Friday, July 3, 2020

All Puppet Players announces Friday Night Movie Nights online!

from our friends at All Puppet Players:

We here at All Puppet Players are doing our best to make sure you are entertained during these Quarantine Times. Most theaters are preparing to reopen in 2021 and that seems more and more likely for us as AZ goes into full blown "Walking Dead" mode. HOWEVER, we are still trying to perform. We are still doing what we can to make your life a little brighter in the midst of all of this chaos. We have been doing internet shows and showing all of our old programs on Youtube and Facebook. 

Now we are launching our VERY popular "Movie Nights" online. For just $5 a month (or more if you're feeling generous!) you can join us every Friday at 8pm and watch a movie carefully selected to be BAD! Depending on the level of "puppet-child-support" you can also earn exclusive merchandise and even links to our past shows to watch on your own. 

Our movie night will include special guests, a couple of puppets and a custom made Nic Cage puppet to bring you some cult classics films while our comedians crack wise. Sorta like Mystery Science Theater - only LEGALLY NOT. 

PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE go to to sign up and get ready for some heavy petting and down right dirty fisting!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

auditions for ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS at Acting Zone announced for July 21

Alice Through The Looking Glass Auditions
by Roald Dahl

Adaptation Written by Jim Gradillas and Michelle Marie

Sign up for Auditions for this new adaptation adventure are Tuesday, July 21st by appointments! No preparation necessary. We will do some cold readings, simple improvisation and movement. 

If you are unable to make this date please email us at for other alternatives. 

Alice Through The Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice again enters a fantastical world, this time by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it. There she finds that, just like a reflection, everything is reversed, including logic! 

This new adaptation will be written by Arizoni Award winning writer/directors: Jim Gradillas and Michelle Marie. We are hoping to have two casts to create more performance experiences for our young people! 

Performances are Sept 11th through September 20th (Fri-Sun) Complete Calendar is on the website. Acting Zone performs in Goodyear at 1832 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85395 

Desert Stages Session 2 Camp sells out! Get ready for Session 3!

Desert Stages Summer Camp Session 2 is SOLD OUT!

Our campers are having a blast learning the music and moves for Cinderella
with plenty of space for safety at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort!

Interested in signing up for session 3?

Here is what you can count on for a safe & healthy camp for your kids:
✔️ Temperature checks upon arrival
✔️ Curbside check in/check out
✔️ Individual groups of 𝟏𝟎 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 with no more than 3 counselors
✔️ Separate camp rooms and show space. Groups are never combined
✔️ Mandatory masks for all campers, counselors, staff, & volunteers

Thank you to Infinity Insurance Partners for being our session sponsor!

Register for session 3 today before space runs out HERE!

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company presents a staged reading of LUNCH AT AUDREY'S on June 28

The Phoenix Theatre Company presents a reading of the world premiere play Lunch at Audrey's by Jarlath Barsanti-Jacobs. The reading will be streamed on YouTube Live on Sunday June 28th at 7pm for free. (Visit The reading will be directed by Karla Koskinen, and will feature Claire Brownell as Audrey Hepburn, as well as Maria Amorocho, Maren Mascarelli, Pasha Yamotahari, and Toby Yatso.

The play, which was developed at The Phoenix Theatre Company's Festival of New American Theatre, will receive its world premiere as part of the 20/21 season. Lunch at Audrey's follows Audrey Hepburn, as she waits on pins and needles for a doctor's call to confirm the viability of her third attempt at motherhood. Her day is complicated by worrisome calls from her husband and her mother with mounting pressure from her agent to play Holly Golightly (a call girl!). Playwright Jarlath Barsanti-Jacobs lovingly imagines a day in the life of one of cinema's most enduring icons. 

" New Work Development is still thriving in the age of quarantine here at The Phoenix Theatre Company,” says Robert Kolby Harper, Associate Artistic Director. "The method has had to change but we are thrilled to be able to redirect our efforts back to what we do best: developing new American Theatre. Our shows may be on pause but the work continues.” 

Jarlath Barsanti-Jacobs continues, “Writing this play has been such a labor of love. A reading is such a special opportunity to welcome a community into the development process.”

