm PT and on Sunday, September 13th @ 7pm PT.
Our live stream concert will feature the vocal talents of Addam Donada, Amy Faithe, Matt Newhard, Ryan Parker and Alexus Poulette. All five performers have been seen in many SMTC productions as well as in numerous other productions and venues around the valley. SMTC Musical Director Joni Van Rossum will be at the keyboards. We will be filming at a local Phoenix area venue and all video production will be handled by Gotham Arts HD.
And to add to the fun, SMTC is making the entire evening a trivia challenge. As people watch the concert from the comfort of their own homes, they can keep track of the title of each song and the show it's from, and then email us back with their answers. The first twenty-five people from each night who name all the songs and shows correctly will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Streaming times are Saturday, September 12th @ 8pm PT and on Sunday, September 13th @ 7pm PT.
Virtual Tickets are on sale for $15 and can be purchased at Once purchased, an email will automatically sent out providing the viewing link for the specified date and time.