The reading of Lunch at Audrey’s marks an addition to a busy summer of digital content at The Phoenix Theatre Company. Offerings include a regular interview series with Producing Artistic Director Michael Barnard called Behind the Curtain, summer programming (Summer of Dance Live and Next Stages), and benefit concerts (UNITE: A Benefit for Black Lives Matter and An Evening with Friends).

Desert Stages Summer Camp Continues After A Sold Out First Session! Session 2 begins Monday June 29th, 2020

Desert Stages Theatre (DST) will be hosting the second session of their three session Summer Camp beginning on Monday June 29th, 2020 and coming off of a SOLD OUT first session. The theme for session 2 is Gerry Cullity’s Cinderella and will be held at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, the new location for DST’s 2020 Summer Camp. Children ages 6 -12 are encouraged to participate in DST’s annual summer camp where they will receive hands-on theatrical training in a non-competitive, fun environment.

DST is going to great lengths to ensure the safety and well-being of each child with strict COVID-19 structures in place including staggering check-in and check-out times, checking all participants’ temperature upon arrival, conducting verbal health screenings of each participant, requiring all campers to wear masks upon arrival and all staff to wear masks for the duration of the camp session, ensuring all campers and staff maintain a six foot physical distance from each other, frequently disinfecting common areas and requiring routine hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day. Please visit for more information.

For this year’s Summer Camp, DST has partnered with The Scottsdale Plaza Resort (SPR), located at Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale, AZ. The resort offers a gateway to a unique and authentic desert experience in Arizona. SPR is offering some incredible staycation specials including resort credit and waived resort fees. Mention Desert Stages Theatre when booking. For more info visit

To register please visit Registration prices are $415 per child for the first session, $390 for a second child or second session.

Session 2, Gerry Cullity’s Cinderella is sponsored by Infinity Insurance Partners.

Infinity Insurance Partners secures the best insurance package for your business or personal needs beginning with planning. To learn more visit If you are interested in sponsoring Session 3 of Summer Camp please contact Ellen Versen at

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence Board along with the United Colours of Arizona Theatre presents the Arizona Theatre Community Town Hall, June 29

Join the ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence Board along with the United Colours of Arizona Theatre (UCAT) on Monday June 29th at 7:00pm for a virtual town hall / public forum to discuss current issues that are impacting BIPOC actors in town.

The goal of this meeting is to facilitate community discussion and then work together to create an action plan for enacting meaningful change within our arts community.

The forum will be moderated and will be broadcast to the ariZoni Awards of Theatre Excellence Facebook page for our community to join in the conversation.

The Virtual Theatre of Arizona presents DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA , June 26

The Virtual Theatre of Arizona presents Don Quixote de la Mancha by Maria Ruiz de Burton, directed by Chris R. Chávez, LIVE on our facebook page ( on Friday June 26th at 7pm.

Narrator- Stephanie "Tippi" Hart

Don Quixote de la Mancha- Justin Hosten

Sancho Panza- Osiris Cuen

Carrasco; 1st Old Man- Diego Fernando Salinas

Curate; 2nd Old Man- Jesus "JD" Diaz

Niece; 2nd girl; 2nd maid; Dueñas; Nymph; Teresa Panza- Cné Serrano

Housekeeper; 3rd Girl; 3rd maid; Dueñas; Duchess- Luz Navarro

Innkeeper's Daughter; Sanchica Panza; Milkmaid; 1st maid; Dueñas; Secretary- Alejandra Luna

1st Convict; A Villager; Montesinos; Duke; Steward; 1st man- Danny A. Bennett

Genisillo; Servant; City Marshall; Man; Figure (Death); Squire; 3rd Convict- Michael Rodriguez

Innkeeper; Officer; Peasant; Guide; Country Man; Merlin- Mateo Hernandez

Maritornes; Dueña Doña Rodriguez; Countess Trifaldi- Erzsébet Szabó

Tailor; Doctor; Devil; 2nd Convict- Silvestre Becerra

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fountain Hills Theater announces their updated 2020 / 2021 Season!

Fountain Hills Theater publicly announced their 2020-21 Season on March 1st at their annual gala, Broadway in the Hills. Since that time, there have been many challenges to the theatrical entertainment world. As a safety measure, the upcoming season has been slightly revamped with smaller cast shows. Fountain Hills Theater promises to return to bringing you the large cast musicals you have come to expect from them, in an upcoming season. There are a total of 15 knockout titles, including 10 musicals and 5 plays for its Mainstage, Mainstage Too! and Youth Theaters. For Season Tickets, please go to their website at, call the Box Office at 480-837-9661 x3 or email Discounted 2020-21 Season Ticket packages are on sale now (for as low as $99!). Single Tickets for the new season go on sale July 10, 2020.


Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones, Music by Harvey Schmidt
Sept 4 – 27, 2020

Try to Remember!

The longest running musical in history comes to our stage and tells the simple and endearing story about a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a love that grows with each season. You’ll remember when love was so tender.

The Fantasticks is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized theater materials are also presented by MTI.

By Ira Levin
October 16 – Nov. 1, 2020

Deadly Games

Cunningly clever and comically twisted, Deathtrap is a murder mystery masterpiece that is so wickedly good…it’s to die for!

Deathtrap is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.


By Rupert Holmes
Nov. 6 -22, 2020

A Trip to Comedy Heaven Spend a hilarious, heart-warming evening in the company of the world’s favorite and funniest comedian, George Burns, in this Broadway hit. George is in limbo, unable to join his beloved wife, Gracie, until he gives the performance of his life for God.

Say Goodnight, Gracie is presented through special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing

Written and Arranged by JR McAlexander
December 4 – 20, 2020

A Heart-Warming Christmas Gift!

This joyous and touching variety show will become a special part of your holiday tradition with all the merriment of the season including a delightful visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

A Holly Jolly Christmas is presented through special arrangement with Showtune Productions

Book, Music and Lyrics by Dennis T. Giaconi
January 29 – February 21, 2021

Disney meets Bridesmaids!

Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ’em?! Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the hilarious hit musical that is anything but Grimm. Forget the princesses you think you know. When these royal renegades toss off their tiaras, this hilariously subversive, not-for-the-kiddies musical cleverly reveals what really happened ‘ever after’!

Disenchanted is presented through special arrangement with Broadway Licensing.

By David Lindsay-Abaire
March 12 – April 4, 2021

A Tale of Two Bitties!

At a Senior Living Facility, cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with infuriatingly chipper new-arrival Marilyn. Something's gotta give! Starring the Grande Dames of valley theater, Noel Irick and Barbara McBain.

Ripcord is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.

The Nunsense Vegas Revue
By Dan Goggin
April 23 – May 16, 2021

Habit Forming Hilarity

The “Little Sisters of Hoboken” are back! The Sisters are performing at the Pump Room in the Mystique Motor Lodge for a show proving what happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas!

Nunsensations is presented through special arrangement with Tams-Witmark, a Concord Theatricals Company.

ON MAINSTAGE TOO! in 2020-21

By Ben Tyler
November 6 – 22, 2020

Barry Goldwater

Playwright Ben Tyler, provides a funny and touching glimpse into the life of a true renaissance man. Merchant, aviator, photographer, politician and founder of the modern conservative movement.

By Ted Swindley
January 8 – 31, 2021

Sweet Dreams

This heartfelt revue tells the story of the country legend’s unlikely friendship with a fan. Featuring a wealth of Cline’s hits such as “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall To Pieces,” and “Crazy.”

Always, Patsy Cline is presented through special arrangement with Ted Swindley Productions.

By Peter J. Hill
May 14 – June 6, 2021

How the West was Fun! This world premier musical comedy by the award-winning Artistic Director of The Fountain Hills Theater, Peter J. Hill is the hilarious tale of Buzzard Basin, the ideal western town plagued by a coward who refuses to live up to the ‘Code of the West’. Filled with traditional cowboy songs and outlandish characters, a visit to Buzzard Basin is sure to leave you kickin’ up your boot heels.


Based on the comic strip ‘Peanuts’ by Charles M. Schulz, Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner, Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer, Additional music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
September 18 - October 4, 2020

Good Grief!

Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang explore life’s great questions, struggle with homework, sing songs, swoon over their crushes and celebrate the joys of friendship.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is presented through special arrangement with Tams-Witmark, a Concord Theatricals company.

By Allison Gregory
December 4 – 20, 2020

P.S. So Does May!

This first grader is super-excited about the Holiday Sing-along and Secret Santa. Too bad tattle-tale May is ruining all of Junie B’s fun!

Junie B in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells is presented through special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

Adapted by Kristin Lawrence
February 19 – March 7, 2021

Save a Place in Your Heart

Live laugh, love and cry with Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth as they go through the many trials and tribulations that have made this story a classic.

Little Women is presented through special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing

Conceived and Originally Directed by John-Michael Tebelak, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
April 2 – 18, 2021

A Miracle of a Musical! An eclectic blend of songs by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, are employed as the story of Jesus' life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus' messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.

Godspell, presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized theater materials are also presented by MTI.

Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Music adapted & arranged and Additional Music & Lyrics by Will Van Dyke. Book and Additional Lyrics by Cheryl Davis, Based on the stories of A.A. Milne and the Disney Animated feature film
June 4 – 20, 2021

Hip, Hip, Pooh-Ray!

A delightful musical based on the beloved A.A. Milne characters and the Disney film that features the favorite Pooh songs as well as new hits by the composers of Frozen

Winnie the Pooh, Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized theater materials are also presented by MTI.

Fountain Hills Theater is committed to the safety of their patrons, staff, and performers. They will be closely following CDC safety recommendations, as well as local guidelines, due to COVID-19. Reduced seating with physical distancing measures will be implemented inside theaters for, at least, the first part of the season. Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the facility, and the wearing of face masks inside the facilities, for staff and patrons, is currently mandated by Maricopa County. Please check the website for evolving guidelines as the season progresses. Mainstage and Mainstage Too! performances at Fountain Hills Theater are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM. Youth performances are Fridays, Saturdays at 7:00PM and Sundays at 2PM. All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available online, or through the theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3. Current box office hours are 12:00 PM-3:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday) and one hour before any performance. For more information, please visit

Fountain Hills Theater is located at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. Phone: 480.837.9661. Fax: 480.837.5972. The Box Office is open Tues.- Sat. 12pm-5pm (closed Sun. and Mon.). The website is

Southwest Shakespeare Company presents a Virtual Live Reading of the new play LADY BALTHASAR, Saturday, June 27

Join Southwest Shakespeare Company Live Online Saturday, June 27th at 6:30pm (PDT)  via ZOOM AND FACEBOOK

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Award Winning Director and Founding Artistic Director of American Shakespeare Center, Jim Warren is currently in rehearsal with Southwest Shakespeare Company to present Lady Balthasar a new play by Ginna Hoben this Saturday, June 27 @ 6:30 pm PDT  (7:30 MDT (8:30 CDT - 9:30 EDT) ZOOM audiences worldwide.
The title is a satirical jab at how very many of Shakespeare’s secondary characters are called Balthasar. “Knowing Southwest Shakespeare shares my interest in developing the next generation of ‘Shakespeares’, I approached them with the idea of reading Lady Balthasar”, said Warren. The playwright, Ginna Hoben, is one of Warren’s favorite actors who has performed on ASC stage and touring shows. Hoben is having great success with her semi-autobiographical solo show, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, which Warren directed and helped develop for its world-premiere and 7-year holiday run at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Virginia.  “When I was asked to direct a Shakespeare play for SW Shakes I suggested Lady Balthasar because it’s a brilliant companion piece for Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, recently done by SW Shakes; it comically chronicles Portia and Nerissa’s venture into the legal profession” said Warren. “All the characters named Balthasar appear in this play along with a few other famous Shakespeare creations to add to the hi-jinx. It’s an extremely funny and poignant look at Shakespeare’s strong female leads, it’s written in contemporary language, and it contains quotes from several other Shakespeare plays.”
Lady Balthasar is a terrific piece for Hoben the playwright, who will also be playing the lead character, Portia supported by two very strong actors from Southwest Shakespeare stages, Betsy Mugavero and Alison Campbell. The entire cast volunteers from among the nation’s best. The recording will kept in the Education Library at Southwest Shakespeare for use in schools and community groups who may be unable to see live performances until the pandemic is contained.
Warren has produced and cast over 280 shows. Lady Balthasar is cast from past productions all over the country. The company is hoping for another global audience. Over 4,000 devices logged-in to see SW Shakespeare’s’ The Merchant of Venice.

DIRECTOR: Jim Warren 
PORTIA: Ginna Hoben
NERISSA: Betsy Mugavero
MERCH BALTH: Sheffield Chastain
DICK: Dan Matisa
RJ BALTH: John Way
ROS: Jessika Williams
VI: Alison Campbell
ADO BALTH: Greg Phelps
MARGARET: Tamiko Steele

Questions? Please email Stacey Walston @

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Quarantine Q/A: JAMES D. GISH

James D. Gish (right) with Kennedy Caughell in Beautiful, the Carole King Musical
photo by Joan Marcus

by Gil Benbrook

Our series of "Quarantine" interviews, which focus on individuals involved in the Phoenix theatre community and their reaction to the impact of COVID and our stay at home mandate, continues today with a conversation with Arizona native, actor James D. Gish. 

Gish has played numerous lead roles at theatres in town, including as Jack in Newsies, Tony in West Side Story and as Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys at the Phoenix Theatre Company, and is currently appearing as Gerry Goffin in the national tour of Beautful, the Carole King Musical.

COVID-19 has affected us all in many ways. The theatre community has been harshly impacted with show closures and postponements. We hope this series of daily interviews will be a way to provide some personal insight to what people are doing during this period of time while highlighting familiar individuals from the theatre community in town.

Please note that this interview happened in late May before the protests and the recent large increase in COVID cases in Arizona.

Was there a show you were in or involved with or preparing for when the stay at home order started?

"I remember joking with the cast of Beautiful the night before to drink it all in in case we got cancelled the next day. Turns out we got the news in Texas the next day. We were bussing into a hotel when one of us had a friend who’s ticket got cancelled for that evening. That’s how we learned our venues were dropping like flies on March 13th, and within a few hours they were already arranging our flights home."

How have you been personally impacted by our current situation?

"It’s strange to lose your entire industry in addition to your job. It’s strange to be sitting at home when I was acclimated to traveling 3 times a week, but I’m finding ways to stay busy."

How has your daily routine changed?

"I’m enjoying more regularity day by day than I have in a long time. It’s been a while since the last time I was able to wake up and make a cup of coffee before starting my day!"

James D. Gish and the cast of Newsies
The Phoenix Theatre Company
photo by Reg Madison Photography

What do you feel will be different when theater restarts?

"Small shows will inherit Broadway. Less cast, less crew, smaller productions with shorter runs that operate under cheaper tickets from smaller audiences. I think tours will get back to normal much sooner, but I anticipate lots of half-empty theatres and strict backstage rules for a long time. Shows will be restaged so there’s less physical contact between actors."

When do you think that’ll happen?

"The million dollar question! The theatre websites say September, but the grapevine says January or March for New York theatre. Here’s hoping some change allows it to happen sooner, but this is going to be a drawn out and arduous process."

What have you been doing to stay creative during this time?

"I consider myself lucky that I have a passion for writing in addition to performing. I’ve written a couple of young adult fantasy novels that I’m starting to market and pitch to agencies and such, and that’s been very exciting in its own right."

Any binge tv shows you’ve watched?

"Aside from Tiger King, really only That 70s Show with my girlfriend Jessie Jo. We don’t watch a ton of tv- can’t seem to sit still long enough!"

Any new hobbies you’ve taken on?

"I’ve been helping revamp my parents’ bar during the shutdown, so I suppose you could say I’m an amateur painter and even more amateur carpenter these days."

How has this experience changed you?

"It’s taught the harsh but necessarily lesson that nothing is permanent or guaranteed. I find myself relishing in the small joys in life recently because with everything we’ve lost, we still have so much to be thankful for and you never know if the world could be upended again."

What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to now that Arizona and most states have lifted the stay at home order?

"To be frank, I’ll be staying home and being careful as much as I can, but I’m looking forward to small businesses being able to make money again. I’ll continue to do lots of takeout and roadside product pick ups to support them over the coming months!"

James D. Gish and Jessie Jo Pauley perform "Love is an Open Door":

Space 55 Seeks Original Scripts from BIPOC Playwrights for their Upcoming Season

from our friends at Space 55:

It’s time for Space 55 to announce its landmark 15th season, and we want you to be a part of it!

Space 55 is seeking original scripts from our friends in the Arizona BIPOC community to be considered for the upcoming 2020-2021 mainstage season. If you are a BIPOC playwright and have an original show that you would like to be considered for production, we want to read it! All stories are welcome; there are no restrictions on content, scope, or subject matter. Our only requirement: the play must be a full-length script (60+ minutes long when performed), or a combination of one-acts (totaling 60+ minutes when performed).

Scripts are due by July 3rd, 2020. Please send all submissions and questions to Artistic Director BJ Garrett ( Submissions will be fully read and considered by our diverse and inclusive ensemble, and the selected script will be announced with the remainder of our season on July 24th, 2020!

Formed in 2006 by Shawna Franks, Space 55 Theatre Ensemble is dedicated to developing new, under-represented and innovative theatre, and presenting it at an affordable price in a relaxed, casual environment. In addition to its own original productions, the Space 55 performance venue hosts a wide variety of live entertainment by diverse performers, including improvisational comedy, music and other special events. Space 55 a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

Spotlight Youth Theatre announces their 2020 Spotlight Youth Theatre Playfest Competition

It's Time to Tell Your Story
(From A Distance...)

The Spotlight Playfest Competition is for young adult playwrights (ages 16-22) to create a one-act (short) play for young actors. 

Every writer who enters will receive custom feedback from dramatists at SYT about the strengths of their play and challenges to work on.

Three winners will receive $100 and a chance for your play to be produced at SYT!

Submissions are due by July 10th, 2020.

See all details on the Spotlight website HERE.

Monday, June 22, 2020


Alyssa Chiarello
by Gil Benbrook

Our series of "Quarantine" interviews, which focus on individuals involved in the Phoenix theatre community and their reaction to Arizona's stay at home mandate and the recent protests to fight racial injustice, continues today with a conversation with Valley actress Alyssa Chiarello.

The COVID-19 virus and the protests for racial equality in support of #blacklivesmatter  have affected us all in many ways. The theatre community has been harshly impacted with show closures and postponements. We hope this series of interviews will be a way to provide some personal insight into what people are doing during this period of time while highlighting familiar individuals from the theatre community in town.

Was there a show you were in or involved with or preparing for when the stay at home order started?  

"I was two weeks away from starting rehearsals for The Rocky Horror Show with the Phoenix Theatre Company where I was playing the role of Janet and I had a performance of Brock Pro Entertainment's Brockway Concert that was canceled/postponed. "

How have you been personally impacted by both COVID and the stay at home order in March as well as the current situation with the protests fighting for racial justice and #blacklivesmatter? 

"I am a caregiver for my father so COVID has impacted me personally because I have to be more cautious and conscious than most so I can continue to be there for him without endangering him. In regards to the current racial justice situation, it unfortunately is not just current it's been ongoing. It's current now because it's just now being brought to significant attention. It makes me proud the way we as a community of human beings have come together to peacefully protest and stand by each other to fight for each other regardless of race. In regards to #blacklivesmatter and as a Mexican-American woman who has seen prejudice directly affect my family, I wish people would truly take the time to listen and take initiative of what positive action they can take rather than argue so much on social media."

How has your daily routine changed? 

"My daily routine has changed significantly in the sense that everything is much more relaxed. I wouldn't say things have slowed down as far as what needs to get done, but there isn't a rush to get anywhere at a specific time. My schedule used to be, wake up, go to the gym, see my family, then go to the theatre. I had become used to having a more regimented schedule so I almost didn't know where to start creating a new schedule. "

What do you feel will be different when theater restarts? 

"I feel that some people may be understandably hesitant, and there will be some social distant regulations. However, I think overall the big difference will be the exhilarated buzz from the actors and the patrons. Every theatre lover, whether patron or performer, are missing it on deeper levels than they imagined. Some people are realizing now just how much they depended on it since it's been taken away. Live theatre is a beautiful outlet that connects people to each other and themselves in new inspiring ways and in ways that they maybe forgot. "

When do you think that’ll happen? 

"I am hoping that it will happen by Fall or Winter of this year."

What have you been doing to stay creative during this time? 

"I'm very excited about an upcoming Latina concert I am working on with Brock Pro Entertainment where I'll be leading the vocals of the best hits of Gloria Estefan, Selena, Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez with choreography by Nick Flores. I've also set up an at-home studio in my house to do some free-lance music recordings and to start working on some projects of my own as well. "

Alyssa Chiarello in Evita 
The Phoenix Theatre Company
photo by Erin Evangeline Photography

Any binge tv shows you’ve watched? 

"Oh absolutely! My top 3 binge watching consists of Ozark, Family Matters, and catching up on Supernatural."

Any new hobbies you’ve taken on? 

"I love reading, but I didn't always have time for it with my schedule prior to this. So I am catching up on books I've been wanting to read, re-reading some favorites, and working on projects around the house I have been wanting to get done. "

How has the experiences of the past three months changed you? 

"I thought myself to already be pretty self-sufficient (especially after living in New York) but I've found a new level of self-sufficiency/independence that makes me feel more proud and able. "

What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to now that Arizona and most states have lifted the stay at home order? 

"I am most looking forward to seeing and hugging all of my family and friends. I have a large family but we haven't been able to all gather together like we normally would since this has happened. I also have some really amazing friends in my life who are family to me and I have missed seeing them so much."

TheaterWorks Adds Adult Dance Fever Sessions

Adult SummerWorks Sessions Added!
It's Time to Dance!

Adult Dance Fever classes will be held 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Classes are limited to 10 participants. $15 per class per participant.

A week devoted to musical theater dance choreography. Take one or all four classes! Each day a fully choreographed number from a Broadway musical will be taught. Our instructor this week will be award-winning choreographer, Paul Pedersen. Sessions are filling up fast! Enroll now!

Monday, June 29 CHICAGO

Tuesday, June 30 KINKY BOOTS

Wednesday, July 1 GUYS AND DOLLS

Thursday, July 2 ALADDIN

Visit SummerWorks Online for more details and see what other classes we are offering this summer! All SummerWorks classes will be held via ZOOM. Deadline to register is the Friday prior to the start of the class. Zoom information and link will be emailed within 24 hours prior to the class start time. If a class is full, please contact our Box Office at 623-815-7930 or at to be put on the class waiting list.

Arizona Native Chanel Bragg Named Associate Artistic Director at Arizona Theatre Company

from our friends at Arizona Theatre Company;

Arizona native Chanel Bragg, an artist and passionate advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, has been named Associate Artistic Director at Arizona Theatre Company.

A graduate of Northern Arizona University and Cortez High School, Bragg is a producer, director, teaching artist and performer whose mission is to open doors and shatter stereotypes for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and women in Arizona.

“My career, and life, was changed by the opportunity to be an Associate Artistic Director at a leading LORT theatre, so I have always wanted to provide that opportunity for someone else. For me that person is Chanel Bragg,” said ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels.  “Also, it’s time for theaters to start hiring and promoting the immense talent that lives in their own towns.”

Bragg, who holds a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in Innovative Leadership from Western International University, has worked with a range of Arizona fine arts institutions and is a three-time AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence recipient.  Among the organizations for which she has collaborated are ATC in The Music Man and Cabaret, Black Theatre Troupe, The Phoenix Symphony, Free Arts for Abused Children, Phoenix Theatre, Stray Cat Theatre, Childsplay, Arizona Broadway Theatre, TheaterWorks, Spotlight Youth Theatre and Desert Stages.

“I have spent my career carrying the belief that our Arizona theater community rivals any place in the universe and now I’ve been given the illustrious platform to prove it,” she said.

Bragg also is co-founder of the Soul of Broadway, an AriZoni award winner, producer of The Alexander Project Tribute Band with Live Nation, founder of United Colours of AZ Theatre and a supporting vocalist in the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.

“I am inspired by the work Chanel does – onstage and off – her dedication to her community and the joy she brings to every project,” Daniels said. “We are a better organization, and I will be a better Artistic Director, for having her unquestioned work ethic, high level of artistry, fierce passion for equity and inclusion and her truly remarkable and delightful sense of humor helping to lead the way. Though these are unprecedented and sometimes overwhelmingly challenging times, the future remains bright for ATC – especially with hires like this.”

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